Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yesterday we went to Prague Castle, which was terribly crowded. We decided to go back another day to the cathedral, as there was a long line, but we saw the other main sites. John and I are both historians; he always taught Western Civilization and I did so for many years. So we were particularly interested in seeing the site of the Defenestration of Prague.

A couple of years ago I had gotten our daughter interested in the story as well, on the basis that “defenestration” is a wonderful $10 word (as in “don’t use a $10 word when a 25 cent one will do”). Defenestration means to throw someone out a window. In 1618, two messengers were thrown out the second floor window in the photograph where you can see a cross below, leading to the Thirty Years War. According to the Catholics the messengers survived the fall because they were borne up by angels, according to the Protestants they survived because they landed in a large manure pile.

We stopped at the lovely garden of Valdstejnsky Palace and at yet another Baroque church (St. Nicholas) and then took the trolley back to our apartment. It was only about 4 pm when we got back but we were all very tired and travel-weary. I don’t know why we felt so much more tired unless it was the crowds.

It was nice to be able to have dinner in. I had bought some prepared goulash at the supermarket and we also had leftovers from a large celery root which I had boiled and chopped (partially mashed) the day before. (We had discovered mashed celery root as a low carb replacement for mashed potatoes several years ago, but in the southeast U.S. at least celery root is hard to find and expensive. Here it is clearly a staple.) We had salad with some excellent cherry tomatoes I bought at a fruit and vegetable stand and pasta for the kids and it added up to as good a meal as we would likely have had at a restaurant, for a lot less money.

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