My return visit to Prague this month was great.
Beforehand I worried about it bringing some memories to the surface which are best left in the depths of my soul.
Some memories did pop up, usually prompted by being back in certain places for a second time. For example, we walked past the apartment I’d stayed in on the last visit. Unavoidable really, as it’s on Nerudova – one of the main streets leading to the castle.
However, I dealt with those issues easily and it was just as easy to create the new memories.
What were the highlights?
The hotel was one. The Novotel in the Nové Město. I wouldn’t usually choose a chain hotel for a trip like that, but it was excellent.
The pubs. Not a feature of my first visit, so something new. I hadn’t realised how good and diverse Czech beer is. That’s in spite of spending a week in Znojmo – a town with its own brewery. The country seems to be almost on the same level as Bavaria in the beer department. Praise indeed.
The wine. Again I should have expected that. Znojmo is slap bang in the middle of the main wine producing area. Excellent quality and even better value. Good to be reminded!
The food. The same story as the pubs and the wine.
The people. Friendly and helpful with very few exceptions.
The city. Maybe we got our timing right – midweek in May and avoiding all known school holiday periods – but we had no problems with noisy parties of drunks (from the UK or anywhere else). Perhaps they have moved on to some other poor city.
I enjoyed seeing many places for a second time. I was disappointed by my first visit to Josefov. It was poor value for money compared with – for example – the castle. It was interesting up to a point as I’d never been inside a synagogue before, but that was it.
The “occasion” of going to see Carmen at the State Opera was fun – it’s not something I do very often. Every 10 years or so, I suppose. It wasn’t easy to sit there for 3 hours (less a 20 minute interval), but I did it.
I hope Prague becomes a more frequent trip.
© iain taylor 2015