Monday, July 19, 2010

Keeping Time

In Prague, one of the must see attractions is the astronomical clock. Per the guide book 'The Astronomical Clock has been ticking and pulling in the crowds since 1490, although its party trick is laughably unspectacular. Every hour on the hour, from 8am to 8pm, wooden saints emerge from trap doors, while below them, a lesson in medieval morality is enacted by Greed, Vanity, Death and the Turk. However look a little longer and try and figure out the complicated zodiac figures on the clock's face, reputedly there are some occult mysteries encoded in them. '
Amazing when you think about when it was built. 1490?!?!?

Each day of the year.

A picture when the saints are looking out through the window. It really is quite funny as big crowds appear for the 45 second show. Although I did enjoy the miniture death statue ringing his bell. Tres cool.

Not to be outdone by the astronomical clock, the palace boasts one of the oldest sundials. (India has the oldest and most accurate sundial - see an earlier blog post). Gotta love a town that likes to keep on time. I know I wasn't late. :o)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Prague Castle

One of the must sees when visiting Prague is the castle. I really enjoyed the castle for its beauty, history and information. I have to admit, I learned a lot!
Crossing the bridge over the old moat towards one of the entrances. It was a lovely summer day.

Coming up on St. Vitus' Cathedral.

I've realized I really like archways. Not sure why. Took a ton of photos in India of them too. I liked this view as we crossed into the castle - notice the tourists on the other end?

The main entrance to Prague Castle is opposite a very large square. Take a look at the size of the statues overlooking the guards below. I would have to say having two towering monuments of warriors kicking the crap out of someone is probably a pretty good deterrent. It's not all sunshine and rainbows in this castle.....

As I'm learning from Windsor Castle and the like (and well, logic and history), castles tend to be built on a hill. I loved this view of the castle wall on the left and the stairs down to the city below. For the record we cheated and took the tram to the top.

Inside the walls it's not all battling demons - there are pretty gardens too. I think this used to be a bath tub. Not a bad view from the tub, eh?

Couldn't resist this view of a courtyard.

Not the best picture but some beautiful stone steps and railings below.

The door handles remind me of Egyptian dogs and pharaohs.

Close up view of St. Victus' Cathedral.

Statue of St. George slaying the Dragon. I was surprised to see this as it is a very English story/tradition. There are a ton of pubs named the George and Dragon as well as people celebrate St. George's day. Then again, the slaying of the dragon catapulted thousands of people to convert to Christianity so perhaps this is more about religion than a children's story or pub name?

Inside the Basilica of St. George. Very impressive ceiling.

I couldn't get enough of the views overlooking the city. It looks like everyone on this side of the castle had a room with a view.

Inside the chapel.

I have to admit, I was fairly impressed the way this picture turned out. I still have camera envy (more race photos soon to show you why) but my little Kodak did this one justice.

Outside the cathedral, my usual obsession with statues and gutter spouts. I totally think everyone should get these for their houses.


Lastly, an attempt to get Prague castle at night. If you think this is a bad picture, you should have seen the five others that I deleted. Hopefully this conveyed some of the beauty and history. If you don't think it is pretty, I'll send you pictures of my 1970's cinder block dorm room from university. Sometimes you just have to say 'they don't build them like they used too'.........

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When Tucker Goes to Camp

I think the dog actually enjoys it when I go out of town.

Although I think he is telling me that next time he's taking his bear with him to camp. More Prague photos next.....

Monday, July 12, 2010


What do you think of when you think of Prague?

Do you think of beer?

Or maybe drinking beer at an outside cafe?

Or perhaps stag do's/bachelor parties? (this guy wasn't allowed to leave until 10 women had written their phone numbers on his back. Don't worry - we didn't use the country code)

Maybe you think of tourists when you think of Prague? There are certainly quite a few.

Or perhaps funny art? Like this fountain of two gentlemen writing their names in the water.

This might be a better night view. By the way, they are standing in a fountain shaped like the Czech Republic.

Or maybe you think of weird museums to see when in Prague?
Well if so - you would be correct. There is an amazing amount of beer, an inordinate amount of bachelor parties, lots of tourists (I have to admit, the Americans were really annoying me) and several creative monuments and museums.

However, Prague is also home to some amazing monuments....

Fantastic sculptures......

Outstanding views......

It has a rich history....

Gorgeous architecture....

and plenty of pathways, restaurants and streets to explore.

All in all, I had a wonderful weekend trip to Prague. So good in fact that I'll probably get five blog posts as I took a bazillion pictures. Thus - be prepared for more from my lovely weekend.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swim Training

Still wonderful weather here in England. As a matter of fact, we haven't had rain in so long it is starting to look a little bit like the Central Valley in California. What's that like? Brown. That one word says it all.

To beat the heat, Tucker has been practicing his swimming skills. It still takes him a few minutes of paddling around AND drinking the water at the same time for him to realize that it is probably not a good idea to do both at the same time. Here Tucker is practicing his water entry - he's racing Gibson for the coveted stick trophy.

Tucker apparently overshoots the stick and is diverted. He might have been following the house boat hoping for some snacks. Good news is he turns around and races back toward the prize.

Success! A couple of times. So the pictures aren't necessarily in sequence but it is the best I can do. Big thanks to Nick who took care of Tucker while I was away and the pictures. Tucker came back from summer camp a happy dog. Now why can't I spend my days walking in the woods and swimming in the river?