Sunday, 13 November 2011

Vitkov Hill

We visited Prague two years ago and on one day climbed Vítkov hill, the subject of this postcard from an earlier 1973 visit, to view the huge equestrian statue of Czech 14th Century hero : Jan Žižka.

Prague will always hold a fascination for me. When I first visited in 1973 it was still behind the iron curtain. My dad had not only arranged a family holiday for us but was also taking Christian books to Christian friends in a communist state.

I remember that, as well as the Christian books, the border guards also found a John Paul Sartre novel in my brother's bag - which was approved off by the state and helped my dad's cause. But in my bag was a novel about nihilism by Alan Sillitoe. That confused the situation considerably.

My dad was interrogated for some hours at the border, and all the Christian books and the novel about nihilism were appended to the visa so we had to take them out of the country again or risk I don't know what. Throughout the holiday we felt we were being watched - quite possibly we were - but the authorities let us in because we had valuable foreign currency.

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