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 :-).

Cozy Cafes of Prague (2) – Kavárna pražírna Voznice

My second choice for Cozy Cafes series is family run Cafe Kavárna Pražírna Voznice , “kavárna” meaning cafe, “pražírna” is (bean-)roasting house and Voznice is a name of village, where the family comes from. To describe the cafe I can use just two words: pure friendliness; and wonderful coffee as well :-).

Entrance to YMCA, with the Cafe welcome sign (KAVÁRNA).

The cafe was opened in September 2015 when Jiřina and Petr Čermákovi (Čermák’s family) decided they want to roast their own coffee. The coffee was tested on friends and finally the idea of opening the cafe with perfect coffee was on the table. By coincidence (can you find a better way than coincidence? or is it “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”? in Czech we have very nice “Fortune favors the bold”) the place in YMCA palace (you can read more about it here) got available (being wine-bar previously) and that’s it.

The bar area.

For my post I am asking baristas couple of questions, which are:

1. why are you at this place, this cafe?

2. what would you get being a client in this cafe

3. your favorite place or recommendation what to see and where to go in Prague

4. nice story from the cafe

The answers for Kavárna Pražírna Voznice are:

Why this place:

Petr: I fell in love with the brick wall and the bar. When I first stood behind the bar I felt it immediately: here I belong. It was love at the first sight.

The Wall.

Jiřina: From the first moment I had a really good feelings about the place. I liked the floor and brass frames of windows and doors. Most of the furniture (tables, chairs) were left here from the previous wine bar and it gaves the place almost vintage atmosphere.

Marie: I like the building itself (YMCA, where the cafe is located), I love its first republic atmosphere (for Czech People the First Republic – period 1918-1938 – bares lot of nostalgic connotations, like “the good old times” when everything was nice, traditional, I love this atmosphere as well :-)), but also people from the company who takes care of the building are very friendly and helpful. Our cafe is in the city center, but not at the first sight, its a little bit hidden, that is what I like.

My perfect choice.

What would you order from the menu:

Not surprisingly – as we are at the specialized cafe (roasting beans by themselfs) – the top of the menu is coffee, namely espresso, therefore for Petr and Jiřina espresso was their choice from the menu, Marie has extended this choice :-).

Petr and Jiřina: Espresso.

Marie: Espresso and something sweet (as something sweet goes with coffee prefectly)

Katy (me): I usually get filter cafe and I love the cakes from Od Bobu that you can get here.

You have a really wide choice of coffee beans.

Your recommendation what to see or where to go in Prague:

Petr: I really like the Bank building just close to us. The building used to be a bank for legions and now it belongs to another bank. It is really beautiful.

Former Czech Legion bank in Rondocubistic style.

Unfortunately also in this building making of the photo is not allowed, but also in here I was able to steel some pictures for you.
Gallery

Jiřina: I used to work at Žofín palace in Slavic Island (Slovanský ostrov) and I really like this place. There are beautiful views to the river, National Theatre, even Prague Castle. Go there and see by yourself.

Žofín Palace from the back.

Gallery:

View to Prague Castle.

Marie: I like the area around our cafe, The Square of Republic (náměstí Republiky ). I like the brutalist (being the architectonic style) building of Kotva shopping center (from 1975 year), the Christmas and Easter Markets, and also the farmers markets. Being in the middle of the city and I can feel like in a village as well. This point is really good for starting the city adventure.

And I (Katy) add: In my opinion the area around náměstí Republiky is great for accommodation, as everything is close and in walkable distance, and what is not, is easily connected by public transport, as the square is perfect traffic hub.

Square of Republic with Kotva shopping mall at the background.

Gallery:

Nice story from the cafe:
We were not able to think about one nice story, because all of them are the small pleasures of everyday life. When the cafe was opened, all people going around in the passage looked in through the big windows, it felt like being inside of huge aquarium. And now people go to the cafe like going home, sometimes they forgot to pay (do not do this please) and then they come back, they forgot they are not in their kitchen, but at the cafe.

Jiřina a Petr.

Daughter Marie.

At the cafe you will also find little display where earrings, brooches, rings… all decorated with real coffee are for sale, made by dobrunda atelier. In fact during my very first visit I have purchased cufflinks for my husband and brooch for me :-).

Couple of picture of the cafe and photos that were not turned to watercolors yet

Gallery of my realized watercolors

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/Set

For another (sun) Rise/Set challenge I have decided to look back in my computer and I have found couple of nice pictures of sun from my holidays. I hope you will enjoy them:

Early morning trip from Istanbul.

