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An occasional addendum to last year's 'Captivating Moments',


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



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