The sunset is approaching and I decided to immerse myself in a river trip. I turn to a small historic steamer that allows me to cross the river Vltava up in the small canals. The channel of the devil, the channel of lovers, where one can see an old mill where romantic lovers around the world swear eternal love.
I think of Bon Iver and the song Flume https://youtu.be/LuQrLsTUcN0 while the young guide from perfect English accent tells me the devils that inhabit the river, as well as at least seven degrees the river stays liquid because there is an artificial system that keeps the temperature constant at 4°.
I think the water temperature, frost that cut my skin, the first snowfall of the season that always exist in this memory, and bone echo the music and lyrics of this song, perfect and clear .
“Now you know. Only love is all maroon. Gluey feathers on a flume. Sky is womb and she’s the moon. I am my mother on the wall, with us all. I move in water, shore to shore; Nothing’s more”.
The sky has become almost dark and suddenly in front of me, the majestic Castle is colored impressions of sunset and get shades so special to make it almost unreal. While all around it gets dark, the last rays of sun light orange and gold the stones and understand that you, from there, in your little boat you are a small thing compared to that immensity.
Early in the morning the next day I decided that my goal will be the Castle. I decide to “climb” one of the seven hills, taking the steepest street: the Old Castle Steps (Stare zámecké schody). The steps begin near the metro station Malostranská and they will bring me to the beginning of Jirska. The award, one of the best views of Prague. What appears to my eyes just I got not a castle but it’s a piece of history still beating that combines past and present. You can feel the history and buildings across heterogeneous because this imposing hill overlooking the city, over the centuries has combined various buildings of power, temporal and state.
Prague Castle, in fact, went through one of its moments of maximum splendor during the reign of Charles IV, when it became the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. The Royal Palace was rebuilt, the fortifications were strengthened and was started the construction of the St. Vitus Cathedral in the style of French Gothic cathedrals of that time. The Defenestration of Prague in 1618 and the long period of wars during which the Prague Castle was damaged and looted, rarely serving as the seat of power. Today, the Prague Castle is the seat of the Czech president and the most important national cultural monument of the Czech Republic.
Rem – It’s The End Of The World – https://youtu.be/Z0GFRcFm-aY
“It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine” a historic step along centuries.
With the Astronomical Clock Orloj Staroměstský (Clock of the old town), a medieval astronomical clock located in one of the most important squares of the city Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square) I am going to conclude my story in music. From his watch tower Prague directing the view towards the seven hills and the most important monuments.
The square is crowded with tourists. The scent of cinnamon and roasted almonds fills the streets and the square to make it come alive and mixes with the smell of meat and fried because Old Town square is a central place for tourists and not only, outdoor station where you can refresh with cold eating typical street food among various banquets wood that fill the square.
I went toward a back lane between shouting multiethnic and a Starbucks that has taken a historic building. I find myself exactly halfway: on my left the old town with its gothic colors and legends to live and understand, on the left the city with its more recent history, the long avenue that will take me to the Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, the National Theatre.
Halfway there, suspended in time chasing and calendars. I breath deeply and the thin air for a few seconds freezes my heart. Out of time and out of the space between the scent of roasted almonds and humidity.
Snow falls in flakes perfect on my face. The perfection of a snowflake is rare and beautiful. It seems that heavy that snowflake. Maybe it is. I let myself be caressed.
The views of a trip are always curious and personal. Why something strikes our attention excluding others, it remains a mystery.
King Crimson – Cadence & Cascade https://youtu.be/GFAESjyVM_8.
• Stranglers – Golden Brown
• Francesco Guccini – Primavera di Praga
• Bon Iver – Flume
• Rem – It’s The End Of The World
• King Crimson – Cadence & Cascade
(Text and photo by Alessia Vanìa)