Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

I discovered a great place to go to cool off on a sweltering summer's day (not that it is a sweltering summer day).  Not even close, actually.

Let me try this again...

I discovered a great place to go on a crisp autumn day to enjoy an ice cold beer (literally) and prep one's self for the winter days still to come.

Much better.

Where is this winter wonderland where nude ice ladies serve you ice-cold Absolut shots?

Ice Pub Prague located in Karlovy lázně, Smetanovo nábřeží 198/1, 
110 00 Praha 1, Old Town

Welcome to your very own igloo

Where the drinks are served ice-cold in a glass made of ice, naturally. 

The DJ spins...on ice

And the art is,!

So just how cold is it?  -7 degree Celsius, which is 19.4 degrees Fahrenheit.  So yeah, it's damn cold.
But don't fear, they'll provide you with a thermal eskimo suit & gloves.  

See, I don't even like the cold (allow me to clarify, I don't like anything below 75 degrees F), and I was smiling.  
**Maybe I had a few of those shots by this time...**

Note:  Guests are only allowed to stay inside for 30-minutes.  Don't worry, you won't turn into this...

Yet another reason why...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Independent Czechoslovak State Proclamation Day!

Today marks the most important national holiday of the year...

On October 28, 1918, Czechoslovakia was granted independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.  With Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk as its first president, Czechoslovakia arose as one of the succession states of Austria-Hungary at the end of WWI.

Wenceslas Square, October 28, 1918
The time between WWI and WWII, which was also a golden age for the culture, is now called "the First Republic".  It's a time when Czechoslovakia had a parliamentary democracy, concentrated 70% of the industry of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, and had an economy that was the strongest in the world.  Prague was similar to Paris then, as exemplified by the great Czech-French art nouveau painter, Alphonse Mucha.

First Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

Why must all good things come to an end??  
The First Republic era only lasted 20 years.  Czechoslovakia was betrayed by allies in 1938 in the Munich agreement, thus Nazi Germany legally occupied Sudetenland, the Czechoslovakian borders with Germany, and in 1939 the whole country was under protectorship of Hitler's Germany.

Map of Sudetenland 

After the second World War, the Nazi troops were replaced by Soviet troops, and the Czechs had to wait for the restoration of democracy until the end of 1989.  

We celebrate October 28th mainly to remember this happy era known as the First Republic.  The president's speech is televised and is followed by awarding medals to Czechs who have done great deeds.  Every year on this day, a few thousand of the Czech Republic's leading citizens are invited to the Independence Day ceremony at Prague Castle, where the great halls are open and delicious food and drink are served.

Independence Day Ceremony at the Spanish Hall...Prague Castle

So honor this special day with us... raise your glass to mark this day in 1918 when Czechoslovakia emerged from the shadows of the Austro-Hungarian Empire!

Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic

I See Dead People

Does it ever end?!  

We made yet another "top" list... this time Condé Nast Traveler's 10 Creepiest Catacombs You Can Actually Visit

Hmm, this is one I did not know about.  Must visit when I have the time.  I have been to the Sedlec Ossuary in  Kutná Hora, but never to this one in Brno.  Speaking of the ossuary, I must share my eerie photos with you.

But for now...

Brno, Czech Republic
Population: 50,000

The walls are literally made of bones in these tunnels, situated beneath the millennia-old town of Brno. While doing a pre-construction dig in 2001, archeologists discovered thousands of skeletal remains in the area beneath the Church of St. Jacob. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, the bones were arranged in orderly stacks; but years of mud, water, and neglect had knocked them into messy piles. What's a town to do? Clean and reorganize all the remains, of course, then open the resulting charnel house to the public. Skulls, femurs, and the like now fill walls, chambers, and pillars. And they're multicolored, too: Reddish ones died of the plague, while yellowish ones perished of cholera.
Tomas Hajek/Demotix/Corbis

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mmm Beer

Aside from Lokál, which I have not been to yet, I agree with their selections.  U Fleků and Klášterní Pivovar Strahov are two of my favorite places... old faithfuls if you will.   I'd say if you'll be visiting Prague, these 5 stops are a definite must.  Beer tour, anyone?

I've posted about Pivovar Strahov before and you can read it here, a well as Zlý Časy, which you will find here.

I think we can all agree that Homer Simpson says it best...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

If I were a dude, I would be Anthony Bourdain

How many foodies do I have out there?  I am not sure if I ever made it perfectly clear that I love to eat.  If I have not, my apologies, and please let me spell it out for you...

I also just stumbled upon this blog called Bohemian Bites, and I am quite literally drooling at this moment as I stare at the photo of my favorite Czech dish, svíčková - Mmmm, come to momma, lover.

Bohemian Bites has a recent post of restaurant openings and food discoveries and I was surprised, and quite pleased, to see the Bánh mì sandwich (am a huge fan of this Vietnamese concoction).  Essentially, it is a fresh, crusty French baguette filled with steamed, pan-roasted or oven-roasted seasoned pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, spreadable pork liver pâté, pickled shredded carrots, cucumber and daikon, cilantro & chili sauce.  Now there are other variations as well since Bánh mì is a term for breads, but this is the classic.
So good I want to stick my face in it

Now I have yet to try Mr. Bánh mì, but if you do or have, I would love to hear what you think.  He is located at Rumunská 30, Praha 2, Vinohrady and you can check him out on Facebook

PS a cold beer goes really well with Bánh mì, just sayin'.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Four Seasons Hotel - Stay with us!

Yet again, we make another Top list... this time it's our very own Four Seasons Hotel that made Conde Nast Traveler's  Top 25 Hotels in Europe: Readers' Choice Awards 2014

Who wouldn't want to stay here?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Czech Music... we're not all Folk

Did you ever stumble upon something and get super excited like a child that just found out that there is no bed time, candy is allowed for dinner, and Santa DOES exist and will bring you everything on the list you sent him to the North Pole?


Well, I just did.

I found this website

Ok, ok... for a lot of you this is NOT candy-for-dinner exciting, but for a Czech not in CZ who misses a lot of familiar songs, this is not only candy for dinner, this is being given the entire candy shop by Ole St. Nick on Christmas morning!

I will share one of my favorite Czech bands and songs with you...

Ready Kirken - select song 1+1

Am also a fan of Ewa Farna and her Mels me vubec rad hit 

And I can't forget this beauty...
Spomal by Peha 
Actually, this is such a great song that you should listen to the entire thing here:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Takin' it back...

That's right, once again the magic of Prague has made it's way onto yet another list...this time, for our toys.  

Photo by Michael Novotny for The New York Times
The Retro Hracky Toy Shop in Prague

Read the NY Times article entitled 12 Treasures of Europe ...I'll be damned if you're not as smitten with Krtek as I am.