Travel in music: Chapter 15 - 2001, Czech Republic
2020, the world is in confinement because of a corona virus. I have used this time to reminisce on my past through a musical blog series. They will take you through my peregrinations on this tiny, unique earth, in chronological order. Click on the song, use it as soundtrack, and enjoy!
2001 - Chapter 15 | Unfortunately, I spent too little time in the Czech Republic to write an elaborate post on this chapter. The agency sent me to finish a project that was almost complete, but whose journalist had to leave unexpectedly. I was just plugging a gap. Thankfully, I had had a previous opportunity to visit Prague, the royal spa towns of Karlovy Varya and Márianské Lázně, Plzeň, the birthplace of Pilsen-type beer and several other beautiful corners of the country. I did not have to bemoan missing out.
One memory from this brief sojourn will always stick with me, however. I landed in Prague late at night, under freezing temperatures. At dawn the next morning, I opened the velux roof window of our apartment overlooking Staroměstské Náměstí (Prague’s Old Town Square) to find it covered by a thick layer of fresh snow. I walked out and made the first footprints on the square. It almost reached my knees. The sun was barely peeking out behind the astronomical clock tower. Its first rays bounced off the gleaming mantle of snow, which in turn muffled all sound; complete silence engulfed the whole city. Utterly alone, exhaling vapor and shivering, I hopped diagonally across the square as its ornate Bohemian buildings peered on. Only my breath and my footsteps crushing the snow made any noise. It was so exhilarating I felt like I was in a Brothers Grimm fairytale. I pursued the walk to the Vltava River, where I saw the first few pedestrians. There was a couple making snow angels on the Charles Bridge and a few kids pelting each other with snowballs, giggling deliriously. My sparse nomadic luggage did not contain more than office shoes and trainers and so the cold forced a retreat back to the apartment to avoid losing a few toes. A smile frozen on my reddened face, I remember thinking that nothing could make this moment better, short of some celestial loudspeakers magically bursting out Dvořák’s Symphony from the New World…