Friday, August 04, 2006

Nothing Lasts Forever

Well, my ‘weekend’ break in Prague will be cut a bit shorter than initially planned (no surprise to me), so on Saturday it’s off to Olomouc again for a day. Then back across the country to another site on Sunday.

Prague has been wonderful. I spent yesterday walking around by the castle and in Hradčany then down across the bridge into the old town. The castle is so crowded that it’s hardly worth it – since I’ve been there before I didn’t stay long.

I visited the Strahov monastery and library – this just might be the best thing I’ve visited so far. It is incredible to see a library where 400 year old books are nothing of particular note since there are rooms full of books much, much older. This visit is all the more timely since I’m currently reading The Name of the Rose by Eco; I was inspired to read for an hour or so in a park shortly after the visit. At least as interesting (to me) as the books was the collection of dried/preserved animals. Have you ever seen a dried stingray? They look utterly alien – it was way cool. Even better than the stingrays was the dodo bird – yes, they have a dried dodo bird on display. Very weird looking.

In the evening I did a pub walk with one of the local tour groups. It was nice and good to interact with people. There’s just something about drinking in 600 hundred year old basements. As I said, it was great fun.
This will probably be the last entry for a week or so as I begin work again. Hopefully the next entry will be my review of The Name of the Rose and probably a few pictures from the trip.


Holly said...

Hi Ken,
Glad you had a good time at the Strahov Library. If you still have some time in Prague, right across from the monastery is the Strahov brewery, and the monks there make some amazing beer. I was there last summer for a library seminar where we visited libraries throughout the Czech Republic. At the Strahov library we got to go inside the roped off areas and actually touch things, which made it all the more impressive. Anyway, I can suggest a few places to eat if you're interested (you can NB me at wotmania if that's easiest - htomren). I hope you're having a great time!

Neth said...

Thanks Holly,

I didn't make it to the brewery at the monastary and wish I did. I have little time now left in Prague, so I'll keep it in mind for next time. I did have some fabulous beer at Pivovar u Fleku. It is a 'microbrewery' that has been in continuous operation since 1499. It's a bit of tourist trap, but well worth it - it was the best beer I've had in country yet.

Sounds like it was a great trip - digging through the libraries here would be very interesting.


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