Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Filip!)

Today we honor Filip.  Happy name Day, Filip!
Filip is the Czech form of Philip, which is of Greek origin and means "horse lover". 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Viola!)

Today we honor Viola.  Happy Name Day, Viola!
Viola is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "violet".  Viola was the heroine in Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night".

Monday, May 24, 2010

And the Gold is ours!!!

The Czech Republic took home the Gold yesterday after defeating Russia 2-1.  Our first since 2005, and very much deserved.  We're proud of you boys!!!!

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Jana!)

Today we honor Jana.  Happy Name Day, Jana!
Jana is the Slavic variant of Jane.  It's of Hebrew origin, meaning "God's grace".

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Vladimir!)

Today we honor Vladimir.  Happy Name Day, Vladimir!
Vladimir is of Slavic origin, and its meaning is "renowned prince". 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Victory is sweet...Gold will be sweeter!

Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival will be going up against Blueshirts forward Artem Anisimov as both players pursue Gold tomorrow at the IIHF World Championship tournament in Cologne, Germany.

Rozsival and the Czech Republic upset Sweden with a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory in today's first semifinal, which went all the way to an overtime shootout.  Anisimov and his Russian teammates then held off host Germany in a 2-1 in the second semifinal, setting up a gold-medal game showdown between two of hockey's most bitter historic rivals.

Russia will be going fore a third straight gold medal, while the Czechs will be looking for their first gold since 2005.  Both Rozsival and Anisimov are now both assured of winning their first World medals, since the loser of tomorrow's game will take home silver.  Tomorrow's bronze medal  match will pit Germany vs Sweden.

I know what I'll be doing tomorrow...cold pivo in hand.  
Gooooooooo CZECHS!!!!

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Emil!)

Today we honor Emil.  Happy Name Day, Emil!
Emil is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "eager".

Friday, May 21, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Monika!)

Today we honor Monika.  Happy Name Day, Monika!
Monika is the Czech form of Monica.  Monica is possibly of Greek origin, meaning "solitary", or of Latin origin, meaning "to advise".  Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, prayed for her son and saved him from self-destruction.  As a result, Saint Augustine became one of the greatest saints in history.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First stop..The Kácov Brewery

Ah, to be back on Czech soil, and do you know where I want to go first?  That's right, Pivovar Kacov! (it's kind of a tradition by now).  Won't you please join me for some delicious nectar ...

It's crazy to think that this is one of the oldest breweries in the back to 1457!  For almost two centuries, the Kacov Brewery belonged to the ruling Habsburg Dynasty.  Nationalized after World War I, the brewery was closed down in 1957, but re-opened in 1993 thanks to two entrepreneurs from Prague.  The current owner, Pivovar Kacov, Ltd., supplies this delicious brew to his own pub, which is located on the brewery grounds, as well as several establishments in the area as well as in Prague.  
So what will it be...the 10-degree, 12-degree, or the special 13-degree stout?

Na Zdravi!

Hungry? (keep a piece of bread...I'll show you why when we leave)

Kacov castle looms overhead, but who is that I see?

Some windows have nobility figures painted on them.  Legend says it's for the servants working in the fields to think that they are constantly being watched over.  Perhaps she'd like to join us for a pivo!  

View across the Sazava seen from Pivovar Kacov

There are always ducks to feed...

So hand over that bread I told you to save!

Kacov as seen from across the river

I am so intrigued by this little ole' time I'll ride it from village to village and explore

V Podskali 6
285 09 Kacov nad Sazavou

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Zbyšek!)

Today we honor Zbyšek.  Happy Name Day, Zbyšek!
Zbyšek is of Slavonic origin and its meaning is "to dispel anger".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Ivo!)

Today we honor Ivo.  Happy Name Day, Ivo!
Ivo is of French origin, and its meaning is "yew".

Belated Happy Name Days!

I sure do miss Prague already although I've only been back a day...sigh.
Lots and lots of places to bring you to, but let me start by wishing a belated Happy Name day to the following people:

May 9 - Ctibor
Ctibor is of Slovak origin meaning fight with respect; to fight honorably

May 10 - Blažena
Blažena is of latin origin meaning and is predominantly used in Czech.  Blažena is a form of Beatrix, which means  traveller, pilgrim, bringer of joy.

May 11 - Svatava
Svatava is of Czech origin, and the meaning of the name has been debated.  The name is an ancient Czech name of old Slavonic origins. It shares its name with a river and a village in the Czech Republic.  Some sources believe it was a Czech vernacular form (or a direct translation) of Liutgarda (guardian) being a derivative of the Slavic, svet (strong) and hence roughly translating to something like “guard.”  Others believe it may be from the Slavic element svyat (world) or svyetlo (light).

May 12 - Pankrác
I'm not able to find much info for the name Pankrác, but Saint Pancras was a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity, and was beheaded for his faith at the age of just 14 around the year 304. His name is Greek and literally means "the one that holds everything".

May 13 - Servác
Servác is of Latin orign

May 14 - Bonifác
Bonifác is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "fortunateauspicious". 

May 15 -  Žofie
 Žofie is the Czech variant of Sophia, which is of of Greek origin, and its meaning is "wisdom".  This was the name of an early, probably mythical, saint who died of grief after her three daughters were martyred.  Legends about her probably arose as a result of a medieval misunderstanding of the phrase Hagia Sophia "Holy Wisdom", which was the name of a large basilica in Constantinople.

May 16 - Přemysl
Přemysl is the Czech form of PRZEMYSŁ, which is from an old Slavic name which meant "trick, stratagem".  This was the name of a 13th-century king of Poland. 

