Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here are notes I took on the events of the day:

- Wandered through the streets toward Charles Bridge and discovered a glass sculpture shop with beautiful, interesting pieces

- Visited the Torture Museum, which left the impression that life was much more brutal in centuries past. Many devices to extract "confessions" from witches and heretics. If a witch did not break under torture and confess, it was assumed they were using witchcraft to endure the torture so they were put to death anyway.

- Walked across Charles Bridge, which was undergoing construction and filled with more tourist hawks (cheap glass items and jewelry, souvenir pictures, street portrait artists, etc.), which is probably why our tour guide only showed it from a distance and used another bridge to cross the river twice with us.

- Found a small cafe to have an afternoon snack and discovered it was a Cuban cafe. The waiter, named Pedro, had only left Cuba a month earlier, by way of Russia where he obtained a visa to go to Czech Republic. He warmed up to us as we asked about that experience. When we left, we felt as if we had made a new friend. He directed us to a cab stand and said not to pay more than 200 crowns to ride back to Old Town Center.

- Went into a glass shop on the way to the cab stand and bought a beautiful blown-glass egg for just $35

- Went to an evening performance of chamber music in a side salon in the Municipal Building. The performers were excellent, accoustics, excellent, music selection was "Mozart/Dvorak for Tourists" (What? "Eine Kleine Nacht Muzik" again???)

- After the concert, we tried a "French Asian fusion" restaurant named NoStressCafe (which they wrote as "nostresscafe"). The atmosphere was Zen-like, living up to its name completely. Surprisingly, the food was some of the best we had. I would say it was the best except we have had some truly incredible meals. Anyway, after being in this Prague tourist zone for a few days, we relished the quiet, peaceful ambiance and enjoyed the meal. It seemed odd to be in Prague and eat in a Cuban cafe and then an Asian fusion restaurant, neither of which serves Czech food. Our appetite for duck or pig knuckle with two kinds of saurkraut, red and white, has been over-indulged.

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