Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Holidays Strike Prague

Before we plunge into West Coast holiday madness, a few photos of Prague holiday madness are in order.
First, holiday advertising in my own neighborhood. One would have thought that a country renowned for its beer would have been spared this billboard.

Holiday shoppers (both Czechs and others) approach the Christmas market on Staroměstské náměstí. This is one of the better directions from which to approach it. Last week I made the mistake of trying to get there from the south and found myself in such a traffic-jam (in the alley with the Museum of Sex Machines) that everyone was taking about one step forward per minute. There was a lot of jocular yelling back and forth to the effect of "Don't lose Grandma!" and the like. The people behind me seemed to imagine that if they kept pushing me I would actually be able to move forward. They were deluded. A lot of women seemed to be using small children as their personal battering rams. This didn't work all that well either. As far as I could tell, I was the only person in the crowd who found the situation less than entertaining. It seemed to me that the gingerbread I sought was being a little too dearly bought.

Admittedly, the whole scene is fairly decorative. Alex and I concluded, however, that on the whole one finds better gifts at the neighborhood Prague Christmas markets, which are not trying to sell so many tourist items. We thought the market at Náměstí Miru was superior. It's true that we could have bought mead at any market, but it was pleasanter buying it away from the crowds, especially since the vendor was using a cast of his grandma's teeth to hold down the napkins. (I hadn't brought my camera, but Alex requested permission to photograph the item, so it may appear on her blog one of these days.)


4 Comments:

Blogger Julia said...

I so totally agree that Staromak is too crazy to enjoy right now. Miru is a great market because it isn't crowded, and the stuff people sell is not as kitchy (and so close, what's not to like!).

December 23, 2006 9:37 PM  
Blogger P'tit-Loup said...

I love that entrance to Staromak from behind St Nicholas church. It brings back memories to see it. The choir I traveled to Praha with sang there.

Merry, merry Christmas!

December 24, 2006 8:14 AM  
Blogger Samanta said...

When I visited Prague I didn't quite know what to expect. I had assumed to see a lot of faceless concrete buildings, and time worn faces on the local population. That couldn't have been farther from the truth. Prague is at a crossroads between old and new, constraint and freedom. It has an incredible history of conquest, peace, and domination. The Czech Republic has seen many changes in the last few decades and it is nice to see that Prague hasn't lost any of its charm. We booked a room in one of the Prague hotels right in the center of the Old Town - wanting to be close to everything. This was my first trip to this capital city. I was able to see really interesting architecture, listen to very talented musicians and see works of art in many different forms. Though I didn't have the opportunity to visit many places that surround Prague, there was enough to find to do in the city itself for the 4 days that I was there.

March 20, 2008 11:08 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad that Prague was more appealing than expected. There's so much to see and do that four days should simply whet the appetite. I always suggest that visitors try taking some trams to the end of the line and back in order to see a real variety of architecture and neighborhoods.

March 20, 2008 1:40 PM  

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