Monday, 19 January 2015

Vapriikki Vintage Tampereella 24.-25.1.

Tampereella taphtuu jälleen, kun Vapriikki Vintage järjestetään jo neljännen kerran Museokeskus Vapriikissa. Kattavan vintagetorin lisäksi luvassa paljon muutakin hauskaa kuten Ateliri O- Haapalan neoviktoriaaninen valokuvaamo, muotinäytös, museokierroksia, maskeerauksia, musiikkia ja tanssia.

Tapahtuman Facebook -sivuille pääset tästä


Myös allekirjoittanut on paikalla uuden talvimalliston kanssa. Nähdään Vapriikissa! :)


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Prague pt. 3: History and architecture

Prague is a very old city founded in the 9th century. It's full of amazing architecture with some of the original structures still remaining. Our trip was a good mixture of history, architecture and culture. We did a lot of sight seeing by just wandering around the city, but also some of the "must see" sights. A lot still remains to be see.

The astronomical clock at the old city hall at the old town square
The oldest part of the Orloj, the mechanical clock and astronomical dial, dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel.
The clock mechanism itself is composed of three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon, moving sculptures striking the time and a calendar dial representing the months.

the astronomical clock in prague

You can also climb up to the clock tower to take a look at the old town of Prague. But if you're on a budget and want the best view, why don't you check out the St. Vitus Cathedral.

Old city hall of prague

Prague castle ad St. Vitus cathedral in Malá Strana
We especially wanted to see the Gothic style cathedral that was originally founded in 930 and reached it's current state in 1344. That's more than 400 years of constructing.
The interior of the cathedral is very lavish. It's amazing how much money was put in to it, which only goes to show what a huge influence the church was back then.

st. vitus cathedral in prague


Just the walk up to the castle quarter through Malá Strana was very beautiful. One of my favourite things inside was the art nouveau style glass painting designed by Alfons Mucha, added to the church in the 1920's as it underwent a series of renovations.

Glass painting design by alfons mucha in st. vitus cathedral in prague

We also climbed up to the south tower which is 96 meters tall and you have to climb 287 steps in a claustrophobically narrow corridor. But it's all worth it once you get to the top and get to enjoy the view. 

view of prague from st. vitus cathedral south tower


Old Jewish cemetery in Josefov
In the morning we got a bit of a snow fall which gave the cemetery quite the eerie feeling. The cemetery was in use from the 15th century and and the number of grave stones and people buried there is uncertain. it has been estimated that there are approximately 12,000 tombstones presently visible, and there may be as many as 100,000 burials.

Old jewish cemetery in prague

Right next to the cemetery lies the Pinkas Synagogue. On it's walls are encrypted the names of the 77 297 Czechoslovak Jews who died in the German occupation. You weren't allowed to take pictures in the synagogue, but it was a pretty powerful sight.

After visiting the Jewish quarter, we headed over to the Veletržní Palace in Holešovice, where the Slav Epic is presented. It's consists of 20 large canvases painted by Alfons Mucha between 1910 and 1928. The paintings depict the mythology and history of Czechs and other Slavic people. 

The Slavs in their original homeland, 1912 by alfons mucha
1. The Slavs in their original homeland, 1912.

The exhibition was a good history lesson and the paintings themselves are very impressing, some of them standing over 6 meters tall. It is said that Mucha rented a castle to work on these giant painting, because that was the only place where he could fit them.

The defence of Szigetvár by Nikola Zribski, 1914 by alfons mucha
14. The defence of Szigetvár by Nikola Zribski, 1914
We also visited the Mucha Museum at Kaunický palác, Panská 7, 110 00 Prague 1
At the museum are presented some of Mucha's original works, photographs and personal posessions. While the exhibiton was interesting, it was quite small. If you're on a limited schedule, I would recommend seeing the Slav Epic instead.

On our last day we decided to go on a tour to Kutná Hora to see the Bone church, Ossuary. We saw it on a tour brochure and thought it looked cool. The tour included transportation from Prague to Kutná Hora, which is about 70km, lunch and entrance to the Ossuary and St. Barbara's Cathedral.

st. barbara's cathedral in kutná hora

While the ossuary was interesting, in a macabre way, this isn't necessarily something I would say is a must see. But if you have an extra day to spend, then go for it. Kutná Hora was a lovely little town and you'll get to see some Czech Republic outside of Prague.

The ossuary in kutná hora

The tour wasn't expensive, less than 50 Euros per person, but it felt a bit hurried with only 20-25 minutes in each location. I feel like we might have gotten more out of it had we taken the time to get there on our own, or if we had the chance to wander around the town without hurry.




Also check out
Prague pt.1 : Getting to and around
Prague pt. 2: Music and theatre

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Prague pt. 2: music and theatre

There is so much to do in Prague you will never have to be bored. There's theatre, ballet, opera, symphonic orchestras, jazz and classical music all over the town every single day.

View down from the castle quarter

While making our itinerary I found several interesting jazz clubs, of which we only had time to do one though. On Tuesday night we headed over to the old town to Jazz Club Ungelt, which is just behind the Church of our Lady before Týn at TÝN 2/640, PRAGUE 1. To get to the music club you'll first have to go through the Jazz Pub and down the stairs to an underground vault from the 11th century. The club is quite small and intimate with a small stage and tables and seating in two floors. The club also serves dinner, which is what we did. That night we got to enjoy the show of  ST. JOHNNY which is the only band in Czech Republic playing 1950's jump blues, and is currently one of the leading blues bands in the country.

We arrived just before the show started at 21.00 and by 22.00 the place was already packed, so I recommend you arrive early or make a table reservation.

Jazz Clubs in Prague

There's also swing dancing at Jam Café every Monday and Wednesday at 21.00 at Národní 25 110 00 Praha 1.  The place isn't visible to the street though and you'll have to go through the slide doors in to the mall. The café will be in the left hand corner where you'll take the stairs up to the second floor.

Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Municipal House

We also attended the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Municipal House where the 80 persons orchestra played the Planets, Op. 32 by Gustav Holst and in the second half The Star Wars by John Williams and as a fun extra the theme to Indiana Jones. I have to say the experience was definitely unique. The tickets also were very reasonably priced, about 25€ each.

Gorgeous ceiling of the Smetana Hall at the Municipal House

You can find classical and symphony concerts as well as a opera listed on Prague Experience where you can also book tickets to these events.

On our last day in Prague we had the choice of either going to an other jazz club or going to a Black Light theatre. We chose the latter and I'm very happy we did. The show was quite interesting and unique and definitely typical to the area.
We went to the Ta Fantastika -theatre in old town Karlova ulice no. 8, 110 00 Prague 1. We saw the show called Aspects of Alice and we both loved it.

Photo source
 "Black-light theatre is based on an optical trick (the black cabinet trick), which takes advantage of the imperfection of the human eye: it cannot distinguish black on black. The trick itself is very simple to perform in the theatre: the audience cannot see an actor dressed in black against a black background. Before our very eyes, items and props controlled by actors dressed in black become capable of moving on their own. Inanimate objects suddenly convey dramatic action, to the extent that they become equal partners for live actors." -http://www.tafantastika.cz

Also check out:
Prague pt. 1: getting to and around 
Prague pt. 3: History and architecture

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Prague pt. 1: getting to and around

Hello Darlings! I'm back from Prague, where I spent 4 days with my new boyfriend (new as in we've been going out for about 6 months now). We had been planning to go either to Prague or Dubrovnik, but our choice was partly made for us by circumstances. The flight to Dubrovnik would have taken us 14 hours with 3 flights and over 7 hours layover - so Prague it was! And I'm glad it was. Prague was a very pleasant surprise. 
Perhaps we'll be doing Dubrovnik an other time when the flights are more reasonable.

Having lunch right around the corner from the hotel after arriving. The cream of pea soup was delicious.

