DAY 34: Fifth Day in Prague
I'd intended to spend the day shooting a video of Prague. A 4K compilation of shots showing the city’s architecture and city life. But I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t fun. I found myself disinterested with putting forth the energy I’d found here into static wides of landscapes and architecture instead of absorbing it further.
I wandered Prague Castle again as I promised myself I would. Stepped inside the cathedral, which was overwhelmed with tourists. Practically shoulder-to-shoulder. It was a magnificent place but aren’t they all? All these solid gold crosses and these expansive awe-inspiring ceilings and painted glass windows. The experience was hollow. I felt empty standing in them now rather than impressed.
Found a photography exhibition. Black and white photos chronicling World War 2 through the eyes of Czechlovokian soldiers. Photographs of angry, tired young men doing what they could to fight the Nazi occupation in their country. Motorbikes, uniforms and weapons behind glass encased displays. Surreal to see images of Nazi tanks charging through crowds of Czech people when the Nazi's first arrived.
I proceeded to a museum I’d specifically intended to visit last time I was here. It was a private collection of paintings and artifacts from the owner's past, among other things. I was given an audio device to punch numbers into when dictated by plaques on the wall, informing me of the history behind every piece of work on display. Trailed through numerous portraiture paintings of the family dating back to 16th-century. An armory room with swords and muskets were on display too. A guidebook explaining the make of each weapon and who made it was provided.
Then, I was finally in the room that inspired me to visit this collection in the first place. This room contained cellos, flutes and violins hanging on the walls behind thick glass. On the right hand side, an original written piece from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. Musical notes written on lines of sheet music by Mozart’s own hand. “Halleujah” played in my ears while my eyes studied the nuances in his writing style.
Not more than a few feet to the left, the original documents containing Ludwig van Beethoven’s 4th and 5th symphony. Two thick stacks of degraded gray pages. The power of standing in the presence of these pieces of work from two of the greatest musicians that have ever lived or will live was indescribable. That much more elevated by the audio device automatically playing Mozart and Ludwig’s corresponding work as I viewed them. I could’ve lingered here for hours.
I went home. Took a nap. Headed back into downtown around 9:45p. I wanted more live music. Ungent Jazz Club. This time it was a blues band but the skill on display was equally impressive and fun. Pint of pilsner and wonderful musicians playing great music: I’m going to miss Prague.