A great destination for sure: Prague. History, Culture, Music and life itself collide in this place. No matter what you are looking for, you – as I did – will probably find it here – that is if you avoid the streets cluttered by tourists in the old town starting from Karl´s Bridge.
As you probably expected, I did take a special trip to Prague and my focus was clearly set on relaxing and music. To relax one needs a good place to stay and if you are searching for one in Prague I can recommend the Pachtuv Palace Hotel. Even though located right in the city center (about 100m from the Karl´s Bridge) it is a place of absolute comfort and excellent service. After finding a place to lay one´s head indulgence into food seems to be the second factor most important to a relaxed mind. Prague now has a very impressive selection of high end restaurants they –just as the touristy dumpling places do – offer good quality food and service. I was a little disappointed by the famous Coffee Houses (I saw Café Imperial). The building is certainly impressive and well restored, but none of the hearty atmosphere I experienced everywhere else was to be found here.
The most extravagant culinary experience we had was definitely in Svat Klara Restaurant (St. Clara´s Restaurant), located in a cave 16m underground. The maitre – straight out of Bram Stoker´s Dracula – had excellent food and wine selections – this place being a cave, it of course is perfectly fitted to hold an exquisite wind cellar. The luxury food cave experience is definitely one worthy of coming back to Prague for. We also visited “Cowboy´s” restaurant right under the castle. Supposed to be the “in place” in Prague for dining, we had expected a little more. But the view over the roofs of Prague and the beautiful roof garden made up for ordinary food at not so ordinary prices.
But as I said, relaxing was not the only reason for visiting Prague. The trip planning started out with the idea of seeing R.E.M. in concert. Tickets were only available in Würzburg and Prague and as Würzburg is just around the corner from here, Prague was the crazy thing to do. The trip was worthwhile just because of the R.E.M. concert. Czech people just have music in their veins and so the atmosphere in the stadium was absolutely fabulous. The concert itself was breathtaking, even though all members of the band have grown a little old, they know how to rock and they do it whole heartedly. R.E.M. is an experience in music, lyrics, show and performance!
To cool things down a little, we also listened to classical music. Prague is one of the few places I have been to that actually can integrate all styles of music. Even the Jazz bars come naturally after listening to Vivaldi´s Four Seasons in 000000;">Kostel Nejsvětějšího Salvátora (huh? That is St. Salvator´s Church right at the beginning of Karl´s Bridge) arranged for a string quartet. “A very good performance” by four young students, each of them a master of the instrument is the least I can say.
Even though we had to go back to Frankfurt on Tuesday, experiencing great music did not end there. Instead we went to see Eric Clapton in Wiesbaden. This open air concert basically closed down the whole city of Wiesbaden. People set up benches in the streets to listen in so you can imagine, the place was a serious party. As all Clapton fans know the master appeared on the stage, said “Good evening”, played for roughly two hours, said “Thank you” and left. But the voice of his music – as usual – made up for all the speech the concert lacked. Classics, new songs, different guitars and techniques all at a level of absolute perfection was to be seen that night. I sincerely hope rock legends like Eric Clapton are around for a long time, not just with their immortal music, but also to share performances like this one.
All in all a perfect long weekend in and around Prague and in and about music.