This is going back in time a bit, but here are some sightseeing photos from Friday when we had all day to see more of Prague before our 10:26 pm train.
Charlie’s favorite travel guide, Samantha Brown, came here to the Imperial Cafe. She talks about a tray of stale doughnuts that people can throw at each other, but we didn’t notice that and then read on a couple blogs that that’s no longer done. There was tile everywhere – quite lovely – and we had coffee and dessert. Before this we walked to the post office and mailed a couple gifts home to the US. Although the waiters and hotel staff speak English, the post office staff does not. I didn’t know how to ask for air mail or tracking, and I now sincerely doubt the recipients will ever get their gifts. It only cost the equivalent of a couple dollars per package to mail, and I had to list the contents on the outside of the box. So…that’s kind of a shame.
Franz Kafka was a German Jew (German was his native tongue.), born in Prague, died in Austria. I remember reading an excerpt of Metamorphosis in school. I should probably read more of his. Below is a sculpture dedicated to him that represents a character in one of his stories.
Below: Spanish Synagogue where Laurel saw a classical music concert; there are many in Prague during Advent. Charlie and I didn’t go because he didn’t want to, and I had a cold and kept sneezing. Laurel said, “No offense, but I’m glad you didn’t go. It’s actually pretty small inside, and your sneezing would have been quite distracting. One person clapped inappropriately at a pause in the music and got dirty looks from two of the five musicians.” We all saw the outside on Friday though when I took this picture.
Below: Charles Bridge at night
Below: “Dancing House” designed, in part, by Frank Gehry. Václav Havel grew up in the building next door and continued to live there in his adult life. Where Dancing House is now had been a pile of rubble for 15 years because the US bombed it during WWII. Although the rubble was eventually cleared, it took another 30+ years for this to be built. I looked up why the US bombed it and read on Wikipedia that it was a navigational error; American and British pilots thought it was Dresden which was being bombed the same night.
The bombing resulted in the deaths of 701 people and the wounding of 1,184. About one hundred houses and historical sites were totally destroyed and another two hundred were heavily damaged. All the casualties were civilians and not one of the city’s factories, which might have been of use to the Wehrmacht, were damaged.
I was surprised to see this on a bus stop shelter. I don’t watch TV (other than some shows that I can watch online), so maybe he’s been advertising on TV for a while and I didn’t know it. Laurel said, “Does George Clooney need the money?” Nestle is known for its human rights abuses. What was Clooney thinking? All right, so I just looked up this situation, too, and found on The Guardian’s website that Clooney is using most of the money from this ad campaign to pay for a satellite (?!) over the border between North and South Sudan in order for him to spy on Omar-al Bashir, the Sudanese dictator charged with war crimes at The Hague. Clooney wants Nestle to source some of its coffee from Sudan so that the Sudanese can have a more reliable revenue stream than oil whose revenue currently does not get distributed to the people from whose land it is taken. Golly, that’s a complicated ad I looked up.