Prague, Czech Republic Day 120

Today just might have been my “near perfect” day. The weather was fabulous. Not too hot, sunny with a bit of high cloud.  I set out to find the Mucha Museum. Alphonse Mucha is one of my long standing favourite artists. He was known for his graphic design work of posters and books and postcards done in the Art Nouveau style, but he was a painter as well. His last project was something he called the Slav Epic. It is a series of 20 paintings that he did between 1910 and 1928 depicting the struggle and triumphs of his homeland, the Czech Republic. Back then it was known as Moravia; it’s hard to keep track of the ever changing borders on this continent, especially in this region! He spent the early part of his career in Paris, doing everything from product posters to interior design. His big break came when he was asked to do a poster for a play starring the famous Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt. Once he was established he started to feel like he was betraying his home country because he was doing so well and they were in such a time of struggle so the Slav Epic was born. It was his last big project before his death in 1939. The Slav Epic is on permanent exhibit in a castle in the city of Moravsky Krumlov, which I’ll just have to see on my next trip to the Czech Republic. The museum was small but had a good selection of his work and a lot of details about his personal and professional life.
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Great little coffee house where I had breakfast.
Absinthe-everywhere! I’m not really into the hard stuff so I didn’t try any.
I walked back to the metro at Wenceslas Square to head over to the Dancing House. This is definitely one of the most modern buildings in Prague. It was designed by Frank Gehry in the late 1990’s and is supposed to represent Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Fred is the part made out of concrete on the right hand side, and Ginger is the part made out glass swaying toward him. I love it. It’s completely innovative, fresh and unique. Oh, and I absolutely adore Frank Gehry’s work as well, one of our most famous Canadians, eh?
Beautiful mosaic on an apartment building.
 I decided to walk back to downtown along the river. There were all of these beautiful apartment buildings lining the street. I can only imagine what they must look like inside! I came across a little pub with an outdoor patio and there was this guy with a guitar singing the most beautiful covers of songs by Coldplay, Radiohead and Cat Stevens. He totally put his own spin on the songs but didn’t stray so far that you couldn’t recognize them. I sat and listened to him for at least ½ an hour in the sunshine. So lovely!
OK, it may have been a hot day but really. Are those standard issue for the Czech city worker? Oh my god, I couldn’t stop giggling.
Who likes short-shorts?
I just thought this was so very pretty!
The plaque under this said “In memory of W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni premiered in this theatre 29.10.1787.”
There is a lot of strange and clownish pottery for sale in this city. At least these guys look like happy (and not scary) clowns.

 I walked back towards old town to try and find someplace good to eat dinner. This is such a struggle for me, as I’ve mentioned before. If I had more forethought I would google the best places to eat in Prague (or where ever I am) but I’m frankly just too lazy to do that so I usually just wander and hope that I’ll find something good on my own. I finally decided on this place called Zlaty Hrozen. The atmosphere looked nice, the prices were reasonable and they had the gulas and dumplings featured on the menu (which was what I wanted to try) so it was a done deal. In Czech it is called “Hovezi gulas s karlovarskym knedlikem.” This meal definitely made the top 5 of favourite meals so far. The beef gulas was saucy and flavourful, and the dumplings? Well, I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought they’d be smaller balls of dough cooked right in the gravy, but no. They were thick slices of what looked like bread, but was kind of like stuffing in slice able bread form. I’ve now learned what it is that made those bread dumplings so incredibly delicious…lard! I was wondering what the substance was that was holding the bread bits together, and there you have it! Lard! Oh, why is the most fattening stuff the most tasty? This meal was probably the closest thing I’ve had to home cooking since I’ve been gone. It was such incredible comfort food. And anyone that knows me knows how much I love stuffing, so this was just a perfect meal! Top it off with a home- made brownie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. I am one happy woman.  See food tab for photos!


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One Response to Prague, Czech Republic Day 120

  1. Anonymous August 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    What a lovely post Andrea… you put so much into each day and get so much out of it. Just saw a Mucha poster on Antiques Roadshow – it was a repro of the Sarah Bernhardt poster that was made for a cookie package and worth mucha money. The guy who owned it was very happy. Those ceramic clowns look like they’ve been into the Absinthe. The Frank Gehry building is unbelievable – Fred and Ginger two of your favorites as well. Your meal sounds yummy – so glad you found something good to eat.
    xo xo Mom

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