Palm Sunday is my last day in Prague. Tomorrow we board a train for Mozart’s hometown, Salzburg.
After church this morning, John and I had lunch at a neighborhood restaurant (pork medallions in mushroom sauce — yummy!) and then headed to the Wallenstein Palace Garden.
The 17th century palace now houses the Senate of the Czech Republic. Part of the Senate building is a theatrical loggia that features depictions of the Trojan War.
The Renaissance garden also contains this weird grotto wall. Grotesque is the adjective that comes to mind.
Ugly wall aside, I really like Prague and highly recommend visiting it. Here are a few of my “ah-ha” moments in Praha.
5. It must be the marketer in me, but when traveling abroad I like to do an informal survey of one (moi) to determine the most pervasive American brand. Setting aside the ubiquitous Coca-Cola brand, KFC seems to be the most dominant U.S. brand in Prague. Colonel Sanders was more visible than Starbuck’s mermaid or the Golden Arches. The colonel’s secret recipe must remind Czechs of chicken schnitzel.
4. I had an ah-ha moment when I discovered our little studio apartment featured a very nice skylight that makes the same sound as our tin roof at Tin Can Gulch when it rains. Made me feel right at home.
3. The electric lines powering the trams in Prague drape over the streets like steel spider webs. Tram 22 takes you through the scenic heart of Old Town and it was a nice surprise to discover we could catch the frequently-used tram about a block from our apartment.
2. From the ticket agent at the movie theater to a stranger in the street, English is prevalent here. That’s truly surprising and amazing when you consider that until 1990, Russian was mandated. The Czechs don’t appear to be as sensitive about their language as the French. We spoke not a syllable of Czech and virtually everyone we asked for assistance was gracious and helpful. Friendly, nice people these Czechs.
So how did the people of Prague make English so prevalent in less than 25 years? They hire a lot of English teachers! In my seven days here, we ran into four young Americans all employed here in Prague to teach English.
1. Prague is an architectural dream. Down every street and around each corner is a building more beautiful than the last. It truly does rival Paris in its architectural glory — one ah-ha moment after another.