Sunrise above the ocean in Madeira.

Maltesean sunrise.

Couple of sunsets from Montenegro in the gallery:

Sunset above Ta’izz in Yemen.

And finally we caught the sun during the sunset in Tunisia.

Sunset in Tunisia.

Up You Look (1) – Strossmajerák

Another moment for some winter pictures from Prague. Today I had to go for new glasses (the first ones for reading) and quite like the glass shop and workshop) at Strossmayer Square in Bubny (“Drums”) area (Holešovice Quarter), that I have found wandering around couple of months ago (another walk close to this area here).

This area is really beautiful and you don’t have to go anywhere far, in fact I have walked just 4 little streets (circling around Dukelských Hrdinů, Heřmanova, Pplk. Sochora and the Square) and yet I was able to find lot of details above my head.

Dukelských Hrdinů 39.

Under the attic of this beautiful house you will find portraits of famous Czech Kings and Emperors:

.

Two more houses and you see the ladies of our history (Dukelských Hrdinů 43).

Most of the buildings are around 100 years old.

Strossmayerovo náměstí 10.

In the gallery you can find lot of details you can see just looking up above your head.

Nice scene at the entrance to the restaurant Domažlická jizba.

Domažlická jizba.

The dominant of the whole square is the church of St Anthony of Padua.

St Anthony of Padua.

Window.

More about the church here.

We are going to this Church on Christmas to see their Nativity Scene, which is quite nice. Church is open to public almost all day and it has beautiful stained glass windows and status of Mary in the cave.

Mary in the cave

Altar

After the visit of the church there is one last shot of colorful building of former Civic Saving Bank, where the word “záložna” (saving bank, but literally something like: put there your money for worse time) has very nostalgic feelings, as we do not use it much nowadays, but historically it had some sound :-).

Dukelských hrdinů 29

Winter Walks (9) – Žižkov

Another cold day in Prague. I took the bus to visit Žižkov, one of the Prague quarters, just a little (North/West) part of it. In fact I went there to look for shoes :-).

View to Karlin Viaduct (now in reconstruction).

Crossing the border of Žižkov, Military History Institute in Prague: The Army Museum Žižkov in the middle of the picture.

I took a bus, it needs just 5 minutes from city center and I am here at Tachovske náměstí with some street art.

Horses.

Details on the buidling connected with Hussites (and Žižka) history.

Pedestrian tunnel under Vitkov Hill back to Karlin.

I look at the tunnel, but today I am not going there. I am even not going South and Up, where one of the most visible Prague landmarks is, Žižkov Tower, you can read about it in one of my previous posts about Prague towers here.

Žižkov TV Tower.

Another famous landmark of Prague in Žižkov is one of the biggest equestrian statues of Jan Žižka. But today I also wanted to make a picture of another equestrian status, of Jaroslav Hašek. Reading his book of Good Soldier Švejk (happening during the first world war) you can learn about Czech character and sense of humor, we even use the word “švejkovani” (švejking) after the main character, meaning something like: pretending being stupid to get something I want and not to get something I don’t want (like punishment for what I have done or something):-). The statue is quite interesting as well.

Jaroslav Hašek.

My goal is a visit to the shop with men’s fashion (I love them :-)) to look at their new shoes for my husband. I visit the place for the first time and it is quite nice with lot of interesting design supplements. The name of the shop is Gentleman Store.

Gentlema Store Shop.

The next place I really want to visit here is unique cubist Bethlehem chapel hidden at the backyard. The chapel is in use and unfortunately is closed now, as there is not any ceremony at the moment. But even from outside it is nice.

The entrance from the street to the courtyard.

The chapel itself.

Some details of the exterior.

Even today it is really really cold and I just need to go home, therefore I climb up the streets for a tram. During the walk I meet Czech writer Karel Havlíček Borovský in the middle of the square with some of his quotation written on the street.

Karel Havlíček Borovský.

The text bellow:
The honest one suffers from hunger
Thieves are at risk of gallows
The Czech writer has more troubles
He is at risk of hunger and gallows

A poem.

No one there to listen to him. No one wants to freeze :-)-

Empty chairs.

Some of the buildings at Žižkov are uninhabited, empty.

Street art doors.

Another street art piece on the wall.

What’s the time?

And quite new picturesque colorful building.

Studio Pokrok.

Couple of colorful windows.

And finally just under the tram stop, a memorial to Jaroslav Seifert, Czech author, who won Nobel price.

