London Markets

From my point of view what Prague is missing are markets, not only with fresh fruit, but also with funky dress and other goods. We have just one open market in city center which is Havelsky trh with fruits (a bit expensive, be careful the price depends on weight and not per pack) during weekdays and mostly tourist goods at weekends. The other big market is in former Holesovice Slaughterhouse, covered vegetable market and shops and stalls with cheap dresses and other goods. Rather new are regular Farmer’s Markets on several squares, but the offer is still the same: expensive vegetables and milk products.

Therefore, what I love on city of London are its markets.

On Camden Street I like the houses with huge eye-catchers on the buildings.

This won't be found in Prague

Camden Street

At Camden Lock I love the channel with small boats, exotic food, hand-made jewels, books, small cafes.

Camden Locks

Camden Lock Market mosaic

Different then is Brick Lane with second hand goods and close Old Spitalfields Market with vegetables and fruits.

Maybe you would choose from Barbie collection on Brick Lane?

Old Spitalfields Market

During our walks in my beloved Greenwich we found a hidden market hall with high quality handmade products. I realy liked this one.

I am sure every single one of these would fit me well.

Fans in Greenwich

Brixton Market  reminds me of oriental souks in Middle East. Variety of fresh fishes and other meat (whole pigs and chickens), on the other hand beautiful decorated fabrics, hollow ware, that’s what you can find there.

Brixton Village - shops, cafes, delis, vegetable, food stores

Not easy to choose.

Electric Avenue, venue of Brixton Market

We fancy metal commercials

And at last the most famous Portobello Road with antique goods. Last but not least, my favourite place, on Saturday full of tourists and stalls, colors and music everywhere.

And if you like movie Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, then you can’t miss this place. I still didn’t find the building where Hugh lived, neither his small shop with travel books, but I keep on seeking.

On the market I always admire antiques, nice flowers, on-street-prepared food, but also vegetables and fruits.

Antique and fruits, good mixture

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London Theatre

During our visit to London it was really difficult to resist the offer of shows of West End Theatres. First, you are offered on the reception desk and then all the commercials are calling for your attention. And of course, they got me.

Show Guide

Rock of Ages – Shaftesbury Theatre

You can compare West End theatre in London with New York’s Broadway theatre, they are mainstream, commercial, professional and as this seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London.

Theatre Map

I have to mention here one of the first theatre in London, which is Globe Theatre associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.

A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named “Shakespeare’s Globe”, opened in 1997 approximately 750 feet (230 m) from the site of the original theatre.

Les Miserables

The lengths of West End shows depend on ticket sales. Some of the longest runs were Les Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera. The longest-running show in the world, which has been showing since 1952, is Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap.

But now back to my experience.

The show offer was really huge, but my final selection was done from: Billy Elliot (unfortunatelly the most far theatre), Singing in the Rain (they had not tickets for that evening) and Wizard of Oz (I just read the story for the first time), and the last one won.

The entrance to London Palladium

The interior of the theatre

The performance itself was perfect, beautiful, professional, I enjoyed it a lot! However, what I noticed some small signs showing the difference between Prague culture and London one. In Prague you go to the theatre dressed well in the evening dress (except tourist, which I understand, but it is a pitty), you put your coats and jackets to the cloakroom where it is taken care of by a person, you don’t have to keep them all the time on your knees during the show. On break you have your drink in glass, the wine in goblet, and for sure you don’t abandon your garbage to the floor.

The roof, the Wicked Witch came over my head through the hole there, and also the Flying Monkey …

In Prague at the end of the show there is an applause, which last as long as the theatre-goer is satisfied with the performance and the cast goes to the stage as long as is asked, in London after short applause the curtian is pulled down and people left, leaving behind them floor full of plastic pots from drinks or ice-creams, empty packs from sweets etc.

The Safety and Final Curtain

I know that the trend is that Prague culture have been closing to the London one, not an opposite way, but I am really sorry for this.

Palace Theatre Entrance

But to a better end, after the show on front of the theatre stood a line of bike-riksha’s ringing their bells and it would be really enjoyable to close your evening with this experience.

Riksha’s in front of the theatre

Despite what was written above, I plan to go to London and visit another theatre show again, I really would love to see Billy Elliot this time, hoping it will be still on, as it is from May 11, 2005.

Victoria Palace with Billy Elliot

Just a half of the offer

Or would it be Wicked?

London Gardens

Last week I have spent in London for some work. At home yet I looked for the place we would live and look, what I have found on the Google Map.

Russell Square on Google Maps

And now even closer look.

It’s not on the floor, it’s in the air!

Yes, it’s there.

The first thing we came to that place I checked, if the airplane is there, and what do you think? Yess, it was there!

Russell Square is small but nice park close to the British Museum and I really like the view of it with a little bit of snow but fountian working.

The snowballs were made of snow but partially from the mud, sun was shining through the trees and the atmosphere calls you to sit there for coffee and enjoy the quiet place.

Winter fountain

Where is the rest of the Snowman?

Cafe on Russell Square

After spending some time on Russell Square we went to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, to visit squirrels and birds there. We entered the park at the place, where the big fight between Mark and Daniel happened in Bridget Jones The Edge of the Reason. The fountains here are nice in all weather.

Would not want to fight between the ice …

The weather was perfect, rather warm (take into account we came this morning from Prague where was about -20 Celsius, which is -4 Fahrenheit).

Beautiful winter scene

The wild life in the gardens is very fresh. We saw mices, rabbits, but mainly squirrels and birds, unfortunatelly nothing with us to feed them.

Other pictures from this serie are in a blow a little, as I tried to run away from the closing squirrell, she seemed to be landing on my head soon

The gaggle going to the water

The walk around Serpentine was really beautiful and in summer it must be really great to finish it in the nice Summer garden on the water.

Cafe with beautiful view

Strahov Monastery

Strahov Monastery Inner Yard

Strahov Monastery located in Strahov on Petřín‘s Hill at the gates to Hradčany – Castle Area of Prague Castle is the oldest Premonstratensian abbey founded in 1140 by Bishop Jindřich Zdík, Bishop John of Prague, and Prince Vladislav II. Pemonstratensians came there in 1142 and the remains of the order founder St. Norbert were brought to this monastery in 1627. Monastery was robbed by Swedish Army in 1648 and lot of the books and art pieces were taken.

At the end of 17th century the monastery was rebuilt in baroque style. After communistic takeover in 1948 the monastery was closed and monks were sent to working camps. In 1968 lot of remaining art pieces were taken by Soviet occupation army.

After Velvet revolution (1989) the monastery was reconstructed and serves as a monastery again. You can see there beautiful collection of gothic art, Theological and Philosophical Halls.

Theological Library

With my husband we visit this place rather often, mainly because of small nice brewery in the monastery yard but also due to beautiful view to Prague. Once we met a monk, who invited us also to Monastery garden that are hidden from the eyes of other visitors. It was very nice encounter and I will share some pictures from it with you.

Light in the Dome of Basilica of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, we met our monk guide here

Meeting fishes in the pond

Hidden garden

Walls of the monastery from the garden

View to Prague Castle from the Garden Walls

Vltava River and Lesser Quarter roofs

Courtyard with Brewery and Church of St. Roch

Brewery bar

Light and Dark Norbert, you can’t drink this anywhere else but in this small brewery. You can also make small excursion to the brewery.

Winter Airing in Prague Castle

Prague is really beautiful in all seasons, but in winter you can enjoy it alone, not in the crowds of people. So I took my mom to airings in Prague Castle during this winter. The weather was perfect, the light the best for taking pictures and small number of other tourists just not to feel here alone.

Fourth Courtyard with Christmas tree and a Prague Castle Gard grading the collection for children wothout home.

Prague Castle is the largest castle district in Europe (the second one is in South Bohemia – Cesky Krumlov – also my beloved place) and you can visit beautiful gothic, romanesque and baroque churches, large late gothic ceremonial hall with beautiful rib roof, galleries, exhibitions and museums there.

Straw Nativity Scene bellow the St. Vitus Cathedral Tower on the third courtyard of Prague Castle

During summer you can visit Summer Shakespeare Festival on the Yard of the supreme Burgrave’s house, I saw there Romeo and Juliet few years ago, and it was really refreshing experience, till this time I consider this drama a comedy with sad end, it was so nice performance. But also in winter you can visit Toy museum at the same place, which is said to be the second largest museum of its kind in the world, with huge collection of Barbie dolls.

Changing Guards in winter uniforms.

Tourists trying to get the best pic of St. Vitus Cathedral Portal. In summer this place is so crowded, that doing this will cost you the highest price (I mean your life).

And here is the portal, but - to be honest - I didn't take the best position taking this picture ...

St. Vitus interier, stained glass window and the game of the sun lights.

Cathedral roof's detail

The views from the castle in change of weather.

Clowdy

Sunny

Winter scene - the entrance to Prague Castle Gardens

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