Archive for the ‘Prague’ Category

Charles Bridge Museum Café

April 2, 2016
Charles Bridge Museum Café

Charles Bridge Museum Café

cappuccino

cappuccino

cake

cake

A lovely little coffee shop within the museum on the Prague Old Town side of Charles Bridge.

Cappuccino was passable, but served in a cold mug. Cake was fine. Ambience fine.

But 20 crown to use the toilet. That is around a euro. A blatant rip-off.

I bent the ear of the guy serving the coffee, as did several girls who also wished to use the toilet.

He said it was not his fault, which is fair comment, and to his credit, he knocked 20 crown off my bill.

On my way out, I thought I would inquire how much to visit the museum. After about five minutes wait, I gave up.

I saw one of the sailors touting boat trips and asked him.

He said inquire. I said I tried, and there was no information anywhere. He said he thought 175 crowns, but recommended go on a boat trip for I think he said 275 crowns and the museum was free.

Sadly the charge to use the toilet, being ignored when inquiring of entrance fee to the museum, is all too typical of poor service and rip-off tourist mentality that is all too prevalent in Prague.

Technoshock

April 1, 2016
Technoshock

Technoshock

I found Technoshock, a string quartet, playing on Charles Bridge in Prague.

They were good, but let down by a poor choice of repertoire.

We had a chat and I suggested they placed their music on bandcamp.

Technoshock albums

Technoshock albums

I picked up all three of their CDs.

Buying CDs off the street is always something of a risk. Sadly I found their CDs to be something of a disappointment.

Bridge Band

March 30, 2016
Bridge Band

Bridge Band

Bridge Band

Bridge Band

I found this jazz band playing on Charles Bridge.

They are good.

No surprise then their CD selling like hot cakes.

We had a chat.

I suggested they put their music on bandcamp.

Bandcamp would also be a better way to sell their CD, than as they are doing at present through a poorly designed website.

Jan Křtitel Novák, the singer, author of lyrics, is the founder of the band, which came into existence soon after the Velvet Revolution (1989) with the intent to play at Charles Bridge.

Charles Bridge

March 30, 2016
Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Construction of Charles Bridge (Karlův most) started in 1357, so named because built in the reign of Charles IV, connects Prague Old Town to Prague Castle. It was completed in 1402.

Either side of the bridge is lined by saints.

Either end of the bridge are Bridge Towers.

On the bridge people touting their wares, musicians.

Bridge Band and Electroshock are very good.  Their CDs a must to buy. Or so I thought. Buying CDs off the street always a risk. On later listening, I sadly found something of a disappointment.

Bridge Band were selling CDs like hot cakes. But then they were good.

Electroshock need to improve their repertoire.

Charles Bridge early hours of the morning

Charles Bridge early hours of the morning

During the day, the bridge is very crowded.  Early hours of the morning the bridge is deserted.

The bridge is pedestrianised.

Old photos of Charles Bridge show trams running across the bridge.

One of the best views of the bridge is at night from the downstream bridge, with stunning views of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.

German occupation in Prague

March 29, 2016
vintage cars

vintage cars

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague 21

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

German occupation in Prague

Saturday, a little over a week ago, St Joseph’s Day, I wandered down to the river, to then walk along to Charles Bridge.

I cut down a side street which I thought would take me in the right direction.

I found a van spraying the street. A murder scene, cleaning off the blood?

Then I  thought I had encountered a vintage car rally, then a man in a German uniform, Nazi insignia.

What was going on?

Had I entered a time warp?

It appears I had walked onto a film set.

St Nicholas Church

March 28, 2016
St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church

A fine example of a Baroque church that dominates one corner of the Old Town Square in Old Prague.

St Nicholas Church was completed in 1735, and replaced a parish church mentioned in records dating back to 1273. Its construction was by the Jesuits, designed by Giovanni Domenico Orsi.

A Gothic parish church consecrated by Prague Bishop Tobiáš in 1283 stood at the site until 1743.  Construction lasted approximately one hundred years, and three generations of Baroque architects – father, son and son-in-law – worked on the church: Kryštof Dientzenhofer, Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer and Anselmo Lurago.

The Baroque organ has over 4,000 pipes up to six metres in length and was played by Mozart in 1787. His Mass in C was first performed in the Church of Saint Nicholas shortly after his visit. Jesuit Thomas Schwarz built the small and main organs as well as many others in Bohemia. Built in 1745-47, the main organ has over 4,000 pipes up to six metres in length.

St Nicholas Church hosts many excellent concerts.  I regrettably attended not one.

This would be an excellent venue for The Sixteen, performing music of the period, especially if using the original manuscripts held in The Lobkowicz Collection in The Lobkowicz Palace.

Jazz No Problem

March 27, 2016
Jazz No Problem

Jazz No Problem

Jazz No Problem were one of several excellent musicians I found playing in the street.

Jazz No Problem can be found in Old Prague in various locations.

The shops and the sheds may be selling tourist crap, but one can find good music on the street.

Instead of buying tourist tat, support live music.

I bought both their CDs.

We had a chat.

I suggested they post their music on bandcamp, have a sign saying they are on bandcamp. Then when people find them on the street, they can spread the word to their friends, and on bandcamp, apart from making their music available, they can list where they can be found on the street and at what time.

Always a risk, buying off the street, what will the quality be like?

No worries, The Moonglow an excellent recording.

Different to on the street, piano, percussion.

Let us hope these guys get their music up onto bandcamp.

In the meantime, if you see them in Prague, pick up a few CDs.

Easter in Prague

March 27, 2016
Easter in Prague

Easter in Prague

An Easter Market, sheds selling tourist tat everywhere.

Outside St Nicholas Church, a wonderful Easter Egg.

Mama’s Baking

March 26, 2016
delicious cakes

delicious cakes

This is a lovely little coffee shop, not been open many weeks, home-baked cakes, two lovely Russian speaking girls, opposite Cafe-Cafe.

I tried the coffee, not bad not good.

They need to buy in much higher quality beans, and the girls improve their skill at coffee making.

But far superior to Cafe-Cafe, which is an excuse to part pretentious fools from their money.

I would suggest buy beans from La Bohème, a quality coffee roaster.

Beware black market money changers

March 26, 2016

In the Old Town Square, admiring the Easter Egg outside St Nicolas, a man sidled up, asked where I was from.

He then asked did I wish to change pounds to crowns?

No.

Did I wish to change euros to crowns?

No.

I then explained I had pounds, euros and crowns, therefore why would I wish to change anything?

He then sidled off.

The scam that is taking place is that they do an exchange, claim a better exchange rate, but then they are every clever. They do not give fake money, they give Bulgarian money (which is worthless), it looks similar and the tourist none the wiser.


%d bloggers like this: