A PRAGUE WEDDING
An occasional addendum to last year's 'Captivating Moments',
with JULIET AVERAY
Whilst studying in Munich in the sixties, two friends and I had managed
to obtain weekend visas for Prague, then still dreaming away behind the
Iron Curtain in a state of near-suspended animation. We drove through the
night, arriving early in the morning at this enchanting place, made all
the more fascinating in those days by its air of softly golden decrepitude,
its isolation from the West, and a welcome absence of mass tourism.
As we clambered upwards through the narrow alleyways of the Old Town,
the unmistakeable sounds of vigorous Bohemian folk music played by a small
instrumental group came from some hidden inner courtyard. My friends had
wandered on ahead, but curiosity got the better of me, and pushing open
the huge oaken door leading from the street, I found myself confronted by
a large group of people sitting in the open air at a long trestle table.
From the profusion of dishes, as well as the lace, ribbons, and bobbles
adorning their beautiful national costumes, it appeared to be a wedding
party, but the music and the chatter stopped abruptly and as all eyes slowly
turned in my direction, I had an overwhelming sensation of being transported
back to the turn of the century in some kind of time warp. With a shiver,
I beat a hasty retreat, and to this day, still wonder if that music had
indeed caused time to curl back on itself for a few magical moments.
Copyright © 2 July 2002
Juliet Averay, Vancouver, Canada