After a few false starts, it does seem that summer has finally arrived in Prague. Over the last couple of weeks we have had temperatures well into the twenties Celsius, plenty of sunshine and only the occasional thundery downpour. So here are some words and pictures to give a flavour of our life in Prague now summer is here.
Since soon after Easter, each Saturday morning, there has been a regular Farmers’ Market at Vítezné námestí, just a short bus or tram journey from the Chaplaincy Flat. So now the weather is so much more enticing, Sybille and I are trying to make visiting the market part of our regular Saturday morning routine. We are not the only ones as you can see from the crowds on the photograph above!
Despite now having a new Kaufland supermarket on our doorstep, it still is nice to be able to buy fresh vegetables and freshly baked bread at the Farmers’ Market each week.
However, so far we a have resisted buying any of these delicious looking cakes…….
Or bringing our plastic screw-top bottles to be filled with any of these various Moravian wines.
However, this week sees the end of the school year for both the International and the Czech schools. And this impacts considerably on the congregational life of St. Clements as it marks the beginning of an eight week period when many of our regular members head off on holiday and/or travel back to their countries of origin. Whilst Sunday worship continues, midweek activities cease, to recommence at the beginning of September.
Therefore last Sunday 24th June, before many of the regular congregation depart to various corners of the world, following our Family Eucharist, we held a Church Family Picnic in an attractive small park that lies between St. Clement’s Church and the Vltava River. We were blessed by the recently arrived dry, warm and sunny weather and good time of fun and fellowship was had by the many who attended. Courtesy of the generosity of all those who brought picnic food to share, we were able to invite several of our visiting worshippers last Sunday, to also join us for our picnic.
The arrival of warm summer weather has also encouraged Sybille and I to take more frequent late afternoon/early evening walks to Stromovka Park, just as we used to do when we had Sam the dog. As well as the warmth and sunshine, there is the opportunity of being able to enjoy ‘a cool glass of something’ in the Šlechtovka beer garden, located in the middle of the park. For Sybille there is the additional attraction that many dog owners also frequent the beer garden allowing her to make the acquaintance of numerous four-legged friends and get a regular fur-fix.
The one drawback of Šlechtovka beer garden is that the music played over their speaker system can at best be described as ‘somewhat difficult on the ears’. On occasions, I would struggle to call some of it ‘music’! There is an adjacent covered stand for live music and on one occasion, a couple of weeks ago, there was a guitarist and drummer playing whose live music was much more to our taste.
However on Tuesday of this week, we were delighted to discover upon our arrival just before 6.00 pm, that there was to be a concert that evening, given by students and staff of the Prague Conservatoire. What could be more delightful than enjoying a cool glass of beer listening to the playing of various young talented Czech classical musicians?
The concert lasted just over an hour and was thoroughly enjoyable. One of the highlights was a Sonáta by the French composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, played by Dudlajdá Fagotiky, a quartet of young ladies playing bassoons – three normal ones together with a bass bassoon. I’m not sure of the exact meaning of the quartet’s name though fagot is Czech for bassoon.
As you can see, not only were the four young ladies excellent musicians, they also seemed to compete between themselves as to who could wear the highest stiletto heels and shortest black minidress 🙂