/ / Spend the weekend alone with Prague

Spend a weekend in private with Prague

Dead end of alchemists.

Apparently, this tower, towering aboveMe, is the gloomy Daliborka, described by the famous mystic writer Gustav Majeink in the novel Walpurgis Night. (He generally liked to fog, to mix on the urban legends of history without a beginning and end, which themselves, in turn, became legends - as one of his most famous books "Golem"). How to approach the tower closer - I will not put my mind into it: in Malaya Strana there are a lot of crooked streets and inner clusters, tunnels and passages, and they are very easy to get lost. Instead of Daliborka, the road (again upwards!) Leads me to Zlatu street. In ancient times alchemists and strange people lived here - Meyrink wrote about them too. In general, I do not part with books in Prague - I can not understand anything about them (it's all very symbolic and confusing, you can not understand where the dream is, where the reality is), but the sense of the City is unusually strong.

Zlata is a street - not even a street, but a dead end. I can imagine that sometime here it was gloomy, damp, only the rare rays of the sun penetrated the dark well between the houses, and at night only the dim lamp, which was looming at the end of the street, could serve as a guide, without illuminating the roads. The street brought gloomy thoughts and images, but now it looks like a village of merry dwarfs: tiny houses, where you enter, bowing your head, painted in different colors; small souvenirs are placed in small windows: wooden toys, harmonica, bright cards and legends of old Prague. Prices here - oh-oh-oh, but you can watch for fun, so I imagine that I'm in a museum.

A bridge between two worlds.

The famous Charles Bridge, they say, was onceEven quite a roadway, although it is difficult to believe in it - it is too narrow. Roughly speaking, it connects the Old Place (Old Square) with the Lesser Country - two favorite districts by the tourists, but their aura is incredibly different. Some cozy, home-like spirit of the right, "old" shore (the smells of hot chocolate and mulled wine!) - and the cold greatness of the left, Malostransky. There, in the Lesser Town, the marble plazas and strict palaces, the style of which our guide for some reason called "barracks classicism". There is no such style, of course, but it conveyed the essence correctly. Here is also the famous luxury cathedral of St. Witt, where you can shiver to the bone - the raw cold comes from somewhere below, from the tombs. From one bank to another, tourists pass over Vltava. In each city there is a street where everyone goes "to see people and show themselves," to pose for the artist, to buy some kind of trifle or "rainy" landscape. Charles Bridge is the same street. In the daytime there is a constant "traffic jam" on it, you push hard, but here you can meet the most incredible characters. For example, an old man with a goat on a rope. The Japanese with cameras, Italians with backpacks on their backs, Germans with thermoses - and a white fluffy goat. Or a cheerful colorful procession of Hare Krishnas with a loudspeaker. They are so enthusiastically singing their hymns and fervently dance that from the Bridge to the Old Square they are followed by a string of curious - and I including. When people are well, it's very easy for them to get caught up in merriment, regardless of religious affiliation.

A glance from below, a view from above.

Czechs go to bed early, get up too early, andHolidays are no exception. I arrive at 9 am on Wenceslas Square, walk along the Old Place, cross the main river of Prague on the bridge ... Tourists sleep after a sleepless night, and I get acquainted with the city. And on this wonderful morning, in this fresh, frosty air, he somehow rises particularly majestically above me. Each tower, every spire welcomes and even winks conspiratorial: Well, brother, here only you and I - and the seething Vltava.

To look at a densely built-up centeraround the Old Square, had to climb the tower of the Town Hall. Actually, for all normal people there are elevators, but for some reason I firmly decided to go on foot. The longer the weary waiting - the more chic the view from above. Each house, every street, crowds of tourists, cathedrals and churches - all before your eyes, such a live painted map of the city.

Early frosty morning. By noon it will settle, the snow will begin to melt again - even in winter the temperature here seldom drops below zero, and even those -10, which fell out on our share, are a rarity, we, therefore, were lucky. I decide to look at the city from a higher point, only from another shore. On the excursion all somehow running and running, nowhere you can just stop and stand, think about your own, breathe the air of someone else's, but already such a close city. And now he is still asleep, only a lone souvenir trader slowly drags his tray up the Old Castle Stairs. Overtaking, I see how he yawns. The staircase is long and slippery, but from above are visible tiled roofs, neat, well-groomed courtyards - it's worth a heavy climb. And here you can imagine that the last few centuries were not there and you were in the past - by the way, it's easy! The castle staircase is an excellent point of view for lovers of space. From here you can see the river - one way and the other, bridges, hills. There are almost no cars and trams around, but suddenly a horse with a cart may appear below. Sometimes a road sign sometimes comes across: "Watch out, horse cart!"

The Czech portion.

Having walked up and having developed an appetite, by a dinner you pull inthe nearest cafe. From the first attempt to grab a bite, it becomes clear that you need to study the menu more carefully: low prices are confusing, and you do not even notice that you are ordering almost a whole pig for one yourself. "Greek salad is small," I was associated exactly with five cubes of brynza and five olives - in no institution we have more than this rate is not put, but can - less. Czechs generally do not consider products. "Small" salad was loaded in a decent size salad bowl, which we usually fill before the arrival of guests - this is one serving. And so in everything. Therefore it is very profitable to go to numerous restaurants and small restaurants with a small company: one salad and one hot dish can be divided into three. And you come alone - and you do not even have to choose anything, you still can not eat everything. This discrimination on the volume of the stomach!