May 17 - Aneta
Aneta is the Czech form of Annette, which is of French origin and means "gracious; merciful".

May 18 - Nataša
Nataša is of Latin origin, and its meaning is "birthday".

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pardon me while I get a little R&R...

I'm taking some time off in my beloved please pardon the lack of posts
Praha...miluju te!

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Stanislav!)

Today we honor Stanislav.  Happy Name Day Stanislav!
Stanislav is the Czech form of Stanley, which is of Old English origin and its meaning is "stony meadow".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives. - Socrates

I love all things related to aviation, thus I want to share this event with those of you who share my passion...

Europe's Festival of Aviation is being held at Pribram Airport in Prague!  So come on out May 28-30th for the festivities.  There will be air displays, demo flights, skydiving, and more (see details at  For those of you flying your own aircraft in, the airport identifier is LKPM, but you must book your landing slot.

While you're there, besides touring Prague (of course!), I suggest visiting Kbley Aviation Museum - it's one of the largest aviation museums in Europe.  The museum is located in Prague 9, about 50 km from Pribram Airfield, and is open daily (except for Monday) from 9:30 am - 6 pm.  Best of all, it's free!

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Radoslav!)

Today we honor Radoslav.  Happy Name Day, Radoslav!
Roadslav is of Slavic origin, meaning "joyful; glorious".

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today is the anniversary of Květnové povstání českého lidu, 1945 (The Prague Uprising, 1945)

The Prague Uprising was an attempt by the Czech resistance to liberate the city of Prague from German occupation during World War II.  Events began on May 5, 1945, in the last moments of the war in Europe.  The uprising went until May 8, 1945, ending in a ceasefire the day before the arrival of the Red Army and one day after the Victory in Europe Day.

Residents & defenders of the Prague Uprising barricades greet the Red Army tanks on May 9, 1945

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Květoslav)

Today we honor Květoslav.  Happy Name Day, Květoslav!
Květoslav is of Slavic origin and is derived from kvet "flower" and slav "glory".

Monday, May 3, 2010

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Alexej!)

Today we honor Alexej.  Happy Name Day, Alexej!
Alexej is the Czech and Slovak form of Alexis, which is of Greek origin and means "helper; defender".

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A hidden refreshing gem in Kácov

I'm about to share a hidden gem with you.  Heck, I'll even take you there!  Let's head on over to a picturesque little village that lies on the banks of the Sazava river and is a mere 20 minute drive from Prague.

Welcome to Kacov!

The first mention of Kacov dates back to 1318.  One of the village's most distinguishable monuments is the renaissance-baroque castle, which was built in 1726-1733 by Princess Anna Maria of Tuscany.  The other monument is a unique statue made of red sandstone of the Virgin Mary and the Fourteen Holy Helpers 

The castle is in disrepair and unfortunately not open to the public.  I would love to see it brought back to its original form...

Now the reason I really brought you here is for this perfect hidden gem of a pivovar (brewery)...Founded in 1457, it's one of the oldest breweries in the Czech Republic.  It's located in an ancient building on the bank of the Sazava River.

Shall we?... this is a good beer!

Na Zdravi!

Apparently we can't leave without beer...bring an empty bottle/jug/barrel, and they'll fill 'er up for you!

Employees of the brewery in 1903

Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best on your name day, Zikmund!)

Today we honor Zikmund.  Happy Name Day, Zikmund!
Zikmund is the Czech form of Sigmund, which is of Old German origin, and its meaning is "victorious hand or protector".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Today is Labor Day (Svátek práce) in the Czech Republic ...

For some May 1st represents A Day for Lovers, yet for others it commemorates the historic achievements of the Labor movement in the world...and some people recall the communist era in the Czech Republic.  Why?

The celebrations of May 1st are in many people's mind connected to the huge celebrations during the communist regime. for over forty years, their were float parades in all big cities in the then Czechoslovakia.  The biggest parade was, of course, in Prague, to be more precise, in Letna Plain (a large empty plain in Prague 7).

Participation was mandatory.  People had to go if they didn't want any trouble, thus every year on May 1st, Letna Plain saw the same scenario - thousands of people waving little Czechoslovak and Soviet flags at the communist party officials who were seated on a tribune decorated in red, with huge pictures of Marxist leaders and signs "With Soviet Union Forever".  For everyone, this was a waste of time, but mandatory.

Thank God this era is gone and people don't have to go to Letna Plain on May 1st anymore and fake their enthusiasm.  Since the fall of communism, there is still the occasional demonstration on May 1st at Letna Plain ...anti-communist demonstrations.

No wonder Czechs prefer to celebrate Love Day rather than Labor Day!  Labor Day brings bitter memories, whereas Love Day brings, well, love!

May 1st is a Day for find that blossoming cherry tree and kiss your love!

On the first of May, lovers are supposed to kiss under a blossoming cherry tree to ensure a year of good health.  Also, a girl should be kissed under a cherry blossom so that she will stay beautiful all year round.  Finding a cherry tree in Prague can be difficult, so kissing under any blossoming tree will do!  
(Psssst...I'll tell you a secret... there's one at Vysehrad)

Another tradition is to meet at the statue of Karel Hynek Mácha.  Why?  Mácha was a Czech romantic poet, and today he stands on Petřín Hill.  
Couples who kiss in front of his statue believe that their love will be as strong as the stone that the statue is made from.  Mácha is best known for his lyrical epic poem, Máj, which is a poem about a tragic love between two young people.  A well-known verse is:

It was late evening, on the first of May,
The eve of May was the time of love.
The turtle-dove's voice called to love,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.

Máj is regarded as a classic work of Czech Romanticism, and is considered one of the best Czech poems ever written.