Tři století
Míšeňská 70/4, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana
The city of Prague is about 1100 years old. With it's old town, Staré Město, founded in the 9th century and the new town, Nové Město,  in the 14th century, Prague is definitely the place to go if you're looking for history, culture and beautiful medieval architecture. 

Unfortunately though the old town of Prague is quite the touristy place with souvenir shops after another, all a like, and a dense crowd of people even in January which isn't exactly the high peak of travelling season. I can't even imagine what it would be like in July or August. Also most of the sights collect entrance fee if you wish to enter, which it isn't always so cheap.
I felt like Prague is a relatively safe place though, if you watch out for pick-pocketers. I never felt like we had to be scared even when we wandered off from the tourist centre.

Prague public transport map and tickets

We arrived to the Airport just before noon and took the bus and metro over to our hotel. Usually airport transportation is available either through hotels or at the airport, but if you're not carrying a lot of heavy luggage, getting around with the public transportation is very easy and cheap. A 30 minute ticket costs only about 0,85€ and a 90 minute ticket about 1,15€. This allows you to use the bus, tram and metro as much as you can within the time period. The metro and tram will take you to any part of the city and once you get a hold of it, it's a rather easy and fast way to get around.

Hotel U Pàva
Our room at Hotel U Pàva
Our hotel, Hotel U Páva, was situated in the Lesser Quarter or Malá Strana just on the other side of the river from the old town. In the middle ages the Lesser Quarter housed a large number of noble palaces and the Prague castle and the 9th century cathedral, St. Vitus Cathedral, are also situated there.

prague castle and st. vitus cathedral
The view from our room window
The hotel was very nice and the interior very lavish with heavy, black and gold draped curtains, wooden floor and antique furniture. The situation was also very good for us: just in the middle of the old town and caste quarter and just around the corner from the Charles bridge, yet away from the noise and hassle. We also got the corner room overlooking both the Charles Bridge, Karlův most, and the Prague Castle, Pražský hrad.


love lock on a railing under the Charles bridge Prague
Right at the root of Charles bridge at Malá Strana


After getting settled to the hotel we went for a little stroll over the Charles bridge and in to the old town. We just wandered around, hit a little coffee shop and came across couple vintage shops (of which I will tell you about in a later post). We wandered to
the old town square, Staroměstské náměstí,
 where there was a Christmas market for a couple more days.

At the Staroměstské náměstí havig a cup of hot cherry wine and trdelnik.
 
the astronomical clock, prague
The Astronomical clock, Orloj, at Staroměstské náměstí.
The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working.

 We stopped at the square to take in the atmosphere, listen to the band on the street 
playing jazz music and enjoy a cup of hot cherry wine and Trdleník, a traditional Czeck
pastry. 
After dinner we strolled back through the old town square and went up to the Old town
city hall tower.

The view from the top of the tower overlooking the Church of our Lady before Týn

View from the charles bridge of the prague castle
A view from the Charles Bridge

You can find maps of Prague here
Information about the public transport here
Tram and metro map here

Credits to most of the pictures go to Jake, my beloved travel companion and trusted map master.

Also check out
Prague pt. 2: Music and theatre
Prague pt. 3: History and architecture

Monday, 1 December 2014

Insta-November

It's the 1st of December and we're that much closer Christmas holidays. I thought  I'd make a November collage according my my Instagram account. I haven't done these before, but hey, better late than never, right?


1. Getting ready for a swing dance Halloween party. I went as a ghoulish flapper
2. Dancing our butts off
3. Cute fabric found inside a vintage pattern envelope
4. We also got the first snow of the year. Whole 20 cm of it
5. But the next day all the snow started to melt away
6. A bouquet of flowers from my baby
7. Gomez liking my new bed cover
8. Finally a mini thanks giving dinner I did with my sweetheart, including a roasted chicken, rye bread stuffing, green beans, whipped sweet potato, pecan pie and fig-cranberry jam.

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