Prague At Night

November 03, 2007


Clop, clop, clopping horse hooves and carriages seem right at home on the cobbled streets of romantic Prague. It is as exciting and beautiful at night as it is in the day with everything all lit up. We saw more of Prague at night than other places, partly I suppose, because it now gets dark earlier, but also because music is a specialty here that is well priced. We became experts on the Soviet looking old  subway and trams, that have a charm of their own and felt perfectly safe walking around in the city and going home to our suburban digs in the dark.

In almost every cathedral there are free or very cheap concerts every night. We had read recommendations not to miss the one at St. Nicholas' church in Lessor Town, the most significant high Baroque creation in Prague. The ceiling panel in the nave is one of the largest frescoes in Europe and it is an impressive setting, with many large statues of St. Nicholas which Mozart enjoyed. We listened to a concert of Schubert, Bach, Mozart and others by a very talented Asian soprano, with oboe and organ. We came early so had front row seats and the acoustics and setting were divine.

The Gothic Charles Bridge, thought to be one of the most significant monuments of medieval architecture in Bohemia, must be seen at night as well as different times in the day. It is almost like the heart of the city with the many performers and artists demonstrating the high creativity level  here and the views can be breathtaking at any hour.

There was a group gathering in one spot as we made our way across the bridge, just like they did when we did our Mozart's video. We joined and watched as an eccentric, charismatic man prepared his “stage” in the dim light on the bridge. He took quite some time, but the audience waited with great attention, despite the cold night air. Standing is the worst on my feet, but even I did not want to budge.

He was preparing a whole array of wine glasses, adding water here and there, measuring carefully. He heated things up and seemed almost like an alchemist preparing some magic elixir that would not disappoint. He even used an electronic tuner and entertainingly (and educationally for Mozart) let the audience in on his procedure at this point, talking about each note as he added or subtracted small amounts of water to individual glasses with a small eye dropper.

He said something about the violin off hand and our Mozart, at the front of the group with violin case in hand, piped up loudly out of the silence, “I play the violin!”. Everybody laughed. She was used to shows that have interaction. He made a joke about the money can and our Mozart couldn't wait to be the first one to make it go ka-ching. She and all of us, have enjoyed so many wonderful street artists on this trip.

We all waited a little more as he put his music just where he needed it and did some last minute touches, milking his moment in the limelight for all it was worth. Then he preceded to play a difficult Bach piece in the most magnificent way with those simple glasses and a little water. He was extraordinary and filled the night air with magic while the Prague castle glowed in the background behind him. 

Wow, what a priceless moment. If the video turns out, I will post it eventually. He was amazing! If you closed your eyes, you never would have guessed that he was playing glasses. The vibration and sound was celestial and awesome in this setting. If you ever get a chance, catch this guy! He was a highlight for us that we will never forget.

Speaking of never forgetting, I can not leave the Prague night topic without revealing the strangest night of all. I did not really notice it was a strange night, until I groggily got out of bed the next morning. After using our little loo in our motor home, I happened to glance into the mirror and was stunned to see half my face covered in dried blood!

I felt fine, but was completely flummoxed by this sight, my mind racing out of my half dream state, trying to make some sense out of it. I looked down and saw a big blood stain on my shirt and later we saw it was all over the pillow. It seems I had had the first bloody nose of my life while I slept... at the ripe old age of fifty five! Is that odd or what?

I rarely drink and had not had anything to drink that night, so it seemed surreal to think that I just slept thru a bloody nose in the middle of the night. It was a little discombobulating, but soon we were all laughing about it and we went on with our day as I felt perfectly fine. You just never know what life is going to hand you and little did I know then, that there would be more to this story.













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Lovely Prague, I just do love this city so much as I used to live there for a few years. Now it is definitely changed, and you would not see the Soviet subway and trams anymore. Many things have changed there in positive way.
Cheers and happy new year!!

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