Sunday, January 6, 2013
This post is long in coming, but can't really be skipped. I visited my daughter in Prague while she was on her semester abroad. I was struck by three things about Prague. First, the old architecture in the tourist areas is remarkable and untouched by either WWII or by communism. Second, outside the main city, the architecture is bleak from years of communist rule. Third, there are outcroppings of hopefulness and style from a city that has grown out of communism since the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
Prague is an interesting food city. Gail and I made Czech food while Noele was in Prague, so it was nice to taste the local versions of the knedliky (bread dumplings), svíčková (meat in gravy), brambory (potatoes) and Nakládaný hermelín (marinated cheese).
One traditional street food, trdelnik, was particularly fun. These dough tubes are cooked over a wood fire to create a smoky, sweet treat.
We also had a nice lunch in a bakery/lunch counter called Bakeshop. It is run by a British ex-pat, and feels like an integral part of the new Czech culture. This is a pumpkin soup Noele had, and I had a pumpkin quiche with feta. They make the tight seating space fun having patrons duck under the table to sit on the window sill all around the edge.
Noele also shared her favorite breakfast place with me, Bohemia Bagels. I had the eggs Benedict with crab, and it really was amazing.
On the high end, Noele and I went out to a nice dinner before heading to the opera. We went to the restaurant Leonardo in the Hotel DeVinci in old town. The meal was delightful and the whole dinner including appetizers and wine was just over $60. Amazing!
But the opera itself was a special highlight. We got outstanding tickets to the Dvořák opera Rusalka. For just over $100, we got floor level box seats just off the stage. We felt so elegant. It was fun to see an opera by a Czech composer, and we were more surprised that the opera Rusalka is the basis of The Little Mermaid story. I enjoyed the special time with my daughter, and will probably let her take me to more opera in the future.