Showing posts from 2013

Bye for now

This blog has been fun to write, as I began my new life in Prague beginning in August 2010. Lots of people have read my posts, and I consider this blog a great success!

But all good things end, and our time of living in Prague is coming to a close. We'll move back to the USA in early November 2013, and I won't be writing in this blog anymore. I will leave it up, so people can enjoy the photos and tips it contains. I have several other blogs you may enjoy: experiences as a writer over the past 50 years, and how you can benefit from it! what it sounds like

If you want to be in touch, you can go to my business website,, for information on how to contact me. Thanks for reading "praguepies"!

Seven things for which I am thankful to Prague

I have had a family-based relationship with Prague since 1990, and have lived here full-time with my Czech-American husband since 2010. Even so, this city is still a mystery to me on many levels, but I can say that I am thankful to Prague for seven reasons.

1. Prague is beautiful. Of course it is. But then, many cities have places and buildings that are monumental, gorgeous, dignified, breath-taking and awe-inspiring. It's just than Prague has so many of them, and they are spread out all over the city. There is the Old Town (stare mesto)

Then there is Mala Strana:

Then there is Charles IV's New Town:

What's new?

It's that time of year (late July) that I think of as the doldrums. It's hot, it's humid, the leaves on the trees hang limp and uninteresting. I just looked up doldrums in Wikipedia to see where the word comes from:

The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage, in which it refers to those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm. The low pressure is caused by the heat at the equator, which makes the air rise and travel north and south high in the atmosphere, until it subsides again in the horse latitudes. Some of that air returns to the doldrums through the trade winds. This process can lead to light or variable winds and more severe weather, in the form of squalls, thunderstorms and hurricanes. The doldrums are also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats f…

Do I dare relax?

This has been a very tumultuous spring in Prague. I'd like to consider two elements of living here that have been turbulent and unsettling for everyone in Prague, not just my husband and me.

The weather
It has been a long, dull, grey, rainy stretch of weather from the beginning of February, when we returned to Prague from Florida, up to now. I could count on two hands the number of memorably beautiful days--one was St Patricks Day in March, one was April 17 (the day before my birthday), one was May 19, and three were last week, when we went to Moravia for a spa holiday. The other days have been chilly, overcast and/or raining in buckets.

We had dramatic flooding in the CR (and all around Central Europe) early in June, resulting in billions of euros of damage and the death of 15 people.  

Even as late as yesterday, we had more rain and more localized flooding. It's sunny today but not warm--14 degrees Celsius, which is 52 degrees Fahrenheit, not exactly balmy for the end of June. 


Floods in Bohemia and Saxony, and summer days in Praha

My last post was written about a week before the Elbe floods that washed over the places we had just visited: Bad Schandau, Hrensko, and the Czech/German border. The floods have abated (there and here in Prague) and we have leapt straight from a wet, cold spring to a hot, hot summer.

We lived through the trauma of the floods in Prague during the first week in June, to which you must add the trauma of the mayor being deposed just before the floods (I have no idea how this was done, but it was legal, I guess--one day the mayor is the mayor, the next day he is whisked from City Hall with no real explanation), and then the trauma of the Prime Minister's most trusted assistant being led away from his offices in handcuffs by masked policemen.

 It was rainy and cool every day for the first 2.5 weeks of June, so that mold grew on a towel in the kitchen--ugh. It was not a great lead-in to summer.

We booked ourselves a spa stay in Moravia, just to get away from it all. Then the weather turn…

Dresden, Nazis and blood on the ground

We recently had a holiday in Bad Schandau, one of our favorite spas on the Elbe in Saxony, a quick getaway in all seasons. We love Bad Schandau for several reasons:

its picturesque charm
its position on the Elbe among sandstone cliffs (Schrammstein)
its ease of access, with trains, boats and highways all around
its nearness to the Saxon-Bohemia Switzerland National Park
 the state-of-the-art thermal spa facility, Toscana Therme
The best part is that Bad Schnadau is just over the border with Germany, so it's an easy train ride/car ride to get there, less than two hours door to door. It's really an ideal holiday choice for us. And if we get restless, we can hop on a boat or a commuter train to Dresden, 45 minutes downstream.

Because of my interest in Bad Schandau, I have read several books (in English) about the region. If you take Dresden as the midpoint, Schmilka as the upriver endpoint and Meissen as the downriver endpoint, this stretch of the Elbe in Saxony is a tourist dream: vi…