Friday was my first day solo, and I fell into my accustomed trip rhythm. Slow start. Nice breakfast upstairs with the stellar view over the roof tops of Prague. Joined at my table by Simon, the suave and genial fellow who runs the front desk. We talked about the Slav Epic and he told me which painting had Mucha’s own granddaughter in it.
Hint: she’s considerably more visible and important in the canvas than the Tsar.
I showed him Robin’s side by side comparison of the Olsen Twin and the Adam figure fleeing the horsemen. Epic hilarity.
We talked about the artistry of the restaurant Field at some length. I know it’s his job to make guests feel welcome, but it didn’t feel forced or awkward, just companionable and relaxed.
Walked across the very pleasant not-the-Charles Bridge to look in at the optical shop again, Decided against a purchase. Nothing caught my eye. Heh. Ate lunch at the Vietnemese Banh Mi Ba eat in/take out place that was part of Robin’s tasting tour. Delicious.
12 variations on the Banh Mi (menu in words and pictures) and a soup special. They should open these up back home, like all the taqueria places. Four bars to eat at, high stools, tiny front counter to order and pay, the various element of the sandwiches prepared and waiting to be assembled, excellent bread, one guy putting the sandwiches together and one server. Perfect to pop up in Atlanta. Can’t think why it hasn’t. The equivalent of Willy’s, only yummier.
Followed the trail Robin made for me via text links to Google maps. Started with the place she found good tee shirts and bought another one. They made the sale because they were cheerfully willing to take the shirts out of the box and plastic wrap and let me try them on over my clothes. A good thing I did. A Men’s L came to my thighs, a Womens 2XL just barely fit around me. Um, WTF? Onward, this time part of the turbulent stream of tourists crossing the Charles Bridge. Found the place of scarves and the hilarious fountain of two men peeing on the nation. That’s when I realize that I am going to miss the Czech’s irreverent sense of humor more than the charm, history, culture, and food. Given my love of Prague ham, that’s saying a lot.
From there, to the serene beauty of a nearby park where Robin had seen a flock of peacocks. No exotic birds today, but I had the pleasure of near solitude, the sound of the wind soughing through the boughs of trees laden with spring blossoms. Pale petals littered the bright green spring grass. Read for a bit, in the peace and quiet. Walked slowly up the hill at the end of a lovely day in Prague.
My laundry was brought to my room, jeans on hangers, teeshirts neatly folded. Simon appeared and me offered a pair of prints of watercolors scenes of Prague. He felt with my interest in art this would be fitting souvenir of my stay at the Golden Well. Alas, they were too large to fit in my suitcase. Seriously, I travel light, y’all. I regretfully declined. Later I was told they checked at the post office, the fee to ship them was only ten dollars so they were sending them to my home on the hotel’s dime. Spoiled. Spoiled rotten.
I am nervous about the bill, they are so freaking nice to me. I did the math so I know what charges to to expect. Better than reasonable, unless they are going to spring something out of the woodwork. The room was prepaid, so it’s VAT tax, breakfasts, postage, laundry, and the car to and from the airport.*
Caught up with my writing this blog, planned my final day – pack and finally visit the Schwartzenberg palace museum, maybe have lunch at the Lobkowicz.
*Our numbers matched. They are just that fabulous. They proceeded to straighten out my airport check-in online, wake me up with coffee at 5:30 (no charge), generally being awesome. I left with regret, grateful for the pleasure of my experience. Honestly, stay here if you ever get the opportunity. You can thank me later.