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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The First Day in Prague

The colorful Jubilee Synagogue, circa 1906 named in honor
of the silver Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Today we took a long, long walk, that started early in the day and didn't end until fairly late in the night. There were no goals for today, just to look around and see what there is to see. Here
is a smattering of what the day revealed. First of all, everyone in Prague tells you it is the prettiest city in Europe which is saying a lot, but there is plenty of evidence for their case.

Seems all the city's streets are cobbled and the
cobbling is gorgeous. The Star of Davids below paved the street in front of the Jubilee Synagogue (see up top).
Cobbled streets seem de rigueur in Prague
So, how pretty can a city be? Maybe it's the little things. The inner doorway below is the entrance to the local post office.

Post Office entry
Once in, it's take a number, sit and wait. It was Jo who wanted a stamp or something.
This impressive, glass domed extravaganza is the post office
Still the Post Office

Note the curved stairway here, in the brightly lit interior. You can see it in the photo above, off in the background. Rather fancy. Fancier, at least in first impression, than our hotel.

This is the entrance to the flat-iron style building, where we stayed, the Hotel Chopin 
View down from Wenceslas Square, aka Václavské náměstí  
The square's statue to its Bohemian patron saint, Good King Wenceslas (one and the same)
This main drag was lined with dozens upon dozens of stores. Jo shopped for a little jewelry and handbags. For the most part, as per usual, I resisted shopping, until...


I realized I was for to must have it for myself, verry Peeg Foury Hat! Um, that was all my horrid faux Czech for 'big furry hat'. You know, in case I ever get a gig on Steven Colbert's show. I got the grey one, second down on the left. Pink seemed a bit much, so I stuck to the-ever-so-slightly more dignified charcoal grey.

I am for to loveing it my peeg furrrry hat.

There were other souvenirs I sadly vowed to ignore.

Czech Republic dollies
everywhere, adorable mini-astronomical clocks (seen just below) a big thing in Prague. Am hoping to find the clock sometime today.

Astronomical clocks, snow globes & more dollies of matryoshka type
Another view of the main drag - note the extensive cobbling of the street
Bookstore window

We walked all the way down the avenue, along the way learning that Starbucks, Bratty Bart Simpson

 ....and KFC are pretty much universal.

I love the art of this manhole cover. 
I wandered into an unusual bar, where a mermaid was reposed on top of the bar. I walked to the back and took the stairs down into the grotto, thinking maybe it would be a good spot for lunch. 

At the bottom of the steep stairway was a grotto, complete with stalagtites hanging down and the creepiest of gargoyles and statuary on the walls. The place is called the Triton restaurant. 

Creepiest restaurant e-ver!
Ghoulish fishies swim in Triton's Realm
Thanks M'am... think I'll check out lunching options elsewhere
And speaking of grottos, back on the street, a few doors away was something I've heard of but haven't ever seen before, fishy pedicures!  
There was a fully serviced manicure shop, just behind the girls but they'd apparently chosen to get their tootsies done in the shop window. Passersby were highly entertained. 
Nom, nom, nom, nom... 
Not too far from the Prague 'grotto' district (my name, doesn't really exist) we found a cute sidewalk style restaurant, the U Balouna. After a nice lunch which included a pint o' beer, we walked further along the mile long Wenceslas Square, searching for the Astronomical Clock, but we didn't find it. Instead we found an Autumn themed street festival, with lots of booths selling wares. 

Cartoon Character Cookies

Scads of goods were up for sale.
Ukranian Easter Eggs

Charming little houses

Folk tale themed thingies

And even more sweets like this Marzapan... *drool*

Segue tours whizzed through the cobbled streets
I was a bit fagged by the time we made it back to the Chopin House Hotel. SHOPPING happened, can't deny, but not much. Now, onto a totally unnecessary topic - Doggies!

Though I haven't owned a dog in yonks, I still love and admire them. I plan on photographing as many dogs that bark with an accent as possible. Here a the ones from the past few days.
Czech Wolf Dog aka 'Vičák

I took this dog's pic at the Český Krumlov train station. I believe it's  a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. If it isn't, it sure looks the part. Czech Wolf dogs are a new breed made through breeding Alsatians (German Shepards) and a Carpathian wolf. The breeding goal was a breed with the outstanding qualities of both. This one sure has the wolfy look spot on.

I spotted this doggie for a local breed and asked the owner what it was. She told me this pretty bitch is a rare hunting breed. I looked it up later and it is a Český Fousek, a Czeck breed of gun doggie. The owner told me the breed is rare. I looked it up later and the breed nearly died out in the 1920s.

Ah! This is a mystery hound puppy. I would bet the bank it is a Bavarian Mountain Hound. Though the streets of Český Krumlov are a long way from German's Bavaria, that's my guess. 
So, enough doggie talk, and I have spared you, both a Bull Terrier and a Bernese Mountain Dog.
For my last volley, here's a short video featuring Spit Cake, aka 'Trdelník'. Not called spit cake because it contains spit, but because it turns on a spit over coals. Enjoy.

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