Thursday, 10 December 2009

Prelude to Prague 2009

Everything is booked now for my four day break in Prague, which I'll be taking between Christmas and New Year. My wife and son will both be working, so I don't feel guilty about flying off and leaving then for a few days - I would probably end up with cabin fever if I stayed at home!

I've done most of my research into the best beers to drink, and the best bars in which to enjoy them, plus of course I want to do the full tourist bit with plenty of sight-seeing. I've found the box of transparencies I took on my first visit to the city, back in 1984. I haven't been able to publish then online yet as I need to get them scanned. Apart from being slightly scared at how young I looked back then, I was surprised at just how dull and dreary Prague looked in its communist heyday; the architecture itself may have been stunning, but everything else looked so grey and uniform!

Obviously things have moved on and I'm really looking forward to seeing how much things have changed over the last quarter of a century. Although there are some excellent sounding drinking establishments I am determined to visit, there are also a number of places that I want to return to and renew my acquaintance. These include the legendary U Fleku and also U Svateho Tomase, both of which formed part of the itinerary on that initial visit, 25 years ago. There is also U Kalicha (the Chalice), which was the haunt of writer Jaroslav Hasek's, and his literary creation The Good Soldier Swejk. Even in communist times, this pub was being milked for the then limited tourist trade, but even so I would like to check it out again, if the opportunity arises.

None of this, of course, will detract me from some serious beer sampling. My only concern is that with just four days available will I manage to fit it all in?