A Travellerspoint blog

A little bit of Prague

Beer, walking & cobblestones....

sunny 25 °C
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Prague looks like it's been plucked right out of a fairytale.

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All those red roofs.

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And beautiful bridges.

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There are cobblestones everywhere.

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And so many colourful buildings and amazing architecture.

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Don't you want to be sitting on that patio drinking a cold Czech beer right now?

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Posted by beachbuddies 00:50 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (4)

The Air We Breathe

Old Jewish Cemetery

sunny 20 °C
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We spoke to our B and B host about many things in his life now and during the communist rule of the Czech Republic. He said to us at breakfast, "When you come from a country that has always had freedom, you take it for granted, like breathing air. You don't realize how you need air to breathe until the air is taken away."

Today would take us to a small cemetery in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Before you enter the cemetery you walk through Pinkas Synagogue. On its wall are inscribed the names and personal data of about 80,000 Jewish victims. What struck me most is the repetition of the years 1942 and 1943, year if death, engraved over and over again. Victims of the Holocaust are also commemorated in a permanent exhibition of children's drawings called “Children’s Drawings from Terezin 1942-44."

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Terezín functioned as a transit camp between 1941 and 1945 where Jewish inmates were held before shipment east to extermination camps. About 10,000 children under the age of 15 were also imprisoned. Before being deported to Auschwitz, Friedl Dicker, who had been the children's art teacher, filled two suitcases with about 4,500 children's drawings and put them in a secret place; immediately after the war, they were recovered and handed over to the Jewish Museum in Prague. These drawings are a poignant reminder of the tragic fate of Bohemian and Moravian Jews during the Second World War. Only a few of the Terezín children survived; the vast majority were deported to Auschwitz where they were exterminated. In many cases, these pictures are all that is left to commemorate their lives. Without them their names would be remain forgotten.

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From the Pinkas Synagogue, we walked through the Old Jewish Cemetery. This cemetery was built in 15th century and is said to contain more than 12,000 tombstones. However the number of persons buried there is much greater. It is said that due to lack of space, several burial layers have been added to the original cemetery by filling it with earth. One can see that the tombstones belong to different periods which is because the older stones were lifted up from the lower layers. Many were crowded together and leaning against each other.

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Posted by beachbuddies 09:47 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (3)

Gems of Prague - Leona & Markéta

Prague Food Tours

sunny 18 °C
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We had a wonderful way to celebrate Canada Day so many kilometres away from home. We are celebrating and grateful that the maple leaf on our passport allows us to travel the world with ease.

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We met Leona and Markéta of Prague Food Tours for a evening of great food, laughter, drinking and lively conversation. These women are truly gems of Prague and gave us insight into not only just the food of the area but many stories to go with them.

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A few things you should know about Prague and the Czech Republic

1. A large statue if Stalin was built that was over 30 m high on a hill beside the river. In 1968, eight years after it was built, they blew it up with dynamite. It is said that little pieces of Stalin May still be in the river.

2. If you decide to go to a night club in Prague, it won't be for drinking and dancing but where you go to get a prostitute.

3. Many people in the Czech Republic do not believe in God. Forty years of communism forced people to give up their faith. Parents didn't teach their children about the faith they had in God, and the generations that followed. The Velvet Revolution ended all this in 1989 but by then new generation had no connection to religion.

Tone says I got this all wrong! So I place a disclaimer on any thing related to history or fact. These are all stories told to use by the young women who led our tour. So they are simply retold by me as I heard them, making for a very interesting and fun night for us. True or false, who knows for sure.

4. This Pastry is not Czech but was created four years ago. The tourists don't know that!!

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This is a traditional Czech sweet bun that is delicious, containing different fillings.

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5. Beer is cheap in Prague which brings many young people to the city. Matt and his buddies would love it here. This beer Dave tried was three layers, light beer, dark beer followed by foam. They will also serve a mug of just foam which is said to be sweeter but to be consumed immediately. I actually preferred Dave's beer.

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6. A traditional meal that would be served for your birthday was a slice of beef in carrot soup served with bread dumplings. A spoonful of cranberry sauce to complete the dish.

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In the restaurant that served this dish was an unusual tradition. For many years, until their renovation six years ago, people could buy a bowl of left over donuts for 1000 crowns (approx $20). You could have a donut battle while eating. Watch out for the flying donuts!

7. When the local girls take you out, who knows what surprises may happen!

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Thank you Markéta and Leona for an amazing evening.

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Posted by beachbuddies 10:15 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Dave's Big Surprise

Hot, hot in Prague

sunny 20 °C
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Waiting is the hard part but it leads us on a new adventure. Here Dave is making good use of his time waiting at Heathrow Airport for our flight to Prague or as they say in the Czech Republic, Praha.

We found a lovely bed and breakfast called Dum U Velké Boty which means House at the Big Boot. We learned at breakfast this morning that the house was originally used as a shop to make shoes and boots. Our host told us there was no extra charge for the ghosts. If we did hear the ghosts we might have been been drinking too much beer and if we don't hear them, not drinking enough. Warm and friendly people in Prague.

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So what makes Prague so hot?

After a long journey, we headed to the Charles Bridge which is very popular here. Afterwards we stopped in a pub that served typical Czech food and beer. Dave ordered pig knuckle and this item was on his plate.

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Thinking that his knuckle was served with grated Parmesan cheese, he took a big mouthful. No Dave, we are not in Italy. It was freshly grated horseradish not cheese. His eyes just about popped out of his head as he grabbed for the water.

Today we were off to the Prague Castle and a walk through the many gardens. Beautiful views.

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Our evening was spent with two young women from Prague Food Tours. One of our best evenings ever but since we got home late that story will have to wait for tomorrow.

Posted by beachbuddies 15:13 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (2)

My beach buddy

Can't wait to begin this journey with you....

overcast 18 °C

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Posted by beachbuddies 01:23 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

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