dimanche, février 28, 2010

Prague Day 2 & 3

On our second day at Prague, we decided to visit the Museum of Antonín Dvořák. I love his Symphony No.9, “From the New World” and am interested to know more about his life. Actually, Dvorak had never stayed in this house. This small building housed his works including manuscripts of sheet music and correspondence. It also guided us through the life of Dvorak.The house itself was also a masterpiece displaying beautiful drawings and paintings on the walls and ceilings. After our short visit, we headed down to Charles Bridge and crossed the Vtlava River. Part of the bridge was closed for works and there were many artists and painters selling their creations.

At the other side, we reached the Lesser Quarter side. We visited this charming and calm part of Prague and settled for lunch here. We saw this watermill that was turning and along the fence, there were many padlocks. There was no explanation around so we had no idea if there was any special meaning to that. Nevertheless, it was intriguing.
After lunch, we continued walking up towards the Prague Castle. The Prague Castle contained a cluster of buildings and the castle ground was huge. We visited the St. George Basilica , St. Vitus Cathedral (pic below), Old Royal Palace and the Golden Lane. I was least impressed with the golden lane as it was a short lane and I felt that it did not live up to the nice critics I heard.
By the time we made our way down to the Lesser Quarter, it was almost dinner time. We remembered seeing an Indian vegetarian eatery and decided to try that out. It was served by a very zen Czech and Seb enjoyed the dinner. During our dinner, we overheard a conversation between the owner and his english speaking friend. At one point, the owner said "Michael Jackson is very fine now." Er... MJ was dead. We were quite sure that this guy was high on drugs or something.

After a whole day of walking, we decided to take the tram back to the Old Town. However, lousy us took the wrong side and ended back at the Prague Castle top. We changed tram and returned back to the bottom of the Castle. From there, we decided to continue our walk slowly. As we turned a corner, we saw a sight-seeing boat anchored and walked over to check on the next departure time. It was perfect timing as the boat was about to leave. We spent the next freezing cold hour along the river and taking in the night scenes.By then, I was exhausted and we took the tram to reach the other side of the river. We alighted at a shopping mall and bought a bottle of wine. From there, we just walked back to our hotel. It was a really long walking day.

The next day, we packed our bags and checked out. We left our bags at the reception area and started our last day at a leisure pace. Seb would like to check out CD shops and I would like a massage for my tired body after so much walking. We checked out the busy street at Wenceslas Square. We found a Thai massage parlour and there was a slot available for me. Seb had an hour to check out the CD shops he eyed along the way. After an hour of good and cheap (compared to France) massage, I found Seb waiting for me at the entrance. He found his Jazz CDs. The two happy people continued the last discovery of Prague, the Jewish Quarter.

Above is a statue of the famous author Franz Kafka. At the last hour, we stopped by a supermarket and bought some local delights for friends and families. We then headed back to the hotel to get our bags and walked back to the train station to catch the bus back to the airport.

It was a lovely short getaway and we enjoyed ourselves a lot. We would have missed many interesting details had it not been for the guide book.

vendredi, février 19, 2010

Very bad idea

When Singapore was building casinos at Sentosa, a lot of people thought it was a bad idea. Now, this had been confirmed. Only vices and no merits!
Less than a week since the casinos were opened, the news reported a theft commited by a gambler who lost all his money. Then, there were other casino-linked offences.
I wonder how many Singaporean families will be broken due to these casinos. Yes, I know what I am talking about. I know so many uncles and aunties, including family members who loved to gamble and sometimes beyond reasoning. They not only got themselves into troubles but dragged their families along. Very sad.

mardi, février 09, 2010

Prague Day 1

Seb and I went to Prague last Nov to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. We booked a 3 days 2 nights trip with Lastminute.com. Upon arrival at the airport, Seb withdrew some local cash, the Czech crown from an ATM. After that, we took the public bus which cost 2.50€ per person to our hotel, Esplanade.

I booked a deluxe double room and it was actually the only room with balcony. The room was spacious and nicely decorated. We were not disappointed. After dropping our bags, we headed out to town.
Our hotel was located at Washingtonova road. At the end of the road, we turned right and reached the main street of the New Town district. There were shops and hotels and hot dog stands.

We took in sights of the busy street and continued our way until we reached the Old Town district. There were many beautiful buildings in Prague. Each façade has its own characteristics; be it drawings, paintings or statues.
I like the building below and after taking the photo, I realised that Hard Rock Cafe was the ground floor boutique.
Prague is known as the city of a thousand bells. That was true. We even found a bell stuck in the corner of a building. This was at the Old Town Square. The Tyn Church towers looked impressive. We tried to find the entrance to the church. After passing a row of restaurants and walking into the inner court of the building did we see the entrance of the church. It was weird to have the entrance of such a big church hidden by a building.

As we continued our walk, we came upon the Powder Tower. This was one of the 13 entrances to the Old Town. Now, the old walls were no longer around, this tower really stood out.

Just beside the Powder Tower stood the Municipal House. It was the most spectacular Art Nouveau building in Prague. In the evening, Seb and I attended a concert performing the works of Dvorak, my favourite composer. The principal concert hall, Smetana Hall, was famous for its grandiose glass dome and its elegance.
That summed up our first day at Prague. We walked a lot around the New Town and Old Town.

jeudi, février 04, 2010


Nicole came and left. Last year, she promised to come see Baby A and she kept her promise. It was so sweet of her. We could tell that Baby A enjoyed her company. We spent a few relaxing and quiet days togather. Given the fact that I do not have much leave left, I took 2 off days to be with her.
We did our traditional stop at Coolins after visiting the photos exhibition along Jardin de Luxembourg. It was cold but unlike last year, the park was not covered with snow. There were always interesting photographic exhibition along the fence and this time round, the theme was on the Mekong river.

At Coolins, Baby A had his milk feed. His first drink in a pub!
In the evenings, we walked down memory lanes and looked at old photos. Gosh. I have known Nicole since my french class days and that was several years ago. Amazing how our friendship keeps going strong. I promise Nicole that we will visit her in Munich. I have no idea when that will be but I do want to fulfill this promise within the next two years. I do miss Munich and when Baby A can walk, it will be great to make him discover this nice city.