What a lovely day and what a lovely city! It reminds me a lot of Bruges in that it’s so romantic and has so many old buildings. It’s a great wandering around city. If only it weren’t so busy! I know, I sound like a broken record but the number of people here is staggering! I’d heard the same from two friends who have been here fairly recently so I was prepared. I don’t know what my problem was today though, maybe because I’ve acknowledged that it’s bothering me but it started bothering me even more! I’m screaming in my head sometimes “MOVE YOU SILLY COW, MOVE!” Not very healthy, is it? Deep breathing helps, and beautiful vistas.
There are shops all over the city selling marionettes. Many of them are the things nightmares are made of. This little lady isn’t so bad, but inside the shops lurks some scary, scary puppets. None of the shops wanted you to take photos inside so no proof of scary puppets. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
I walked up to Praszky Hrad AKA Prague Castle. For some reason I wasn’t really in the mood for a full on day of castle touring. There is a lot of ground to cover here between churches, a monastery, galleries and the castle itself so I just walked around the grounds. I might go back tomorrow if I’m feeling more energetic. The castle grounds are just majestic but it’s funny… I kind of prefer the view of the castle from afar. It looks more magical somehow, especially at night.
So with most of these sculptures that naturally get darker and darker over extended periods of time being exposed to the elements there is almost always one spot that the patina is worn away from people touching it. I was a bit disturbed to see where the wear was on this one… (look closely!) Seriously people, it’s a statue of a young boy! Ewww!
I stumbled upon an antique toy museum within the castle grounds. At this point of the trip I’m really looking for things that I haven’t done before rather than just more art, more church, more castle. And toy museum? Haven’t done that yet, and I LOVE antique toys! It’s a small museum, but what a great collection! It focused on European and American toys mostly from the mid 1800’s and up. Lots of dolls, teddy bears, tin toys and Christmas stuff. The museum told of the origins of the tree, decorations and traditions. I was thinking that they tied Christmas in with the toys. Makes sense! On the top floor they had a large Barbie doll collection from the very first Barbie (a brunette!) form the 1950’s to present. It was definitely kitschy, but very cool.
I believe this is Santa Claus’ buddy who leaves nasty stuff in the stockings of bad little children. Got to love the Germans for A.)Having a name for the act of taking pleasure in the misery of others (Schadenfreude) and B.) Having a sinister counter element to jolly old Saint Nick to scare kids into behaving well. Yup, thinking this guy was sneaking into MY house would have scared me into being good!
Barbie dolls! I wasn’t allowed to have these when I was a kid. My mom said they were an unrealistic ideal of women (and she is right) but man did I want one! I got her lame cousin Skipper. She was brunette and flat chested. That’s no fun! I’d just go to my friends houses and play with their extensive collections and eat Cheez Whiz sandwiches. Those were the days…
After that I walked back down to the beautiful Karluv Most (Karl’s Bridge.) The bridge is the hub of the city. There are street performers, artists, pickpockets (hang on to your purses ladies!) and lots of foot traffic. Each end of the bridge is flanked by a tower and there are no less than 30 sculptures which make it quite a scene to behold. Just add the view of Prague Castle in the background and I think it might be sheer perfection. This is where I found him. Who, might you ask? The man who would be “the one” to do my sketch portrait! I’ve been looking and looking. Every big city I go to, I always look at the portrait artists to see if I like any of their work. It’s always just OK, but nothing special. I find with a lot of them they all look exactly the same. Even the examples of their work is the same as another you’d see a few metres down on the same street. I liked this guy because he didn’t just do portraits and caricatures; he also did some beautiful street and city scenes in watercolour, and was working on one when I approached him. There was just something different about his work, I can’t out my finger on what it was… oh, and he had a couple of sketches of dogs as well, and that sealed the deal. If I’m getting my portrait done by a street artist, I may as well go all out and put my dog in there with me! It was a strange experience sitting there being drawn by someone. I was kind of uncomfortable at first. I didn’t know where to look. Should I smile? How is my hair? The sun is in my eyes. People are staring at me and taking my photo! Oh my god, I hate being looked at! But after a bit I settled in and got more comfortable. As he started to draw Henry (from a photo in my iphoneooohed and ahhed but I heard this one girl say in the bitchiest valley girl kind of voice “What’s with the dog?” Um, excuse me? Did anyone ask for your opinion, cow? I said that in my head. I told you, some people are really starting to grate on my nerves. My mean is coming out! I’m really happy with the drawing. It was totally worth the money. I’m not sure how much it really looks like me but I think he captured something there… What do you guys think?Does it look like me? Whatever the case it was fun!
Katie had given me some restaurant suggestions, but I couldn’t access the info. without wifi so I’ll check one of them out tomorrow night. As for tonight, I found a great little restaurant all on my own. It wasn’t exactly Czech food, but to be perfectly honest, after Germany I’m a wee bit tired of the sausages, pork and sauerkraut thing. I want to try the beef gulas with knedliky dumplings, but it wasn’t on the menu at this place. Tomorrow I will make it my mission to find them! I had a delicious Czech beer, some beef carpaccio and corn on the cob, grilled on the BBQ and served with herbs and butter. It was the best corn I’ve had in ages. YUM! Vegetables! How I’ve missed you! Check foodie tab for photos!