Today the RLPO said goodbye to Bucharest and hello to Prague. we have just arrived at the hotel on the outskirts of Prague. The change from blazing sun and 30 degrees to rain and about 12 degrees so far, has been pretty noticeable. The hotel seems nice enough though. Brand new and including pool, bars restaurants and right by the metro for getting into the old town in Prague within quarter of an hour. We have the evening free today and only begin work tomorrow afternoon. I’m yet to speak to anyone who attended the late night violin party in Bucharest, but the brass are thinking of going to town this evening, in Prague, to celebrate our tuba player’s birthday (Robin Haggart).
The hotel is in an unusual situation to say the least. It is built into a huge shopping mall, conference centre and fast food complex. It boasts one of our very own ‘Marks and Spencers’ outlets too.
I had to charge my phone and make some calls back home earlier on this evening, so I missed the excursion with all the brass lads. I wanted to check if my son, Jonathan (18) had move into my house and started college okay whilst I’ve been away: I also wanted to check if my dog, Scooby, was recovering from his operation okay. Therefore, I decided to eat close to the hotel and go for a wander into town later.
I went to a nice little restaurant by the hotel called Ukakpitana. I was joined by Dave Pigott (horn), Ruth Davis (oboe), Jim Clark (leader), John Hebbron (1st violin) and Ian Doran ( the platform manager and van driver). Ian had flown to Prague as he would have exceeded his hours on the lorry;leaving the other three to get fro Bucharest to Prague, by road in time for our rehearsal.
After this I decided to wander into Prague. I couldn’t find the ‘heavy brass’ night out, so went for a quiet wander instead, for a couple of hours. Soon after getting off the metro I encountered the French Horns wandering with harpist, Kate Wilson. It was nice to just wander and remind ourselves of past trips.
We strolled through a few beautiful squares, meandered through the winding streets, wandered down to the castle, St Vitus’s Cathedral, the Charles Bridge and the famous Vltava/Moldau river. We also stood outside the magnificent Rudolfinum, which houses the Dvorak Hall, our concert Hall for this trip. The Rudolfinum is also the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
After this it was back to the hotel, a quick drink in the bar and in bed before midnight!