I like Prague when it rains

17-07-2005

Prague's weather in recent few weeks has probably disappointed many tourists who have come to enjoy the city in the summer sunshine. Since late June, Prague has been mostly cloudy and full of rain. Not only foreign tourists but Czechs as well are complaining about the weather. People hate bad weather especially if it comes just on weekends. Those who have just taken a couple of weeks off work and now they must spend their holiday in rain are completely furious.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK Actually Praguers do not have so many reasons to complain about bad weather. Even though Prague is not as sunny as Rome, Athens or Istanbul, rain is still much rarer here than in London, Brussels or Hamburg.

I know I am an exception but I have to admit I like Prague in rain. Prague has a special charm during showers. The lawns and parks turn green, the rain is able to make special silent music hitting the cobble stoned pavements, creating a veil over the ugly noise of the city traffic. In such weather I enjoy sitting in a café with big windows, sipping a cup of tea and watching the funny chaos out in the streets. My dream is to possess a little garden with an alcove or at least a sheltered terrace. Not to hide there on a hot sunny day but to be able to enjoy the beauty of rain while sitting in a comfortable dry place. Perhaps I am not the only one who feels inspired by rain. A great Czech poet Vitezslav Nezval wrote in the 1930s a beautiful melancholic poem called "Prague with Fingers of Rain".

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK But I know most people do not share my liking for this kind of weather at all. In the summer months most Czechs tend to leave for the sunny south of Europe to avoid as much as possible the chance of having their holidays spoiled by rain. Others sit in front of their TVs, hoping the forecaster announces warm temperatures and sunshine for the coming weekend. People on canoe trips - one of the most popular sports at this time of the year - hate rainy days when everything gets wet while you are sleeping in a tent. On the other hand, a drought means little water in the rivers which is also not good for this kind of sport.

I admit also my passion for rain is limited. The situations when I am heading dressed up to an important meeting or event and appear in the middle of street with no umbrella are also not my favorite ones. And there are even worse situations. I think it would be utterly cynical to rejoice at rain at a time when many places around the country are hit by heavy floods.

As I write these lines and I look out the window I see the sky is cloudy again, and we may expect some rain. I'm tempted to take my umbrella and set off for a walk. I have to take advantage of the chance, as next week the meteorologists forecast sunny weather again and the sun lovers will have their turn.

17-07-2005