Since we arrived in Prague on Thursday, we have been admiring the castle on the hill and today we conquered the mountain! Our coaches carried us to the jewel of the Czech Republic, Prague Castle whose fabulous vistas and stunning examples of architectural beauty saved it from ruin in WWII.
We observed the ribs of tremendous St. Vitus Cathedral and some of us even trekked up 287 steps in the tower opposite to take a closer examination of the gothic spires.
Of all the cities in the world, Prague is perhaps one of the most passionate about music. We could not stroll a block before we heard a lovely melody wafting through the air.
Prague Castle had no formal gardens, rather its Paradise Garden was a performance venue perched on a rocky cliff so its music could travel further afield. We caught a few modern pieces by the Dutch Police Ensemble who were visiting this week.
On our way down the hill, we encountered the Golden Alley, a small mews street that housed the royal craftsmen back in the day. How charming! After grabbing a quick bite for lunch, we walked across the Charles Bridge over the Vltava River to the Rudolfinium for a rehearsal with our hosts from the Benda Orchestra. They are a kind and talented group of musicians. Ada who very generously loaned us a family heirloom instrument for a performance, bid us a fond adieu asking all of us to return some day to play together again.
Concert-goers comprised family and friends as well as local fans. Many were heard saying that we “burned the house down” after two standing ovations and warm hoots and hollers. One thing is for certain, we made some lovely acquaintances in Prague and lasting memories.