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Prague プラハ

May 20, 2009

Prague is a city I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember.  Even after such a short visit I can well understand why a friend of mine stayed in Prague for seven years.  It would be an easy city to live in.  It’s definitely a pedestrian’s city and I tried to take full advantage by walking the better part of 12 hour days (though I really love their trams too).  Breaks consisted of eating and/or drinking.  I loved the fact that the Czech version of fast food includes smokies and a beer.  Since it was Easter, there was a lot of great food to be had (including more smokies and beer) at the Easter markets set up all over the city.  Oh, and after the hit-and-miss of Hong Kong, it was fabulous to be able to get an amazing cup of coffee at any of the many open-air cafes dotting the city, particularly since the weather was amazing for my entire trip.

昔からプラハに行きたかったんです。僕の友達は七年でプラハに住んでいました。旅行後本当に分かっています。プラハの生活はいいと思います。プラハには歩く安いです。でもトラムと地下鉄も乗りやすいです。大部分プラハに10−12時間を散歩しました。チェコのファストフードはスモーキーとビールです。すてきな〜。でも、外にカフェ多いがあるのでいっぱいおいしいコーヒを飲んだ。

I’ve lived in Japan with its lengthy history but there’s a difference between Japan and Prague (and most of Europe I imagine); unless you go to a temple or a specific historical area in Japan, you don’t really feel the history of the place but in Prague and the Czech Republic, you’re surrounded by it.  It was a bit surreal for me to be walking by buildings that are still being used as shops and apartments and seeing the dates stamped above the doors going back to the 15 – 1600’s.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the people that had lived there and what had happened over the centuries.  Also, if you’re a fan of architecture you get to see examples of all major styles: medieval, gothic, neo-gothic, art deco and cubist.

もちろん、日本とプラハの歴史は長いですけど雰囲気はぜんぜんちがうです。日本には歴史の雰囲気がお寺や大切な所だけです。プラハには歴史の雰囲気がどこにもです。アパートとか店とかどこにも古館があります。その建物の内に誰か住んでいましたか。何をしましたか。面白いでしょうね。

Art is everywhere in Prague and I don’t mean only in museums.  There’re a lot of public installations all over the city and more than once something would appear overnight in a park.  One “artistic” aspect of Prague that was a bit of a surprise at first was the graffiti all over the city.  According to my friend, a bit of a leftover from the communist era; bitterness combined with the lack of a governmental department to get rid of it means that it stays unless the building owner removes it himself.  Everywhere I travel to, I try to buy some sort of local art product and this time was no exception.  At first, I was considering a picture from one of the many artists pandering to the tourists but that changed as soon as I saw the marionettes on display.  But again, I don’t want to buy just for the sake of buying; I want something unique, something that speaks to me (though in the case of a marionette, not literally as that would just be creepy).  I found what I was looking for at Truhlar Marionettes.  Since the Czech Republic has such a long history of puppet theatre, it was the perfect addition to my art collection.

芸術はどこにもを見えます。美術館だけじゃないです。写真とか彫刻とか絵を見えます。グラフェテイアートも多いあります。ちょっとびっくりした。旅行する時芸術を買うことが好きです。でも面白いのが買いたいです。チェコには文楽の歴史が長いですので木偶がほしかったんです。たくさんマリオネットがあるけど唯一つのを買いたかったです。絶好のを発見しました。木で手作りのです。「冬さん」と言います。楽しかったです。

Honestly, there’s no way I can possibly put down all that I saw during my trip and hopefully the photos will speak for me (they are supposed to be worth a thousand words after all).  Of course I saw the main parts of the city like the Hradcany (castle) area, and down from the castle into Mala Strana (little quarter).  If there was a disappointment in the trip it was the fact that Charles bridge was undergoing restoration work so both ends were covered in scaffolds and the centre of the bridge was torn up.  Across the bridge though is Stare Mesto (Old town) and Nove Mesto (New town).  New Town is a bit of a misnomer as it dates back to 1348.  It just happens to be newer than Old town.  These areas were great to wander around but are the main tourist areas.  To really get a sense of Prague, go farther afield.  You’ll also pay a hell of a lot less for your sausages and beer.

実はこのポストに全部面白ことを書いてないです。たくさん面白い所に行きました。ツーチストの所は面白いけど値段は高いし込み合ったです。本当のプラハを見たいですか。ほかの所行ったほうがいいです。そこにもスモーキーとビールのほうが安いでしょうね。

4 Comments leave one →
  1. sfrack permalink
    May 24, 2009 9:34 pm

    What a great job you did in documenting your trip. Prague is on my list of ‘musts’. Once again, I am wanting to follow in your footsteps.
    I have added you to my blog roll. I want to continue to follow your travels and your writing, both of which I enjoy. Hope you will be interested in reciprocating. I write mostly about music education, but travel is very important to me. i have written about exchanges to Japan, but have visited many other countries. Cheers!
    sfrack.wordpress.com

    Like

  2. Gordon permalink*
    May 25, 2009 8:08 am

    Thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoy the posts. That’s why I do them!

    Like

  3. Peter permalink
    June 13, 2009 4:33 pm

    Very nice pictures!

    Like

  4. June 13, 2009 7:32 pm

    Thanks. Thanks too for attaching the clip from YouTube. Very interesting.

    Like

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