Prague week two we are used to the subway and tram system now and with our cards we can go anywhere they go without having to grab a ticket. Great value and super convenient.
Mr.7’s thing is always the Zoo, we’ve been to the Zoo in some interesting places like Riga, Latvia and Barcelona, Spain. Praha zoo was pretty good, not the biggest, not the smallest but we did notice many cages were empty. But this is the thing about Prague, I think it’s a very giving place, they send their art far and wide and maybe their animals too?
We hiked up the hill the zoo is on and there it was, a sweet tall tower! Alpha and I hiked up and had a great time with the awesome view.
I love reading signs in another language, you get a chance to learn some basic words in a context you understand well. Mr.7 is pointing to one of his favourite animals (Gorilla).
The National Museum of Art
Prague has a lot art and I wanted to see its Mucha collection (Alphonse Mucha, 1860-1939) but there wasn’t much here. Then I found the Mucha Museum which I went to a couple of days later. What a treat that was! Funny enough his Slav Epic, out on loan, was no where to be found but would be returning soon, and I was told to keep an eye out on news channel to get a chance to see it. Maybe some day!
They are gigantic paintings, at least 30 of them, depicting the history, the trials and tribulations, of Czechia and the Slavs in the region. They are him showing his deep love for his country.
Alphonse Mucha did a lot of commercially succesful art, much of it in France for famous actresses and productions. However he had an eye on returning home to Czechia to give his passion to the country he always loved. His dark side I really call his romantic side – he seems capable of drama without making it trite or manufatured. I’m amazed by him, it took seeing his work in person to truly make me understand this.
Enough deep reflection! Here’s a couple pieces (I can’t get over how great this colour is):
Not to be outdone, the kids are pulling their best “Uncle Simmy” here; my twin Simeon likes to imitate art with his face and body, it’s very funny, and the kids do the same when they can.
Important in that it was the only bridge connecting the castle area with the eastern side of Prague, there has been a bridge here since 1158 and it was rebuilt after a flood in 1357, named after its benefactor King Charles IV. It’s a huge tourist draw, perhaps because of its historical importance, but even without this it’s an imposing and dramatic structure, iconic to Prague.
We went to check it out!
First, the obligatory dunny shot, placed across the street from our tram stop in Praha 6; but don’t let this toilet fool you, it’s securely locked and unavailable. Toilets in eastern Europe are either hard to come by or require a small payment to use (or both) so when you find one you tend to remember it. Even the ones that are permanently locked!
The gate tower at the Charles Bridge is an imposing height, but the gate is always open, for now. 🙂 You get the feeling that everything still functions – just in case. We walked along the whole thing toward the castle side, and supposedly there are 26-30 statues along it, all with religious or historic themes. The dark stone makes it that much more foreboding. The street vendors and musicians make it less so.
We Rae-Flicks like doing things the hard way (ask us about how we first ascended the hill at Plovdiv practically rock climbing when there was a smooth road going up the other side!) but this means we also find things we wouldn’t otherwise. One of these was this cool little kids’ park tucked in under the bridge and next to a fine restaurant. This was our lunch/play spot.
On our walk back from Charles Bridge to our tram to Praha 6 we passed the Kafka Museum (didn’t go in) and there was this statue/fountain there that I found really funny. Mr. 7 joins in the display, dressed similarly to the statues. 🙂 I love the irreverence of this – the two men are peeing in the outline of the country. No biggie!
On the first trip to Stromovka Park we met the Evans’ family and planned to meet them the next day. They are Australian international teachers and we hit it off right away. Ms.10 and Mr.7 had friends to play with! It was great to get to know them and we hope to see them soon – it’s always bittersweet when you meet a family just like you, that you click with, and then you have to leave again, but I wouldn’t trade meeting them for anything.
Dvoka Sarka trail and pool
Friday we planned a day at the pool. This was no ordinary pool! We took the 26 tram out to Dvoka Sarka and then hiked in to the pool. A long trip but so worth it. The pool has been around since the 1930s but it looks timeless. A perfect hot day in Prague, at a beautiful, pristine pool surrounded by trees, grass, and tranquility.
Czechia is not ostentatious but does all the little things so well. Imagine a sign full of meaning that says something so simple – “Nature Reserve”.
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