Yes, yes, I know. I suck at this whole 'blogging' thing. It's not that I haven't wanted
to blog in the last, oh, month and a half. Really, I have. But then I get distracted by my students or a concert or knitting or, hey, is that a shiny object?
You get the idea.
As an act of contrition, I offer you these long, long
overdue pictures of my Czech-Hungarian holiday. Enjoy!
The Astronomical Clock in Prague's main square. Not only can it tell you what the time is (in both 12 and 24 hr time), but also the movements of the planets, the signs of the zodiac, the progress of the seasons, and when your own particular 'name day' is.
The church of St James (foreground) and the Castle (background) in Prague.
I stumbled on this fountain completely by accident. I was hopelessly lost (this happens with amazing frequency in Prague) and discovered this sculptural tribute to the musicians of the Czech Republic.This
particular fountain is aptly called 'Piss', and you can find it outside the Kafka museum. The two men are... ahem.. 'writing' famous literary quotations in the puddle (which is shaped like the Czech Republic). If you like, you can send the man on the right a text message, and he'll spell out your personal message instead!
This is Prague's patron saint, St Nepomuk, who was martyred by being thrown off the Charles Bridge, from the very point at which this statue stands. There's a brass engraving just beneath the statue that you can touch for luck- though being flung off a bridge doesn't exactly make him the luckiest guy.
There was also plenty of music to be found in Prague. I hung out at Mozart's house...
...and visited Dvorak and Smetana- well, what was left of them.
After six days in Prague, I went to the southern Czech town of Cesky Krumlov.
It was one of the prettiest places I've ever been. It was far quieter than Prague, so I spent much of my time relaxing, hiking, eating and...
...drinking the finest locally-brewed pilsner beer it has been my privilege to sample. (Note: this is a standard
serving size for beer in Eastern Europe).
After Cesky Krumlov, I caught the train to Budapest.
Budapest as seen from the roof of St Stephen's Basilica. The hills you can see beyond the river are the 'Buda' side of the city, and the flat terrain on this side of the river is the 'Pest' side.
The angel Gabriel at Heroes' Square.
St Stephen. All Hungary's early kings (of whom Stephen was the first) automatically became Saints. I think they've beefed up the requirements on Sainthood since then.
This weeping willow sculpture stands in the grounds of the Budapest Synagogue, and is a tribute to Hungarian Jews who died during the Holocaust. Each leaf on the tree represents a person who lost their life.
There was plenty of music in Budapest, too. Here, I show revered composer and cleric Franz Liszt all the dignity and respect he deserves.
Here, I am very, very pleased to be at the Liszt Academy of music. (This photo was mostly taken to incite envy in my friend Jordan, who is a Liszt fan of the highest order).
I managed to see a couple of wonderful concerts at the Academy, too.My
favourite Hungarian composer, Bela Bartok, had no academy- but I did find a street named after him.
You guys are probably all photoed out by now-I know I am, and I went on the damn trip- but if you'd ever like to see more, I have about 350 more for you peruse. And that's just the good
Next time: knitting!