It’s of course sad when a vacation is winding down, but it’s nice to have spent a solid week here. We saw so much in the first five days that the pressure is off now–the pressure to cram everything in–and we can just relax and meander. That’s what we did today.
Each morning the proprietress of our apartment delivers an enormous breakfast with a basket of various breads and rolls which could feed multitudes. We took some of the excess bread from a couple days to the river this morning and fed it to some critters at the Vltava. Swans, ducks, a tern, a couple big trout–we stood a few meters up on a wall and cast down crumbs to them. After a while more and more ducks arrived, and then some pigeons, and then we ran out of bread. The latecomers were rather displeased, and sent us off with a rousing chorus of dismayed honks and chirps.
Then we returned to Vyserad, and this time found Dvorak’s and Mucha’s tombs. We took advantage of a painfully beautiful day with dramatic cloud formations and made several lovely photographs from the walls atop the hill. This is our first trip with a real camera. What I could have done with it in Peru, or at Chartres, or in the Yucatan….
We strolled slowly across the railroad bridge and up the west side of the river. There were few tourists. There were swans and baby ducks and old buildings. We ate delicious Thai at a joint called Noi. It’s true that we’ve eaten very little Czech food here, but on vacation you do whatever you feel. At Noi the ambiance was carefully pre-planned, with capiz shells on strings tinkling in the breeze, and giant burnished copper palm fronds, and low leather divans around lower bamboo tables. The music was slow Miles Davis jams mixed with heavy bass and drum and snippets of dialogue from French films, or Madonna remixes done slow with a breathier singer. I had the best duck I ever tasted.
We worked our way up to the Kafka Museum, but didn’t go inside. We checked out a sculpture by David Cerny featuring two computerized guys holding their cocks and pissing into a fountain shaped like Czechoslovakia. Apparently their piss streams spell out lines from famous works of Czech literature. That Cerny guy is cute.
We wondered back down under the bridge again to the same area where we had lunch because we’d seen a Thai massage place. We got hour-long massages which concentrated on the feet. My masseur looked unfit and small and rather rotund, but he punished me for my sins. I was smacked, snapped, convoluted like a möbius pretzel, stretched, cuffed, and jabbed with some curious small rounded metal implement in the soles, toes, and kidneys. Thoughts of the mocked Christ, represented gruesomely in several dozen artworks at the St. Agnes Convent, came to mind as I was savagely contorted and sorely beset. But I left feeling much younger and more spry.
And that was it. We took a nap back at the apt, and then had dinner at the Pilsner Urequell restaurant. Mmmm, venison sausage and turkey schnitzel.