Europe has seen war and peace; Queen Elizabeth believes that respect for all people is the beginning of peace.

The message of peace and goodwill is universal. Here the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, muses on what's important in life from her vantage point of being 92 years old.

The real story behind the carol "Good King Wenceslas"

"Good King Wenceslas may be one of the most popular carols ever written – but the story behind it is bizarre and gruesome

The man we know as ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was actually Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. He was also known as Vaclac the Good, or Svatý Václav in Czech and lived from c.907 to 28 September 935. And the reason we have his exact date of death is that he was assassinated – on the orders of his brother, appropriately named Boleslaus the Cruel."
After his death
Wenceslas was regarded as a martyr and saint almost immediately after his death...His remains are in St Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague and his Saint’s Day is a public holiday in the Czech Republic.
The carol So there’s something to think about next time you sing Good King Wenceslas....It’s become one of the best loved carols ever written – and was even performed by The Beatles.

Gearing up for Christmas: Prague's vanocnitrhy

Every year in November, Christmas markets, craft fairs, and festivals begin to appear all over the Czech Republic. 

Here are three big ones in Prague: Náměstí Republiky, Náměstí Míru, and Tylovo náměstí

Each market is open till Christmas and offers a welcoming atmosphere that puts you in the holiday mood!

You can buy hand-made crafts for gifts, food, and glühwein (roughly translated as "glowing-wine," from the temperature the wine is boiled to), a hot, spicy wine drink that will make you glow with Christmas cheer!

Here are some photos of Jarda, me, and friends at the Christmas markets:

For detailed information, click this link:

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right I have been one acquainted with the night.

Prague wakes up!

My first trip to Prague was at Christmas in 1990. The Velvet Revolution had happened only a year earlier, and the city was awakening after its Nazi and Communist slumbers. I fell in love with its streets and buildings, its river and bridges, and its sturdy, down-to-earth people.

A bit of 20th-century history
As the 1900s began, Prague was just another provincial city of the Hapsburg empire. It slumbered in relative peace, far from political storms and ambitions.

But soon it was swept into WWI, its citizens conscripted to fight for the Emperor in a complicated war that punctured the European status quo and remade the map. After the war ended, Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent country and prospered as a liberal democracy.

Until 1938, when Hitler's Nazi troops took over the city as WWII gathered steam. Till 1945, the people of Prague kept their heads down and waited for liberation.

From 1945-1948, the country was free again. But the 1948 elections brought Communists into power,…

Read all about the wonders and treasures of the Golden City--Prague!

We've made it free! The ebook version of Prague for Beginners will be free for you from June 11-15. All you have to do is visit the page and download your own free copy.

If you don't have an e-reader, you can download the free app at the same time. Then you can read it on your smart phone, your tablet, or your computer--all for free.

Here's the link to get your free copy: