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Kafka Project Does Prague

Byron LaDue (pictured) is the IT volunteer on this research mission. He spent four months in Berlin with me in 1998, mentoring my 10-year old niece, Annamaria Diamant, for two months while her mother, my sister, Trudi, who was born in Germany and has her degree in German Studies, helped me in the search through the Gestapo and Nazi archives. Byron was able to get six weeks leave of absence in his job for the Navy in order to join this research project again. I cannot tell you how happy I am that he is here, and that he is my husband.

Here is Byron's update for you: &

All travelers have arrived at destination Prague. There were a couple of missteps. Trudi Diamant and Joe and Ro Capozzi had luggage issues which were resolved by the next morning. Our hotel is about seven tram stops from the Wenceslas Square in the center of Prague, and is called the Casa Edith Stein. I had never heard of Edith Stein but was told, "She was born a Jew, turned Christian, and helped people in concentration camps." Then she was made a saint. A play was written about her. &


The complete group (with the exception of Martin Stevens, Glenda Winders' best friend from England, who arrived after well after midnight) got together for the first time over a traditional Czech dish: dumplings (large slices of thick soft white bread, impossible to eat more than two) in a brown sauce over thin slices of beef.

Traditional Czech Dinner by KPBS, on Flickr

Apple strudel for dessert. We know this is a traditional dish, at least for tourist groups, because at the next day for lunch, the 7 Angels Restaurant in the central Prague square served the dish under a slightly different name. & I mean exactly the same, down to the orange slice, covered in pomegranate seeds topped with a white cream. Good thing I liked it.


Castle at sunset by KPBS, on Flickr

Yesterday, wetook a tour of the Hradcany Castle on the hill overlooking the city. We rode the bus up to the top, and walked down, through Golden Lane, the old street of the Alchemists, where Kafka wrote every evening after work, during the winter of 1918-19. One of the structures within the castle wall is St. Vitus Cathedral with its immense brilliant stained glass windows.

Stained glass Windo at St Vitus by KPBS, on Flickr

There were hundreds & of & just-out-of-school children, ogling crypts of tortured saints, including one made from (literally) a ton of silver.

St John of the Little Tongue by KPBS, on Flickr

This elaborate silver sculpture featured & a lifelike representation of the saint's tongue on a silver platter.

St. John of the little tongue by KPBS, on Flickr

Our guide in Prague is & a young woman named Edita, arranged for by our travel director & Corky Lang. I've known Corky for years and he's giving me some inside tips from a guide's point of view. "This is an ABC," Corky explains. "Something I learned from the British travel guides. Another Bloody Cathedral."

Respectfully submitted by Byron LaDue.