Going to Prague – A Lacuna
(image mine, of Prague Old Town Square–pretty houses)
I was so happy to head to Prague. While the artists’ residency was a wonderful experience, I do not like suburbs and rural areas. I like cities. I couldn’t wait to get to one. I get really, really antsy and uncomfortable if I’m in the suburbs for too long. Cities nourish me in ways that quieter, more rural or suburban areas never will. This is one of the reasons I truly loathe doing rituals outside or attending events that are held on camp grounds and the like. I much prefer the dynamic of a city, and preferably indoors. I figure our ancestors worked long and hard to give us the luxury of civilization and culture and I’m going to take advantage of it! So setting off for Prague on July 18 was delightful. The only downside was saying good bye to all the wonderful people we’d met in Poland!
Going to Prague was a largely quiet ride. The night before, I made a public offering to Hermes in the local park (pictures to follow for my Public Shrine Project). We’d come back early to see if it was still there (one I made in Germany years ago lasted weeks) but it wasn’t, instead someone had set up a weird little display of pine cones where the offerings had been. I took that as a good omen). We made offerings to all the relevant land and city spirits and asked for safe passage to Prague and then we were off. It was a quiet and uneventful drive, save for getting my ear accustomed to Czech rather than Polish. The languages are closely related, but where Polish uses sibilants, Czech seems to prefer harder sounds. It was neat comparing the two.
(image by Mary Ann Glass. Used with permission).
We made excellent time and actually got to Prague about three pm. That gave us plenty of time to walk around, and me to promenade and greet the city spirit properly. That was, this time, the first thing I did! I do learn from my mistakes. We were staying at Hotel Paris, a gorgeous Art Nouveau inspired hotel right near the Old Town Center (oh my Gods, cobblestones kill) so we set off to do a bit of shopping and make our way to the astronomical clock. I”d seen it in pictures and wanted to see it in person. As we went, we sort of scoped out what we wanted to do between excursions (I had the trip to Sedlec ossuary/Kutna Hora planned, as well as one to Brno and Austerlitz). We had half a day to just relax and breathe before doing anything pilgrimage related.
Oh Prague is a beautiful city. Coming over the bridge into the city proper was breathtaking. The Czech people are not afraid of color! It was a feast for the eyes: pinks and ochres, salmon, rust red, yellows, oranges, light minty greens, and for the first time, aquas and blues. I don’t recall seeing those latter two colors used much at all in Krakow. Visually I found the rococo onion domes on so many of the buildings enchanting (a pain in the butt to draw freehand, but enchanting). There aren’t many cities that affect me like Prague did, but I almost immediately fell in love with the place.
(Image mine, of the “Dancing House,” a modern piece that was quite controversial when built. It does, however, blend nicely into the more antique architecture surrounding it.)
That’s about all I have to say in this post. The city is magic. I want to go back and spend a longer period of time there just taking it all in. Tomorrow (or maybe later today if I am feeling energetic), I”ll write about our trip to the Sedlec bone chapel, and perhaps also the next phase of my erstwhile and unexpected Marian pilgrimage: Loretto, and the Church of the Lady Victorious.
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