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Castles, Kafka & Kids

November 01, 2007

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The darling blue, miniature house at 22 Golden Lane, is where Franz Kafka lived and wrote for a while and now it is a lovely bookshop. One of our favorite parts of the Prague Castle District, was this enchanting Golden Lane which was a 16th century tradesmen's quarters of miniscule, toy-like houses built into the castle walls.

We love books and old charming houses, so we were in heaven, scouring the English books for the perfect ones to take home. We would have liked to take half of them home, but our budget and space would not allow that. We are really overflowing now with too many things, having filled every spare nook and cranny up with things we have bought along the way. We have not bought much... more books than anything, but we did not start out with much room to spare.

We settled for Franz Kafka's “The Metamorphosis” for DaVinci and I to share for a little Prague atmospheric night reading. Mozart picked “Clever Isabel” (ISBN 80-85938-74-X) and “Folktales and Legends” (ISBN 80-7253-207-3). They all seem to be produced by Vitalis (www.vitalisknihy.cz). “Clever Isabel” is a fairy-tale that takes place in Prague on Golden Lane and Mozart especially liked that one because of that and because the heroine is wise and beautiful. The back cover says “it is fairy-tale based on facts for children above eight years of age”, but I do not see why both books could not be read to a younger child who does not read. Mozart loves folk tales and she did not know any of these stories which all give greater meaning to the culture and people.

We then meandered down the cobbled lane, dipping into all the little colorful houses, which are all arty shops now. We also really loved one that was filled with antique instruments and music things with a violin made out of vines on the door. Mozart has been doing really good on her practice all seven months of our travel, so we indulged her in a pretty little violin necklace that she liked. Mozart loves to shop and she loves little doll houses, so pulling her away from here was not that easy.

But it was easier than pulling her away from the medieval beading table near the Palace! It happened that the day we visited this castle area, they were having a medieval workshop for kids that seemed to be mostly filled with locals. What luck! Castles can actually get a little tiresome for kids after they have seen as many as Mozart has, but having these kids activities in this location, made it very special. There were crafts-people dressed in costumes and lots of different activities including getting dressed in kids sized armor.

There are always soldiers and changing guards around a palace, so something Mozart has gotten use to now and enjoys standing by them for the requisite picture. Prague Castle is lovely and was founded in the 9th century and is still the official residence of the current president. There is more to Prague than I have room to tell or show, so I will just focus on the highlights for us. Even that is hard, because there were so many highlights!

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Marlana

The Metamorphosis OMG. Goooood choice!!!

Mikayla B

Beautiful little girl you have!

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