But Prague is full of ghosts. There is something about the city that erases time. History resonates in Prague. The city's tragedies and triumphs continue to touch everyone, even strangers with no connection to the place.
It might be that in western Europe a half century of prosperity fooled us into forgetting that the past leaves more than picturesque sites. Probably, though, this is something peculiar to Prague. Here, emotions--pain and pleasure both--do not dissipate. They linger, like the scent of lilacs, like a song.
Seen from Praha Karlstejn Golf Klub, the pale stone walls and towers of Charles IV's castle seem more like a theatrical set than a real building rising behind the first tee. Playing the course is more than a morning's recreation. It becomes a meditation on a crowded history, on a fairy-tale place where the ogre triumphed as often as the benign king. It marks a return to a way of life that all but vanished for half a century, a life that is gradually being restored.
The parapets of the castle on the Hradcany overlook an enchanting city, scrubbed clean and gleaming, bright as tulips. "Fred and Ginger" fox-trot beside the river. Once again, it is Prague's season.