Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Europa Day 5 and 6: Prague - Embarking upon a Quest

The days are beginning to blur. I'm having a hard time keeping track of what happened when. Guess that calls for more discipline in maintaining this record of my trip.

Moving on to Day 5. For those of you inquiring what became of Day 2 and 4 know that the days that aren't mentioned weren't worth writing about. No epiphanies, glorious discoveries, awesome happenings, explorations or the like, just me being more lazy than usual.

Day 5:

Finally went for a run! While traversing by tram I scout out areas suitable for running. What with the cobbled streets and uphill paths, it took a bit of time (even the parks I'd come across were on hills). Finally, I took to running on a path by the riverside. The view was quite appealing, and the blood congealed in my legs due to the cold finally got moving.

The glistening Vltava

I spotted a dirt trail and followed it.

Gosh it's so pretty. And clean.

To my surprise, I ran 7 km. I hadn't had a decent run in over a week and I still haven't run more than 10 km (which was just once, last month). While running in Kuwait I always stop by one of the four water coolers that lie on my usual route for a sip of that cool liquid; this run was a bit momentous as it was my first without any water breaks, simple because there was no water fountain on the way. And it didn't deter me at all. Just goes to show how you can subject yourself to limits without even realizing your true potential.

I suppose it also helps that the temperature here is thirty degrees less than in Kuwait.

Runners are sparse in Prague (or maybe I haven't come across that many); cyclists on the other hand, are all over the place. So when I see runners, my heart warms to them. Especially when they wave and smile in encouragement in passing just when the aching legs decide it's time to take a breather. Perfect timing!

After the run, I walked to the Old Town Square—MAJOR tourist attraction, also one of the reasons I disliked Prague when we first visited 2 years ago, the zillions of tourists and tons of tourist traps—to meet up with the mother and the sister. While walking past the infinite overpriced, cheap souvenir shops, I discovered a stall where a young man was baking and selling 'trdelnik', a traditional sweet pastry home to this part of Europe. It smelled divine. The board hanging outside the shop stated there were different kinds, and Nutella was one of them!

That did it. I had to have one.

And here we digress for a little background information on my history with the hazelnut chocolate spread:
Nutella is my weakness (one of them anyway, I'm only human). The mother would often buy us a big jar when on the monthly romp to the supermarket and I would clean out the jar straight out with a spoon, having little patience spreading it out on bread for a sandwich which was how the sister preferred to have it. Fed up of the sister's complaints of me wiping out all trace of the delectable delight, my mother bought us a smaller jar each. There was no evidence of the contents of mine in a couple of days. The sister however, is the kind that takes pleasure in every bite over a period of time. She'd taken the pains to hide her jar, but it wasn't hard to find. I then proceeded to serve myself generous dollops of the sweet stuff and soon there was nothing left of it.

As a result of my feeding frenzy, relations with the sister were strained and that was the last time the mother got us Nutella.

*End of flashback*

I stood in queue, feeling a tinge of guilt for the transgression I was about to commit. All the benefits that came from the run were about to be smothered and drowned in the gooey goodness that is Nutella.

The mother called then and I had to leave much to my sorrow, as she was waiting for me to join her for lunch. I left, determined to return and gorge on the Nutella lathered trdelnik. After losing my way a few times, I finally found her and proceeded to feast on the best tuna salad I've ever had (can't recall the restaurant's name but it was opposite the University Bookstore on Ciletna 13).

(Author's note: I am really annoyed right now as I had another 3 paras typed which somehow due to the Blogger app's retardation are currently on a boundless journey through cyberspace, never to return to my blog.) 

I described the heavenly sight I had witnessed to the sister which got her mouth watering as well. We set off to find the stall. There were several baking and selling the pastry but none of them offered the Nutella option and we deemed them all a waste of space. Try as I might in retracing my steps back to the alley containing the original stall, I couldn't find my way. It was like the alley itself never existed, like Platform 9 and 3/4 to a muggle. Disappointed but also secretly glad that my run hadn't been wasted, we gave up the search and went home. But I hadn't conceded defeat.

Day 6:

The sister was busy so I went back the exact same route I'd taken to enter Old Town Square alone, determined to find the stall. Past Charles Bridge, through the tourist trap market (the souvenir shops), past the Museum of Torture and then T.G.I. Friday's and then.. wonder of wonders! There it was!

I stood in queue once again, drinking in the aroma wafting in the air.

The baking of the trdelnik

Life is so much better with a spoonful—or six—of Nutella. 
I had it with cinnamon sprinkled over it. The first bite was bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss. That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is what good things are made of.

The fifth bite wasn't as appealing. My enthusiasm began to wane.

The eighth bite just made me want to throw up.

I couldn't finish it. I couldn't even look at it. I tossed the last piece (there wasn't really much left) and decided I couldn't have it again anytime soon and definitely not without sharing it. It's weird, maybe the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility is finally beginning to apply to me where Nutella is concerned.

One of the really great things about Prague are the concerts. If you're a classical music aficionado, you'll never be wanting for entertainment in Europe. I bought a ticket for a string orchestra concert and the guard insisted on selling it to me at the student price (half the adult price) despite me telling him I wasn't a student. "Well, if you insist..."
The programme included Vivaldi's La Folia which now tops my list as one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. It was an enchanting evening. Live music evokes such strong sentiments in one; there is absolutely no comparison when listening to the same tracks through a device.

That reminds me, I should hit the opera soon. *blissful smile*

1 comment:

  1. Im reading the descriptive nutella narration and im thinking 2 things , " Hot Chocolate" * in Gigi's tone ofcourse plus , sweet dreams are made of these* breaks into semi choreographed mode. : )

    You almost losing that stall reminds me of the episode from how I met your mother, where marshall tries to find "that special " burger place on the corner of the street. lol

    Fun times. keep the chronicles coming :)


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