Our THIRD day in Prague was an unquestionable success. However, for the author of this particular blog, it started a little… sooner than he might have hoped. Due to a misconception that today’s breakfast started at 7:00 RATHER THAN the pre-established 8:30. Therefore, Jack Henderson and I were the receivers of quite a scare when we arrived in the hotel restaurant to find that we were the only inhabitants from our group! Regardless, after everything was cleared up, we were able to start the day off in a calm, orderly fashion with the addition of some very tasty Czech pastries (at the suggestion of Mrs. Tallman) and the subtraction of a potential nervous breakdown.
We started the day off by visiting a statue that had been built in conjunction with a memorial commemorating the loss of Jan Palach and Jan Zajic, two individuals who were key members of a protest against Soviet occupation of then-Czechoslovakia, during the 1960’s. Afterwards, we took the time to give ourselves a tour of the surrounding area and see some of the wonderful architecture within Prague, some of which dates as far back as the Austro-Hungarian Empire in its final years before the First World War. We were forced to take a slight detour when Mrs. Tallman wanted to take some time to play with a Macaw, but, rest assured, we went ahead on schedule without any strenuous interruption.
While on our way to lunch, we took the time to view some of the other marvelous statues in Prague including one commemorating Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which was first performed in the Czech capital, and another built in memoriam of Josef Jvngmann, a playwright whose work was a symbol of patriotism for the Czech population, especially during years when they were under the influence of foreign bodies (particularly Germany).
After a wonderful vegan lunch at an Asian buffet recommended by our hosts, we headed onward to the POWDER TOWER. This tower was a guard outpost in the days when Prague was still a walled city, and was, naturally, used for the storage of gunpowder. While the later invention of cannon would make such a defense impractical and expensive, it’s still a nice sounding name. Following our departure from the Powder Tower (and a brief dance with some Hare Krishna’s), we made our way to what is perhaps the most amazing clock tower ever constructed in the history of EVER! This tower, known as the Town Hall, was flanked by four statues representing DEATH, the MISER, VANITY and the TURK. The climb to the top required both immense physical and mental strength (more than twelve flights of stairs), but we were gifted with a fantastic view of literally all that was around us.
Following a carriage ride around the highlights of the Czech capital, we returned to our hotel(s) to prepare for the main event: the OPERA! That’s right, we, the students and faculty of La Lu, went to see Rusalka, a classic opera detailing the fate of a water nymph who falls in love with a prince, but cannot be with him for two reasons. 1) She cannot imitate the passion female humans have toward members of the opposite sex. 2) If she kisses the prince, he will DIE! While there was some slight confusion in regards to the translation, we all left the performance feeling much more culturally enlightened than before.
So far, La Lu Prague has done nothing but impress me. We haven’t begun the rest, and while I can say that I don’t know what to expect, I do know this: it will be nothing short of EXCELLENT!