Today was another dreary winter day in Prague: overcast and gloomy. At least the weather front that had first driven in a ferocious wind storm bent on sweeping me off my feet and then icey rain that tormented my snow-craved mind with a few illusory flakes had relented. Hell, the day was even relatively warm for January.
In a move that will make my mother dance with joy I’ve decided to explore a January without drinking. One of my many reasons for doing so is to explore more of what Prague has to offer than it’s pubs – a difficult task for a beer lover in the land of suds.
Today, with the help of my friend Sabine, I killed two birds. We saw a gallery exhibition and a famous tourist attraction.
The exhibition was of the paintings of the Jan Hísek, a famous Czech illustrator with a style all his own. His paintings were unfocused masses of texture and layers containing increasingly fine details as one approaches the canvas. They were exhausting to look at because there was nothing to focus on and we were never sure when the images were abstract or representative. Yet there was something comforting about them, perhaps because parts reminded me of the American illustrator, Edward Gorey.
The exhibition was in the Rudolfinum – a famous concert hall and the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s one of those huge buildings you pass, wonder about, and never enter.
Next weekend will be more difficult without drinking. I’m going to see a hockey game in the O2 Arena.