Prague’s New Town & Hidden Places #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travels

Tuesday Travels is back with a post about Prague’s New Town and some interesting places we visited. I didn’t mean to put Tuesday Travels on hiatus for six weeks, but July was an exceptionally busy month, what with the #AuthorLove event, and I can only manage so many blogs per week!

Rebecca and I signed up for a walking tour of Prague’s hidden places. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we weren’t disappointed. The tour took us to areas we hadn’t explored yet, including some real oddities. Like this moving statue of the head of Franz Kafka called Metalmorphosis, by eccentric Czech artist David Černý, known for once having painted a Soviet-era tank pink. This statue is made of metal plates and is constantly in motion, making it difficult for newcomers to figure out what it is. Wish I’d thought to take a video rather than just a still shot. You can view ten controversial sculpture’s by Černý here

Kafka Head statue

Our guide took us to two vintage shopping malls. The first, Lucerna Palace, was built in the 1920s, in the old, solid architectural style. It’s beautiful inside, but also graced by another strange sculpture by David Černý, this one of Czech hero, King Wenceslas, riding a dead, upside-down horse! It’s apparently supposed to be an ironic twist to the heroic statue of the king in nearby Wenceslas Square.

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I was glad our walking tour included Wenceslas Square, as teh included tour in our river cruise/tour did not take us here. Wenceslas Square is the center of Prague political activity. This is where people gathered to watch first the Nazis march into Prague, followed by the Red Army 5-6 years later. The square is also where peopled gathered to protest and/or revolt, in both 1968 revolt and the Velvet Revolution of 1989 when Soviet hegemony ended peacefully. Here are a few of my photos of Wenceslas Square. You can see what a beautiful day it was.

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I couldn’t resist including a photo of the brewery, as Budvar aka the real Budweiser, is my favorite Czech beer. I had some on draft while we were there and it was delicious. Sadly, the bottle I bought here was skunky. But beer is always better on draft.

On the way back to Old Town we stopped at another vintage mall, Černá Růže (Black Rose) built in the 1930s in a historic palace. Actually, it is two buildings joined by an arcade, one from the 1840’s and the other from the 1930s, though the site has been occupied since the Middle Ages and was once a coaching inn. The day we were there, the ceiling was decorated with a delightful display of colorful umbrellas. It was prophetic as our beautiful September weather disappeared in a rain storm as we entered October.

The mall contains a large outlet of the Moser crystal shops, located in the older of the two buildings. The crystal pieces were lovely, but outside of my price range.

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We passed the headquarters building of the Communist Party, which is appropriately red.

Commie Party HQ

Communist Party HQ, Prague

I’ve rambled on too long here, so I’ll stop. Next week, Prague Castle up close.



Where Do I Start? #amreading #MFRWauthor #Blog Challenge

This week’s prompt in the #MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge is “My biggest pet peeve in a book” to which I can only reply, “Where do I start?”

mfrw blog challenge badge

Like a lot of readers, I don’t care for the “too-stupid-to-live” heroine. I lose patience with characters like that pretty quickly.

As a historical writer/reader, I often find myself put off by historical inaccuracies. Even if I’m still enjoying the book, I find myself mumbling to myself about incorrect use of titles/forms or address, or historical details I know are wrong. I recently quit reading a Medieval romance because the characters kept saying “Okay.” Okay is American dating from some point in the 19th c. though there are differing theories as to where it came from. But it’s definitely American.

I also don’t like books (or movies) where there is no character I can relate to or root for. I know flawed characters are great for conflict, but do they all have to be unlikable?

My newest pet peeve has to do with love scenes in carriages.

Last year, I visited Prague with a writer friend, and everywhere we went in Old Town, we had to walk on cobblestones. I understand why. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means property owners and city managers are restricted in what they can do. In the old section of Bratislava we saw workmen repairing a sidewalk with, you guessed it, new cobblestones. While they make for a picturesque setting, cobblestones are hard on the feet and knees.

Prague cobblestones

Prague cobblestones, not as smooth to walk on as they look in the picture.

One evening Rebecca and I decided to take a carriage ride around Old Town Prague, though our carriage wasn’t as spiffy as this one.

Prague Carriage

Horse-drawn carriage in Prague Old Town Square

As we rode along, we found ourselves being bounced up and down and side to side, laughing all the way. The experience reminded me of the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, though not quite that bad. At least I didn’t need to find a chiropractor the next day.

At the time I said to Rebecca that I’d never be able to read a love scene in a carriage without laughing my head off! And sure enough, the first such scene I read brought back memories of the Prague carriage ride, and I laughed all the way through the scene. Not my usual reaction to a love scene, I can assure you. At least this is one pet peeve I can laugh about.

What are your pet peeves? Leave your answer in the comments section.


Use the linky list to find more pet peeves from #MFRWAuthors in the 52-Week #Blog Challenge