A bit of this, a bit of that . . .

We are travelling to see family and our blog has suffered the consequences.  I seem to have time to read other people’s blogs, but haven’t organized myself enough to sit down and write on ours.  So, if you are still out there, waiting, I hope you enjoy some random things we saw in January of 2010.Cleaning in Metro station


The man in the yellow hat is wiping down the sides of the escalator in the Metro.  What an easy job. . . he just stands there while the escalator does all the work!  Most Metro’s are quite clean thanks to these guys.David Cerny art:  Man hanging


At first glance one wonders if they should call the police!  This actually is a sculpture by David Cerny, Prague’s controversial artist who has many interesting (and shocking sculptures) around the city.  Cerny uses the image of Sigmund Freud in this precarious position to communicate one’s need to consciously make the decision to live life or to let go.  Rather a deep subject and not to be taken lightly. . . thankfully this Hanging Man is hanging on!architectural art, arch support figures, Prague


Every time I saw these huge figures, which are often at the entrances of large buildings, I thought of Purgatory!!  Seriously, I would look up and instantly feel the tremendous crushing weight they have on their heads . . . and wonder if they were once real people who did naughty things!  I could almost hear them moaning and groaning.  But then, I am the one who thanks the tires on my car for all the work and punishment it takes just to get me from here to there!  Ha, ha.Charles Square, Eliska Krasnohorska statue


When we got off the tram in Charles Square the first thing we saw was this statue of Eliska Krasnohorska holding a yellow flower someone had given her, along with her book.  The day was cold and grey but people who saw the flower immediately had a smile on their face!  Eliska Krasnohorksa (1847-1926) was a Czech feminist author who wrote works of lyric poetry and literary criticism.  However, she is usually associated with children’s literature and translations, including works by Pushkin and Byron.  Krasnohorska wrote the libretti for several operas by Bedrich Smetana.  Somehow I think she would have approved of the yellow flower given her.Prague logo, spell Prague


How many ways can you spell Prague?  I loved this phone booth but in the days of mobiles and cell phones I wonder if it will one day be a monument? roses in Prague in winter


How to keep cheery in January!  I love flowers and was more than pleased when Michael surprised me with these beautiful roses. 

A Name Too Hard to Pronounce

The Metro stop and the square just around the corner of our apartment, had a name that was so difficult for us that we never did learn how to pronounce it.  Jihiro z Podebrad.    (It translates into George of Podebrady who was a 15th century Hussite King).  While the name doesn’t actually look too hard to pronounce, it was.  And it doesn’t sound ANYTHING like it looks.  This got us into trouble once, which I will tell later in the blog.

Namesti Jihiro z Podebrad  has a very interesting building.  Two years ago when we first saw this building, we had no clue what it was.  One of us guessed an old Railroad Station because it had a big clock on top or something left over from the Communist days.  Both of us were wrong.  On this visit in 2010, we discovered it is a very modern church, built in the years 1928 – 1932 by a Slovenian architect. It is a Catholic church called the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord.Church of Sacred Heard, Jiriz de Podebrad, Prague


The clock is a bit hard to see, it is in the middle, below the roof with the cross.

We lived close enough to hear the church bell toll the hours.  That is something I find quite lovely.  One day I went over and tried to go inside, but the huge doors were locked.  Then, one day when walking home from grocery shopping, loaded down with bags, I heard the bells chime 6 PM.  People were walking over and going inside;  mothers with baby carriages, construction workers in their working clothes, old people and well dressed office workers.  I realized it was time for the evening Mass.  I had a sudden inspiration to follow!

Once inside, the beauty of the decor overwhelmed me.  Wanting to observe only, I stood in the back.  I wanted to take pictures, but of course I had no camera with me, anyway I didn’t think it would be proper to take them during  Mass.inside church at Podebrad square, Prague

Again, my pictures don’t do it justice, but those balls you see hanging from the ceiling on fine wires are actually loud speakers and made of wood!  The floor has round circles also.  Saints were standing on Greek style marble pillars. The architect was inspired by Egyptian temples and early Christian basilicas.  I was so in love with it, that I ended up staying almost the entire hour!  I kept thinking to myself over and over, WOW!  And this is just a neighborhood church!  I couldn’t wait to go home and tell Michael about it. (He did get a chance at a later time to get inside and take this picture.)

During the Christmas Season, most neighborhood squares set up small outdoor market stalls.  The selection here on this square was mostly sausages, a few candles and some small homemade crafts.Podebrad Christmas market

What I enjoyed most were the snacks.  Besides hot spiced wine they served trdlo, a soft yeast dough which is wrapped around a hot metal pin and baked into a cylinder, then rolled in ground nuts, cinnamon and sugar.trdlo, cinnamon donuts in Prague Christmas markets

Now back to the name, Jihiro z Podebrad and how it got us into trouble.

We were riding the Metro and getting somewhat near our stop when an announcement came several times over the loudspeaker. Michael hopefully asked me, “Did you understand what is being said?”  Sometimes I do understand, but this time, I had no clue.  We just shrugged our shoulders and paid no more attention.

We got to our stop and got off with some lively youngsters.  As we turned the corner we suddenly saw that the escalator was not moving!  Huh?  Then. . . it dawned on us THAT was what the announcement was about.  Warning people who wanted the Jihiro z Podebrad stop NOT to get off  but to go to to the next stop and take the tram from there to wherever they needed to go.  Oh, my gosh!  If only we understood the Czech language better we would not be down here watching those youngsters run up the steps like mountain goats!  Oh well, we figured if we took it slow we would be fine, but before we got to the top our lungs were huffing and puffing and our legs were like lead!   I felt very very old, indeed!Prague has very deep Metro stations

How it looks from the top going down.looking up metro escalator


. . . and how it looks from somewhere in the middle looking up!

When we got to the top of the escalator, we had to tackle another short  flight of steps to the street level.  This particular exit brought us out directly in front of a bakery where we went in to have a coffee and catch our breath before tackling the steps to our 3rd floor apartment!

What a way to stay in shape!

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