Insta Friday: River

The life next to the river is just beautiful. Specially in Summer or Spring, but all the seasons are wonderful. The river that flows through Prague is Vltava (Moldau), and it is the longest river in the Czech Republic, and it flows only here, as it springs in the South in Šumava Mountains and it flows to Labe (Elbe)river about 20 km North from Prague. For this weeks Insta Friday I have a gallery of the life around Vltava in Prague. The most important inhabitants of it are swans :-).

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Insta Friday: Nature in Prague

As the season started my posts on blog will slow dow, as I would not be able to spend my time at the computer. But I will do my best to keep the blog alive during summer at least with Insta Friday posts :-).

Spring – in fact the last days it is more summer – is coming to Prague and for my Insta Friday post I have selected couple of Instagram sights for sore eyes from Prague. Some of them are yet from winter but the others are bringing bloom to our life.

Up You Look (2) – Masaryk’s Waterfront

Masarykovo nábřeží (Masaryk’s Waterfront) is a waterfront on the right bank of Vltava River in Prague. It is bordered by the Jirásek’s and Legion bridges. Opposite from the waterfront you can find Slavic Island, you can read about it and see some pictures in recommendations section here.
The waterfront was named after our first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (pres. 1918-1938), but it happened as late as in 1990 year. Before it was named after our first communistic president Klement Gottwald (pres. 1948-1953). And during the WWII it was called Reinhard Heydrich Ufer, as the whole waterfront of Vltava River.

Waterfront from the island.

The place is quite crowded with tram and car traffic. Up to 19th century this place was just a beach next to the river with mills and workmen “jirchář”, who were processing the leather there.

Waterfront from the Legion Bridge.

Now you will find quite beautiful buildings there, National Theater – this one deserves separated post, Goethe Institute building with fantastic sculpture decoration on the roof, Hlahol building built for Hlahol singing choir and being home of our first republic and later (1918-1942) movie stars; and we cannot forget water tower Šítkovská věž and modern building of Mánes House of artist above the river (between the embankment and the island).

Slavic Island (left) and Water Tower and Mánes House of artists.

The architect of the waterfront concept was František Sander, and we can see the frescoes of the works done on the building number 30 (in the gallery picture: nabrezi (15), the one with the knight, bellow him).

Gallery of the details above your head:

The author of former bank house, now Goethe Institut, was director or the Art school Jiří Stibral and the statues were done by Ladislav Šaloun (he is on plan to have his own post).

Goethe Institute.

One of the most important art nouveau houses is the Hlahol house, done by architect Josef Fanta (Main Train Station in Prague) with mosaic (Karel Klusáček).

Hlahol.

And if you need to go the bathroom (Toalety in Czech) after looking so much up, there is a nice place down 🙂 under the National Theatre (do not promise they are working).

Toalety above the river.

One more nice building on the waterfront.

Red house.

For you who needs a coffee after this tour, visit one of the most famous ones: Slavia cafe (surprisingly I do not have a picture, as I always forgot to make one) or Savoy cafe on the other side of the river.

Cafe Savoy, větrník is a must have.

Insta Friday: České Budějovice

For my today’s Insta Friday I have some pictures from my current visit to South Bohemia, beautiful city of České Budějovice. It means Czech Budwais. It is the city, where the original one, the real Budweiser Budvar is brewed :-).

Budějovice at April 11:

And some more pictures from exhibition area at the evening, April 12:

Cozy Cafes of Prague (3) – Čajovna U Cesty

Explanation: Only I have started a set about cafes in Prague, I am going to do an exception. In Czech culture we distinguish Kavárna (cafe), where you go for a coffee, something sweet, even food. You can get a tea there as well, but it would be tea from a teabag, or ginger/mint tea. On the other side there are special places, called Čajovna (tearoom), where you can get the “real” tea, meaning loos teas such as Oolong, Chinese, Japanese and any other special types as Karkade or Rize. Also in such a tearoom you can get something to eat (not in every one), but it would be more oriental, such as pita bread, hummus or couscous. Even in a tearoom you can get a coffee, but do not ask for Espresso or Americano, you can get Arabic coffee with cardamom.

This is how it looks in the tearoom.

Interier of the tearoom in September 2004:

You see these two cultures are really separated here. But based on a comment in one of my previous Cozy Cafes posts, I decided to add a tearoom to this series. But it is not that easy, as I decided to write about the Tearoom On the Road (or more: By the Road) –Čajovna U Cesty. This tearoom doesn’t have any special “room”, but you can find it in a large tent at Prague Botanical Garden, and only at the weekends. And why this one? Because the owners are my friends, and we used to go to Botanical Garden once a month (at least) just to meet them. Since I have started to drink coffee, the visits slowed down, but still we like to drink tea and visit our friends :-).

