Day Seven (Sept 24th
I have breakfast with Lizzie before her train leaves for Bratslava. She is still nervous but I tell her it will be fine. The guy from Milwaukee is leaving for Vienna then on to Budapest. We meet a couple girls from Alabama. They all graduated a year ago with an MBA from Alabama and promised to take a vacation a year after being in the real world. They started their journey in Munich on to Vienna then to Prague. They leave for the States tomorrow. We exchange travel stories and tips. We all agree Prague is beautiful and romantic. It’s my rest day but there is a chill in the air. I may head back to bed and skip the park. I must beautify myself for theater tonight.
I decide to head to park. I walk past the National Theatre, past the Dancing building (Fred Astaire & Ginger) across the bridge to Lesser Town (Mala Strana). It is quiet. Mothers and grandmothers walking kids in strollers. No tourists. I walk the length of the park until I hit Charles Bridge. I take Charles Bridge back to Old Town. I’m hungry and decide to try Chinese. There a several Chinese restaurants. I end up a little off of Wenclesas Sq inside a market area. It contains a grocery store, drug store and a Chinese restaurant. They are advertising two items and a side for 39-59 crowns ($2-3). When I walk in I see a buffet. The patrons are mainly Czech and they are all eating from the buffet. Travel and food channels say when in a foreign country eat where there is a line and what everyone else is ordering. So I follow the locals and get the buffet (99 crowns- $5) and a cola (18 crowns – $1). The typical Asian buffet, the food is average nothing horrible nothing special. I eat a little and head back to the hotel for a nap. Tonight, it’s theater and dinner at Klub Arkitectu.
I took a cab to the Rudolfinum. This was different than Mozart at the Estates Theatre. The Estates caters to tourists with musicians in period dress. As I approached the Rudolfinum, I immediately notice that everyone (with the exception of a couple of tourists) is in formal attire. Even the kids are in their Sunday’s best. The majority of this crowd is Czech – here for the crème de la crème in music. Think the London Philharmonic. Some of the best orchestras are playing here for the Autumn Music Festival. I resist the urge to take pictures inside. It is beautiful. What stands out is the handmade organ. It is massive. My Springfield family (aka my godparents) had an organ like that handmade for their Presbyterian church. It took two-three years to make and ship to the States. That organ pales in size to the one in the Rudolfinum. It covers almost the entire back wall. The only other one that compares is the one I saw in St James Church (the church with the hand hanging in the foyer). The concert was wonderful. Maybe it was good the one I originally wanted was sold out. This concert was a tribute to Hollywood musical scores (Star Wars, Dances with Wolves, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Bandwagon, Mutiny on the Bounty, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET and Wizard of Oz). It gives you an appreciation for people with creative talent. Who has the ability to know how to make the different instruments combine and score for such a production? Several encores and the conductor closes the book to let us know no more. I decide to walk home. Turns out, I’m finding it easier to walk in my heels on the cobblestone than my flats. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I’ve been playing dress up in my mom’s heels since I could walk. I stop for a snack something light because I have dinner in two hours and I don’t want to spoil that experience. Two days and then back to reality of work, etc. Let’s not dwell on that now.
Ronda is an attorney, writer, and entrepreneur. She is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in Los Angeles and New York. She loves to travel and is passionate about education equity, especially for first generation college students.