Saturday afternoon in Prague and we walked along the river looking out across the old city on the other side until it felt right to cross over. As we did so we saw a row of stalls laid out down the wide pathway that ran along the bankside. We went down to have a look and it was a Prague Farmer’s Market. There were cheeses and meats and vast glass jars filled with green leaves and liquor for interesting tasting drinks. There were vans selling young wine still cloudy with grape and old men with big noses taking their sip. At the fish stall there was the head of a large swordfish and the man behind the stall cut off the tail from a tuna and gave it to a child who stood there open mouthed.
Back up from the bankside we walked towards the dancing building. I was not sure what to expect and was slightly disappointed when we got there and it wasn’t moving. Somehow I had been expecting a building that would jiggle and wave its arms in the air. It was only later looking at the pictures that I realised it was two buildings in embrace across a dancefloor.
We went for coffee and dark beer in a pink walled cafe where the only place to sit was in the vast smoking section. It was a surprise and secret pleasure to find ourselves in a place where people were not bothered about smoking in public.The smell of it took me back to the years when you could walk into a pub and a fug of smoke and noise. Pubs have not been the same since. In the pink walled cafe two young women sat next to us pulling their hair and when they had finished with their food knocking out cigarettes from their packet. They made it all look very attractive.
Having spent the day walking late afternoon we took a tram back to the apartment to sleep for a while before an evening out on the back of a tram ride back into the city.
It was dark and we started with a walk across the Charles Bridge. The bridge was still busy with people and it was dark but there was a moon that lurked behind the clouds and statues loomed over us arms open in the half light.
We had a plan for somewhere to eat and there had been talk of booking a table. I decided that was not necessary and so of course when we got there there was a furrowing of brows and we were told it was full.
There then followed a hour long walk through the streets to find just the right place to eat. We have been doing this one way or other for twenty three years, spending a Saturday night walking past any number of places which for one reason or other wasn’t quite right. The book recommended a place called Kampa Plan but we couldn’t find it amongst the dark streets and misleading corners. We were about to revert to one of the places we had passed already when we managed to stumble across it. We were swept off out feet and led to a table with candles overlooking the river and The Charles Bridge.
Initially we had some difficulty working out the pricing in the menu. Up to that point we had worked out how many Kroner there were to a £ and we had been congratulating ourselves on how cheaply we had eaten and drunk. In Kampa Plan the number of Kroner to the £ appeared out of kilter and it was then that we remembered that the guide book had mentioned that this was where Bill Clinton and Johnny Depp came to eat when they were in town. We had managed to find ourselves in Prague’s most expensive restaurant where the tip was going to have be bigger than what we had paid for our lunch.
It didn’t matter. We were sat outside in Prague looking out over The Charles Bridge at nighttime, there were soft rugs laid out over the backs of our chairs and there was an assiduous waiter anxious to make sure we were okay and there was no deep fried cheese on the menu.
We ate very well. Grilled quail followed by steak and crab ravioli and risotto. We were replete.