You Are So Beautiful To Me

Trip Start Aug 23, 2007
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Trip End Jul 17, 2008


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

At the arrival points in airports around the world, tour guides stand holding papers with the names of the people they are to meet.  Sometimes, they look flustered or impatient as their tourist hasn't come out of the passport control area yet.  On April 12, I stood in that herd of tour guides, but my paper had a one word name...no, not, Sting...rather, MOM!  The tour guides each had a smile at that, but my face was turning to concern, until my mom finally...and last...came out into Arrivals.  I had a big week planned for us, but mostly had just looked forward to the visit.
  We began our tour with the big sights to see on the south side of the Vltava River.  We walked along Charles Bridge and its beautiful sculptures.  We stood in front of the beautiful astronomical clock and watched as it chimed the hour.  We  admired the beautiful Gothic architecture.  We enjoyed the beautiful coffee as the beautiful people walked by. It was all just too beautiful.  Something was missing in Prague.  It was as if there was no story line, no plot.  Yes, beautiful, I agree with all the people who told me it would be so, but it was hard to find it's heart.
  The next day, we wandered around Mala Strana on the other side of the river.  Beautiful shops and flats lined the street. We took a tour to the Castle and admired its beautiful cathedral that is the classic skyline of Prague. Finally, we walked up the beautiful Wenceslas Square where we enjoyed a beautiful piece of salmon for lunch...our best meal of the trip.
  One night we headed out on a boat cruise which displayed the beautiful city at night.  The music on board was a live jazz band that played the old American classics.  They were the highlight of the cruise.
  I finally got to peruse the Kafka museum, and learn a little bit about the isolation of this great author.  He was part of the Jewish minority in Prague, but was a minority in his own community as a German speaking Jew.  He always loved Prague, but never felt accepted there.  His isolation is clear in many of his novels, my favorite being The Metamorphosis.  We continued on to see the Jewish Quarter and explored the oldest synangogue in Europe.   
Finally, we enjoyed our last day exploring Vladstenjsky Palace in Mala Strana where the government sits.  It is surrounded by beautiful gardens that include 2 white peacocks.  We enjoyed a last meal in Prague at the Big Square in a Medieval dungeon styled restaurant complete with a pig on a spit and some live Czech music.  Off to Vienna!
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