Blogs from Prague, Czech Republic, Europe - page 4


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

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

The Czech Republic has the highest per capita beer consumption in the world. More than a college campus of homecoming weekend. That amount is 160 liters per year, while the US languishes at 76 liters. That is one bottle of beer per day for every man, woman, and child!!!! But be careful, as beer can come anywhere from 6% to 19%, as determined by the amount of malt extract used in the brewing process. The beer of choice here is a pale lager of the pilsner type, with a typical transparent golden color, light flavor and lots of foam. Sounds, looks, and taste similar to ours in the U.S. Beer was made here as far back as 993 at Breznov Monastery in Prague. Brewing was done primarily in monasteries, since the Czech Republic was under a ... read more
More glasses, please!
More sausage, please!

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Vysehrad October 11th 2017

This morning we walked ten minutes to Wenceslas Square, and continued on to the Powder Tower, where we were to meet our guide for the World War II in Prague Tour. I was particularly interested to hear the story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the only successful killing of a senior Nazi leader during WWII. Our guide for the tour was Marketa, and she led us around the inner city of Prague, providing interesting information, showing us historical photos of key events, and taking us to the location of where those key events took place. Marketa also provided a brief history of how Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, and how the country became a Nazi German Protectorate in 1938, thanks to the appeasement policies ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Vysehrad October 10th 2017

Leaving Cesky Krumlov this morning, we headed for Prague, with a brief stopover in the town of Karlstejn, where the famous Karlstejn Castle is located. We had tried to find a way to fit Karlstejn Castle into the schedule of our last holiday in Europe, however, we were headed in a different direction from Prague, driving to Vienna. This holiday, we made Karlstejn a priority. On arriving in Karlstejn and parking in the designated car park, we started our walk up the two kilometre 15% incline to get to the castle. Karlstejn is a large Gothic Castle founded 1348 AD by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor-elect and King of Bohemia. The castle served as a place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia as well as the Bohemian/Czech crown jewels, holy relics, and other royal treasures. Located about ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 4th 2017

Where did the term, Iron Curtain get coined first? From the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences: The term iron curtain was coined by the British author and suffragette Ethel Snowden in her book Through Bolshevik Russia (1920). In her very early and negative critique of the Bolshevik form of communism, this British feminist referred to the iron curtain simply as the contemporary geographical border of Bolshevik Russia in 1919 (‘We were behind the ‘iron curtain’ at last’). At the end of the Nazi regime in url= the minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, used the term in a journal article and several times in his private diary in Februa... read more
Serious business
Reminds me of Berlin

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 2nd 2017

I have not played chess since I was last snowed in during a heavy storm in Evergreen, Colorado. But Czech mate or not, this country, formerly Czechoslovakia, became the Czech Republic after the peaceful Velvet Revolution of 1989. The Communists were ousted, allowing democratic rule and a true market economy to begin on January 1, 1993. The Velvet Divorce created the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Czech joined NATO in 1999, and the European Union in 2004. Why do tourists love to visit the Czech Republic? Obviously, the beer, always ranked the best in the world, according to serious beer drinkers. The invented (in 1118) the best beer in the world, and continue to reinvent beer through its innovative microbreweries. Since the invention of Pilsner Urquell in 1842, the Czechs have been famous for producing some of ... read more
Chaz Bridge
gourmet treat: hot chocolate
Beautiful Prague eve

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague September 5th 2017

Today is Tuesday, Tom and I are going to retrace some of what we did yesterday on tour because I wanted to be able to take some pictures early in the morning when the light is better and be able to stop when I want. Yesterday walking with a group did not allow me the opportunity to take photos at my own pace and being with 30 other people all trying to get pictures of the same thing sort of ended in me getting pictures showing a bunch of other people with cameras and phones in their hands. Definitely not my idea of album worthy photos. After breakfast Tom wanted to catch up on a little work and I was happy to explore on my own. Camera and cell phone in hand I decided to power ... read more
On St Charles bridge
Charming little alley off the beaten track
Astronomical clock

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague September 4th 2017

We were treated to a fantastic breakfast provided by the hotel. Served on the second floor where you actually get to see the tops of the beautiful crystal chandeliers sparkling. Breads, fruits, meats, cheeses, egg dishes, bacon, sausages, and eggs abound. It reminded me of a quote from Dad if I filled my plate too high, "your eyes are bigger than your stomach." I wanted it all but managed to restrain myself and just have some fruit, bacon, a stewed tomato, and.....okay you got very small chocolate croissant. Today we are part of a guided tour around Prague. Having never wanting to be part of an actual guided tour, I was leary. Tom and I usually grab a map of the city, wherever we are and head to the oldest part and work our way ... read more
An example of "grafetto" art.

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town September 4th 2017

As expected it was an exhausting journey to Prague. 18 hours and three planes later we arrived as scheduled, luggage in hand to the most Eastern part of Europe we have ever traveled. A representative from Viking Cruises met us and a few other travelers and transported us to our hotel. From the outside our hotel seemed old and weathered by the passing of many decades but once we entered into the lobby the old and dated melted away and was quickly replaced by the well restored and beauty of the pre-world war II era. Polished brass, marble floors and inlaid walnut molding graced the entrance way. High above our heads gleaming crystal chandeliers sparkled. Our room is very generous in size with a very large all marble bathroom. We unpacked and laid down for a ... read more
St Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle at night
Wenceslas Square
St Charles bridge at dusk

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague August 14th 2017

I stayed up late trying to blog but kept dozing off. I optimistically booked a 10:00 free walking tour through Sandeman. I knew wasn’t going to make it then, but there was a 10:45 am slot available I almost didn’t make that one. I walked down to the Old Town and it was quite hot out. We had a Czech as our tour guide. It seems like Czech humour is a bit self-deprecating as seen in his explanations for historical sights. On the tour I met a beautiful Brazilian woman Patricia. The tour was not exactly free as the guide said he’d be more that willing to accept donations once the tour was over. After the walking tour was done we walked around a bit ourselves and got some gelato. On one end of the Charles’ ... read more

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