The first time I visited Prague (that would be in the Czech Republic), I spent most of my time exploring and investigating the city's abundance of medieval towers and cathedrals and churches and other buildings, diving into the city's history with glee, and it inspired me to write a role-playing campaign that is still running (I was there in 2005); a real cultural treat, then.
This time I was barely aware of it all as I traveled with a lot of fun people whose main interest lay in clock tower; considering my fear of heights and generally unstable condition due to tasting the many and varied - and delectable - brews available in the city, I am quite proud to have stood (albeit with shaking knees) and looked out over my favorite city; I am sure if George RR Martin has been there, he loves it too. It feels a little bit westerosi kind of, with murals depicting banners and knights, statues of much epicness, grand facades and, you know, narrow streets, dwarfs performing on the streets (well at least one that I saw), horses pulling carriages around to transport tourists around...all very stimulating. I felt so relaxed being there, just enjoying the parties, shopping a little bit (gifts for the family; at no point did I buy anything remotely geeky, sadly, unless you count the novel Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel as a geeky book - another one for the great pile).
And then it was back to everyday life and work. Suddenly I am not relaxed, but stressed; once again I face a mountain of things to do (while I secretly daydream of being around a table playing RPGs or writing a novel or playing computer games or the guitar, or playing on the floor with minislynt # 2); once again I feel overwhelmed and wonder what the heck am I doing? Why do we spend our lives working? I know the answer, of course. And once I'm in the groove it will all be nice. But boy, do I hate that transition from summer holiday to autumn pressure. And I miss Prague already. If you haven't been there before, I heartily recommend it. It's - for a Norwegian at least - dirt cheap, beautiful, inspiring and offers more than you can handle. Fantastic place.
On a more Ice & Fire - related note, Leigh Butler of TOR has reached a rather brilliant chapter in A Storm of Swords, the one in which a certain boy king bites a certain pie. Another one bites the pie. It's a fun read, her reactions and way of writing is, if short, thoroughly entertaining. Note that she is reading it for the first time, which is half the fun of course for a jaded fellow fan of the series.
- Amazon exclusive blu-ray/DVD set of Game of Thrones season three. Where would I put that ugly thing? Sorry, but that box just doesn't feel right to me. Looks like a tombstone. Daenerys' perhaps? I'll go with a normal box I can put beneath the hologram projector thank you very much. Nice to be reminded that it is a LIMITED edition. So limited you can only buy two.
- George's cinema. What can I say? He's got a cinema where he can show people Forbidden Planet. Can't say I blame Martin for blogging about it, he must be pretty excited about it and all. I mean, I would be if I bought a cinema so I could watch The Empire Strikes Back and Fellowship of the Ring and Raiders of the Lost Ark in an infinite loop while chewing popcorn. But I am looking for news on The Winds of Winter so...
- Another post on the cinema. Long weekend. Something something.
Maybe next year then.
Once I'm rolling I'll be throwing up the second part of my Davos III re-read (it's almost a promise!) but now I have to get my act together and do something useful for society, like I don't know, plan for the return of the students come Monday.