A long day. Prague disorients and confuses, a condition that I am sure Kafka had to cope with. Maps can be useless since they can’t capture the tiny shifts in direction the narrow streets often make. European cities have the disorienting habit of changing the name of a street in the middle of an intersection. One could, of course, check street signs, but far too often, corners are not named. Still, this is Prague so I won’t complain more. Now for some quick snaps:
One of those narrow winding streets on which I got lost and simply circled back to my starting point.
From the Charles Bridge, the major crossing of the Vlatava which wanders through the Czech Republic and joins the Elbe. Swans on the water, lots of them, simply gliding. At the top of the hill is Prague Castle, the seat of the government and the home of the Czech president. The spires belong to St Vitus Catherdral, no dancing allowed. At least it is Gothic, not German baroque.
The changing of the guards, not quite as impressive at the event at Windsor Palace, but I’ve never been to Windsor, so this is my sense of how guards change.
The walk up to and down from the castle was steep enough to remind me of Ithaca.
On the way down, bypassing the Charles Bridge which was thronged with strolling visitors, we stumbled into the Waldstein Garden, now the home of the Senate of the Czech Rebublic. Manicured lawns and hedges.
But also fauna of a decorative sort. A few rather tame peacocks, mostly drab hens and two more brilliant cocks, wander casually along the paths, seemingly oblivious to human interlopers. This one seemed to pose deliberately for me on a pedestal. When Nancy saw the swans below the bridge, she thought of Yeats and Coole; I heard the peacocks’ cries as a Yeatsian transition. We see the world through what we read.