Shopaholic.

Of course, I'm not going abroad for shoppingwalk. I'm interested in history, art, architecture, atmosphere ... People, after all. But before the Prague shops can not stand. Personally, I attacked music and books. Books, of course, if with the text, then in English - in all major bookstores there is a special department. In general, here are my favorites - the albums of Czech photographers. In the Czech Republic there are many remarkable photo artists, known to a "wide range of narrow specialists." I was told about their existence by the Internet. There is in their manner something special, thoughtful and romantic, - that distinguishes them from the general mass. Their art is mostly black and white, there are more shadows than light, and a naked woman's body is presented in the same nostalgic haze as the roofs, bridges and squares of Prague. The human body is depicted in much the same way as the ancient walls, spiers, towers.

And suddenly, against the background of all this halftone severity -Color bacchanalia from Jan Saudek. This is a completely crazy creator and, judging by his worries, he is still a libertine! His albums - with the exception of a few universal themes "- even somehow inconvenient to show to friends (this is unlikely to be given to my mother or younger sister), but it is impossible to tear off the view. And in everything - in every erotic mise-en-scene, in every ironic composition - something so inexpressibly Czech. On the Internet, his work diverge, crawl around sites and blogs at an unthinkable speed. In the same with regard to music, Prague is a city of classics. Especially popular here are Dvorak and Smetana - the cultural heritage of the country. Their works necessarily include concerts, which take place every evening in almost all the churches of the city. I went to such events with pleasure, but the church benches are very hard, in the stone churches it is terribly cold, and tourists with soulful faces set their legs on such a special bout for the knees of the prayers. Interestingly, these people at home, in their countries, ever go to church?

In the store, in memory of the city, I chose a disc with a sobbing Jewish violin and sometimes in the evenings I look through images of Prague under these colorful string groans and sobs.

Is there no holiday? The holiday is!

And what, in fact, the main holidays? For example, New Year? Strangely enough, in the Czech Republic it is not celebrated. I mean the locals - they are not accepted that way, the night hype causes slight amazement. But the tourists have fun all the way - sincerely, noisily, variously. Directly for the New Year's Eve there are many options: a fashionable disco, a real brewery with a haystack scribbled under its feet or the famous cafe where Franz Kafka himself was (Kafka, incidentally, did not have a good taste - the cafe is not very cute). It is possible and on a place to stick to crowds of walking - in our small cozy boarding house the merriment went up to a dawn, with game in snowballs and start of fireworks. At local time at this time the holiday - St. Sylvester's day (the New Year's eve). And, of course, Christmas. Arriving in Prague at the very end of December or early January, you manage to enjoy the diversity and richness of the Christmas markets. The whole Old Town Square and the long Wenceslas Square are decorated with wooden kiosks with all sorts of things - souvenirs, "boiled wine", sweets, toys, paintings. The musicians play, horse carriages ride - the spirit of popular festivities is felt, only in the role of the people - "come in large numbers" tourists.

Oh, one more time.

Perhaps, this is one of those cities whereyou manage to do everything that is planned. Or you just want to repeat your walks again and again, you want to know more about Prague. Therefore, somehow, I immediately want to come again, and again and again ... For example, I never forgot how to regret the hidden facade of the Tyn Cathedral - all the time it seems that behind the "caramel" annex is hidden something grandiose and certainly Gothic. I do not know if there really is something special, or it was planned from the very beginning. The cathedral can be bypassed from the side, you can estimate its colossal dimensions, throwing back your head, but it is so tightly squeezed between the crooked streets that you still will not get the general picture. I remain in a melancholy love for Prague's city transport - they do not know what "rush hour" is. And there are only three metro lines. Trams and buses run strictly at the specified time, and the route can be studied at the stop. On one of the trams I came almost to the most Powder gates, and they darkened ominously under the drizzling rain or the fine snow, then gleamed gaily in the sun.

I almost every day with hundreds of touristsstood under the most famous astrological clock - Orloi, and waited, when the figures decorating them, will begin to move. At a certain hour this invariably happened, then the square was announced by a joyful cock-crowing, as a symbol of victory over evil-and all was silent. And I have never been able to discern what is going on in reality. I found a small crooked street, and on it - a stunning shop junk: platbands for keyholes, half-ruffled accordion, street signs of the century before last, old coffee grinders and teapots, pocket watches. But for the old days would have to pay too much. So she left, sighing. I was able to inspect only a third of the stunning zoo, which is tempted to tell in a separate material. I almost every day sat on the veranda of a nice cafe and ate delicious cakes with fresh fruits - by our standards all this beauty is given practically for nothing ("zdarma" in Czech), and the damage is minimal. So would always sit, looking at freshly bought photo albums, forgetting about work and everything about everything. And yet I now remember Prague every time I look into my rapidly losing weight purse - there almost everything is much cheaper than ours, and the wallet, accordingly, empties more slowly. I saw places where tourists do not travel - a view of Prague from another, industrial side and landscape, against which "Lemonade Joe" was filmed. It's not known if I can see it again, because residents of neighboring private houses demand to close the passage. And I can understand them: this kind of - yes, what's that? All kinds of Prague! - I want to own it alone.

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