It was my Christmas miracle.
It was Christmas day and with no plans at all, not knowing what was open and what wasn’t, we took off for the castle on Hradcany hill. When we got there, along with an absolute herd of people (I’m still flummoxed – yes, flummoxed! – that Prague is so popular during winter), we came face to face with the big church that everyone was busy taking pictures of. Coming closer I heard a mass being celebrated inside and noticed some people going in. Tentatively we went for the entrance door but got blocked by three burly-looking men who said that visiting hours weren’t until 12 noon. When we asked why others were allowed in, they said it was because service was going on. We said we were there for mass, not entirely true, so we were let in but not without being followed by one of the men. The church police here can be so distrustful. When we got in, I took off my coat – because I was actually sweating from the trek up – and sat silently down. My partner followed suit and we ended up listening to Christmas day mass in the most beautiful cathedral that morning. It was just me, the lapsed Catholic who hasn’t been to church in ages, and my partner the atheist.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.