Friday, December 10, 2010

Pague in snow (Praha ve sněhu)

When we arrived in Prague the day after American Thanksgiving (to attend Fulbright meetings and for Neil to give a seminar at Charles University, etc.), it was still snow-free, although we had seen lots of it near Tabor on the way. In Wenceslas Square, the trees are all decked out, waiting for snow

 No hats needed yet, apparently, except a star!
These guys don't seem to mind the cold either.
 But, of course, as the day progresses, it gets colder and many holiday foods beckon to keep us warm. For instance, hot roasted chestnuts (pecene kastany) call out our names. One can easily see why they've been so popular as a winter treat through the centuries!
 Snow falls during the night and we are greeted with another sunny day that makes the city sparkle with delight. Here in the Old Town Square, the Christmas Market starts to warm and bustle in the morning sun.
 Old City Hall stands invincibly against the onslaught of winter
 and everyone glistens in the cold.
From the hilltops, the city seems resolute in its resistance to the cold.
 Snow covers the tents in the Christmas Market
 ...perfect temperatures to keep cheeses and sausages! The green cheeses are basil (quite tasty).
 Here's the place to hang around...a great little oven for cooking chestnuts, potatoes, or other delightful fare
Potatoes always warm the morning.
We lunch in the warmth of a glass cafe, looking out at the snow. Join us for a crepe!
Large cookies, anyone? You'd need quite a strong tree to hang these on.

A warm Trdlo, a national dessert, is always welcome in the cold.

A hand-carved Creche in the National Square was intriguing (left). As we looked closer, the 'cow' at the left had a coiled tail making it look more like a pig! So, we all dubbed this the 'Prague Pig' even though it has horns.

 Hand-blown glass ornaments were fun to look at.
 Someone holds up lamb!  We've been looking for lamb all across the Czech Republic but haven't found it in the markets. This will have to do.
 The most artistic displays of products were actually in the museums or shops. Here was a display of colorful ties that we all liked. One would almost have to buy all of them to get the full effect, don't you think?!

Back in the National Square, festive singing begins with various a capella choirs singing their hearts out in German, Czech and English, depending on who was singing at the time.
They sing until late in the night...endless energy.
Even Rudolf and St. Nick appear to join in the festivities.
High above the city, the Castle glows in the darkness.

brightly lit, the trees glow of snow and hope in the darkness of winter.
 Building's glow seem to warm us everywhere.

 Wishing you warmth and joy in the December days...

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

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