Our first ever meeting with Pája a Týna, Botanical Garden 2003.

2003 year – garden flowers and view to Troja castle maze:

For this post we had to go Botanical Garden this weekend, to interview the owners. This weekend they were outside the Fata Morgana greenhouse, as there was an exhibition of butterflies (as every year).

Butterflies exhibition in Fata Morgana in 2005.

The owners are Týna a Pája, they drink and prepare tea from 1990s. They travel to Vietnam, India, to choose the best species of tea. They used to have their Tearoom at the Náprstek’s Museum and later next to the second Botanical Garden in Prague (just a coincidence). Finally 13 years ago they decided to leave the stable place (we were at the farewell party) and keep only the weekend tent at the Botanical Garden.

Special tea tasting afternoon with lecture about tea in October 2006 with Pája and Týna.

The farewell party August 2005.

The farewell party, the crowds who attended are not on the pictures, but they were there.

Why this place and Your recommendation what to see or where to go in Prague
The answer for both these questions is the same, the garden is beautiful and there is always something on a program, from butterflies and bonsai exhibitions, to Halloween. That’s why you should visit and enjoy it, and you don’t have to drink only tea, but there is St Claire’s Vineyard with Vineyard chapel from 17th century. Next to the botanical garden there is famous Prague ZOO (currently the 5the best in the world) and Troja castle, and this triangle is really worth visiting.

Spring in the garden 2011.

Spring 2004:

Spring 2006:

Spring 2007:

Spring 2009:

Spring 2011:

2004 Halloween.

Halloween in the Garden 2004

Halloween in the Garden 2010

Halloween in the Garden 2011

What would you order from the menu:
The answer for this question got pretty complicated and I am not able to reproduce all the different teas, which belong to the special mood and weather, and season … So simply: tea, and preferably from the old(est) tea trees you can find hidden in the mountains :-).

2018, lot of Vietnamese teas.

You can also buy the tea to prepare it at home (2018):

Nice story:
And I do not have any nice story for you, as I have forgot to ask, mainly because it was really crowded and I was steeling the little talks in between the clients of the tearoom. Everytime we wanted to say goodbye, Pája had offered us another cup to taste, so we have spent there almost 3 hours. We have started with karkade, then got touareg, rize, arabic coffee with cardamom, gruzie tea and one more I forgot, the one with milk… masala! And I don’t know how much tea you can have, but I was shaking pretty much after the third cup. And this could be your funny story :-).

Tearoom tent and Honza (blue jacket) having another cup of tea.

Týna, she loves people 🙂 .

Combined gallery from August 2004 – Fata Morgana and Tearoom details:

Týna giving recommendations on tea in Summer 2005 .

Pája happy that someone is enjoying his tea in August 2011.

Museums Of Prague (2) – Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace

As the second museum for my blog I have chosen Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace. I am not sure if I can call it museum, as it is more empty – unfurbished, with some temporary exhibitions only. It is somewhere in between ages, between being used and being abandoned and I think it is really good time to visit it right now. After paying ridiculous entrance fee in amount of 1 CZK (5 cents) you can visit former apartments and beautifully decorated baroque hall, where some scenes for Amadeus movie were taken as well as it played the role of sleeping room in the TV set Maria Theresia.

If you had visited Prague, for sure you have walked by the palace, as it stands at the most crowded touristic street at the Old Town next to the entrance to Charles Bridge (Karlova street number 2), palace like a bridge over the tram line.

For the temporary exhibition you should pay some more, but we were interested only in the apartments. And here is what we have found:

Through the doors.

Small dining room and gallery (probably).

Wooden wall cladding and windows to the courtyard.

Ceramic heater and mirror room.

The main hall.

Ceiling.

Chandelier in the mirror.

Bear in watercolor.

After the visit of the Palace I recommend a walk through the house where Johannes Kepler wrote two of his three laws of planetary motion (the next building to the right from the palace, the shortcut is closed during night) to Anenské náměstí, where you can find nice cafe Tricafe and have a nice drink and rest from the crowds on the palace side of the block. Sitting at the cafe I always feel like in the living room of one of my student fellows in 1980s. The same furniture, plastic bear for honey. Just like in my childhood :-).

In front of Tricafe.

Insta Friday: Prague Light

I have discovered quite a lot of pictures on my Instagram, that I like and they are already rather old. I decided to make little collections from them, find some topic that joins the collection and create a post. Just photos with simple theme. And the first collection is here. Pictures of Prague (the notoriously famous places) with special light. And – of course – with Instagram effect added.

I hope you will enjoy it :-).

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