Blogs from Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic, Europe

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Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town May 26th 2019

The weather in Prague today was gorgeous, with mostly sunny skies and a high temperature that reached 75 degrees by mid-afternoon. Dee was in pretty good spirits this morning and pronounced herself "fit for duty", so by 11:30 AM we walked to the metro station for a ride into the Old Town and Jewish Quarter. We had spent some time in this area during our guided tour earlier in the week, but did not have time to visit the interiors of the synagogues or the Jewish cemetery. Our plan also included an ascent (via elevator) to a viewing gallery at the top of the Town Hall tower, from which vantage point there is a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. After exiting the Staromestska metro station, it was but a short walk to the Jewish Museum's ... read more
Names of Jewish Holocaust victims
Old Jewish Cemetery
Spanish Synagogue

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town May 21st 2019

This morning, under cloudy skies but mild temperatures in the upper-60s, we embarked upon the first of two guided tours of Prague booked through a local agency. Today's itinerary focused upon the Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and the Charles Bridge. Our personal guide, Marek (along with a friendly young driver named Karel), turned out to be an impressive guy in his 40s who speaks nine languages--incredible! Throughout the tour he exhibited an encyclopedic knowledge of Czech history, while setting a pace that was easily manageable for us. The driver dropped us off in the vicinity of the Jewish Quarter, a three-block area in the Old Town that has been home to a Jewish community for a thousand years. Jews first came to Prague in the 10th-century, where they were allotted the least hospitable ... read more
Old-New Synagogue
Astronomical Clock
Týn Church, Old Town Square

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town January 31st 2019

From Trafalgar, keeping in mind they are a travel tour operator, so consider the source. Travel it seems, may be losing a bit of its luster for some globetrotters. As part of a new, thought-provoking survey from Trafalgar, 89 percent of survey respondents said travel is enjoyable but stressful (It can be, I agree) and difficult to plan. What’s more, 49 percent said that “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel that real – that travel is becoming a common tourist trail (it depends on where you go!). Additionally, 37 percent of those surveyed felt they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip and almost half of the participants said if they did, the experiences were not unique. “The results were surprising and somewhat disco... read more
Public transport is better or meeting people!
Try some new food?
But don't forget the sites!

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town September 6th 2018

As it turned out, the departure from Vienna was a lot less painful than anticipated. I had been terribly intimidated about my ability to find the right platform and the right train but, happily, it's a well organized machine if you only know how it works. Our helpful taxi driver explained it on the way to the station, and the well organized station was easy to navigate after that. First, 50 minutes before departure, the correct platform is shown in big screens like in an airport. You look for your train number and destination. Then, once you get to that platform there is a map showing you in which area of the platform your train compartment is going to be at. We were in first class, towards the front of the train, so we had to ... read more
The astronomical clock

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town August 1st 2018

I apologise if this is a bit out of sequence; Rach is still working on 'Berlin #2' and I have agreed to write this whilst she catches up. What's the bets that I post Vienna before Berlin#2 sees the light of day! The train journey from Berlin with my parents was not the best. We had not yet worked out that first you book the tickets then you pay extra to reserve seats; we had only done the former. As a result, Rach/me and my parents ended up in separate compartments for half the journey. We were eventually re-united after we crossed the German/Czech Republic border and we all shared a compartment with some poor bugger who had to endure Rach and I coughing/sneezing etc. Our first real jaw dropping moment of the holiday happened on ... read more
IMG_1865
IMG_1826
IMG_1833

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town June 5th 2018

Prague is the love object of my desire. Did you ever have a love interest who was so beautiful yet you know you could not live together? For me, that was the relationship I had with the most beautiful city in the world. I also feel a sense of freedom in Prague and the Czech Republic, an escape from Republican regimes in one's own country, no matter which century, with laws that are less Puritanical and oppressive than in the New World. The Czech Airlines flight hinted of things to come: the Czech personality and diet are there for you to observe before you land. Ask only once when you request something. It will be done eventually. The Czechs do not forget. I had a good travel agency that took care of all of my ... read more
Impressions of Prague 2
Impressions of Prague 3
Architecture off Old Town (Stare Mesto) Square

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 21st 2017

How about some good, cheap entertainment? As our friend Debbie says, "cheap and cheerful" is sometimes more fun. The famous Lennon Wall- If you have friends who’ve been to Prague, you may recognize this wall from their profile pictures, but this wall is more than just a good photo op. The wall’s origins go back to when Prague was still under a Communist regime. In 1988, a group of young Czechs started writing grievances with the regime in protest, including John Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatles’ songs, which led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on Charles Bridge. Today, layers and layers of new marks and messages cover the original Lennon portrait, and the wall represents global ideals of love and peace. If you stop by multiple times throughout your trip, ... read more
The Bridge of Chaz
More Square
Beautiful at night

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 21st 2017

Writer, Neil Wilson had this to say about Prague: How can you not love a city that has a pub with vinyl cushions on the wall above the gents' urinal, so you can rest your head while you 'go'? For you ladies, I know that is TMI, just make sure the guy at the urinal is not your date, and ready to pass out! Where you can order a beer without speaking, simply by placing a beer mat on the table? I might like this, at least for the first or second beer. And where that beer is probably the best in the world? I have read and heard from many sources that this is TRUE!!! But it's not just exquisite ale and a wonderfully relaxed drinking culture that keep bringing me back ... read more
Traditional
More beer?
For Barry the V???

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 21st 2017

Franz Kafka was born in Prague, now Czech Republic on July 3, 1883. He died on June 3, 1924 near Vienna, Austria. He was born into a prosperous Jewish middle class family. He was drawn to his maternal ancestors because of their spirituality, intellectual distinction, piety, and delicate physical and mental disposition. He became the oldest child after the death of his two older brothers. Ottla, the youngest of his three sisters, became closest to him. Kafka was overshadowed by a tyrannical, successful, but overbearing father, who worshipped financial success and social advancement as a shopkeeper. He attempts an autobiography (Letter to Father) in 1919 in a letter that never reaches the addressee. He blames his father for his failure to marry and enter fatherhood, as well as his escape into literature. He felt his will ... read more
Inspiring
Great city!
Kafka

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 21st 2017

I will bet you would never come up with Antonin Dvorak as the real Father of American Music. You might guess George Gershwin, or Stephen Foster, who died at the age of 37 with 38 cents to his name. My guess would have been Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly. Antonin Leopold Dvorak (dvorr-zhak) was a Czech composer of romantic music. His most famous works are his New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, "American" String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B Minor. And for your edification, I thought there was a "z" in his name for the longest time! Antonin Dvorak in 1868 Fast forward to his arrival in the United States where he became director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City in 1892-1895. He ... read more
Dvorak Family




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