Jaroslav Seifert Memorial.

Cozy Cafes of Prague (1) – Cafe No. 3

Cup of espresso

I have decided to invite you to my world of cafes in Prague. There is so many of them and the tradition of good coffee is really strong (despite the fact that during communistic regime it was only “turkish” coffee available).

I will show you my favorite places, tell you something small about their history and ask baristas couple of questions, which are:

1. why you are at this place, this cafe?

2. what would you get being a client in this cafe

3. your favorite place or recommendation what to see and where to go in Prague

4. nice story from the cafe

Let’s start with Cafe No.3., you have had a chance to see this cafe in my post about the Yards of the Old Town here. Cafe was opened in July 2015 at Jakubska street at the city center. The owners are Zbyšek and Pierre and very often you can also meet Duyen.

Cafe No.3.

Why this place:

Zbyšek: I fall in love with the green blind on the door (seen when the cafe is closed) immediately

Pierre: after moving to the Old Town (which was my dream) I had a problem to find a cafe nearby where I would like to go. We decided to open cafe of our own in our style and by a chance this place was available.

Duyen: I like it because it is small, cozy and friendly

Cafe on Sunday with closed blind.

Coffee and strudl and beze.

What would you order from the menu:

Zbyšek: homemade soda (ginger and strawberry), beze

Pierre: capuccino and beze

Duyen: homemade soda and pancakes

Katy (me): Štrudl pro Marušku non alcoholic version (hot apple juice with cloves and cinnamon and raisins and whipped cream), beze

“Beze” means type of dessert in Czech, full of whipped cream made with pecano nuts (in this case), the chocolate version is also available, but the “white” version is better, look at the picture.

Interier.

You recommendation what to see or where to go in Prague:

Zbyšek: I recommend visiting Glass Gallery in Moser factory shop at the Old Town Square in the cellar of the shop.

Moser factory shop with the gallery at the Old Town Square.

Gallery (click on a picture to make it bigger):

Pierre: I would recommend to very tourist to have a chance to get lost in Prague for some time and just enjoy its streets and corners, let it surprise you with something only for you.

Duyen: Visit the neo-rennaisance building of Czech Saving Bank in Rytirska street, its nicely decorated and looks like a palace. It is not possible to make pictures inside, but you can go in, walk through the doors guarded by beasts and left up the stairs. Up there is an expat bank center as well.

Bank entrance on the right.

Gallery (click on a picture to make it bigger, the quality is poor as the pictures were stolen on the phone not to be seen):

Nice story from the cafe:

Some people (like me) fall in love with the cafe, for its friendly atmosphere, creativity (check the pictures on the walls, mainly done by Pierre) and we keep coming back. And two of Cafe No. 3 clients created a mystery, as they are sending postcards to the cafe signing them Circle Foxes. Once Zbyšek was cleaning the table after clients and he found a chocolate and another postcard, which were left there by Circle Foxes. See in the gallery.

Really good time for a visit is Christmas, because we all (Zbyšek, Pierre, Duyen and me) are big lovers of Christmas tree and for Advent and Christmas time there is really beautiful tree installed and decorated, see the picture and gallery bellow:

Christmas tree.

See also collection of my watercolors made based on the photos of my drinks taken at the cafe.

Pierre and Zbyšek.

Zbyšek and Duyen.

Christmas evening.

Coffee to go – when you are too big group to fit in or the cafe is full.

If you have made it to the end of the post, you can send a postcard to the cafe; the address:


Czech Republic

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

It was quite difficult to chose my favorite place for Weekly Photo Challenge, as I love almost every place I had a chance to visit, but finally I decided for one that really touched my heart.

I was there in October 2015 for the first time and I have been there for 4 weeks, not surprisingly I have chosen the place also for our holiday in summer 2017. Where is it? It is just a little suburb of Brighton in the UK called Shoreham-by-Sea.

In the first gallery pictures from early autumn morning walks to school around River Adur with typical houseboat colony.

I also got a chance to find nice friends in Shoreham / Lancing and it is also thank to them that I love the place so much.

Lake view.

For our visit in summer 2017 we found an accommodation right in the river in a houseboat in a shape of firetruck. The stay there was really pleasant and I fell in love with the place even more.

Beautiful view from the boat across the river to the city center during the day.

Shoreham over Adur.

And at night.

Nightview.

The Shoreham Fort at the mouth of the river.

Fort.

Gallery

And my try to get the city atmosphere on a picture.

Watercolor Shoreham by me.

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