prague on second day

We began to explore the city on the second day. 
We took the tram and the first place we went was to the old town square. The famous astronomical clock is located there. 
Alex told me a legend about it. The town council was so possessive of the clock they had the clockmaker blinded so that he wouldn’t be able to build a similarly beautfiul clock in another city. In return the (now blind) clockmaker damaged the clock so seriously that no one was able to fix the clock for decades to come.

old town square
prague orloj
We stopped by at Starbucks for some guidebook research. Well, it wasn’t me who navigated our ways anyway.

From the oldtown, we walked to the new town, and all the way to the National museum. The exhibitions are mostly in Czech so we didn’t go in.
Venceslas square

new town hall

We had our dinner at the cafe located beside Vlatva River. Food and transport costs are cheaper in Prague compared to other western European countries. This time we were able to have some meals in restaurants instead of sandwiches 3 times a day like we have to in other trips…
alex . czech beer . 
roast duck in old prague style and potato dumplings
roast pork neck . potato pancakes
Then we went to the Municipal House or Obecni Dum, the city’s most famous art nouveau building and listened to a classical music recital. Nothing fancy and grandiose, but it was an excellent performance anyhow.
Thus, the first full day ended.
p.s. I will try to continue on the third day journey post as soon as possible. I am busy (as usual). 😛

Charlie was here

Charlie was here last December for a few days.
Three of us had a London day trip. We started with the Big Ben. I have been there a few times, which each trip was to be a tour guide for either friends or cousins. But I have never neither walked to another side of the bridge for a different view of the House of Parliament, nor been up on the London Eye. 
happy charlie visiting London
still didn’t go up on the Eye
Street art performances along the Thames riverbank are entertaining.
There was a German christmas market along River Thames. (We are thinking about a Germany trip in the end of this year for a real German christmas market?)
Also! We discovered a small nice courtyard behind a row of cafe for the first time.

Alex playing his “xiao mu ma” like a kid..
husky dogs are so cute!!

heavy snow

It started snowing yesterday afternoon, and it didn’t stop. It’s still snowing now. I woke up early today for something, but the plan was eventually cancelled due to the snow. Instead, I went out to take some photos of the town centre.
I dropped by caffe Nero, where I work, for a free hot chocolate. All the buzz this morning was about people driving 10 mph on the road covered by thick snow and their various misadvantures: cars skidding off the road, people late or absent from work, etc. Schools & airports were closed, transportation services disrupted, and businesses lost.
On the brighter side, I saw children playing with snow, adults pulling kids on sleds, photos of snowmen by friends. Also, I managed to take some nice photos of the awesome scenery. 
However, I actually have a collection of autumn photos that are yet to be posted. So, I guess you will have to wait until next winter for this album?
alex going to work
black . gray .white
still snowing quite heavily in the afternoon
4-inch thick snow
view from the window. glowing white
tried to make a mini snowman for alex.
i told him it was only 50% done.
snow flora and snow alex


the day we arrived in Prague

It has been a few days since I returned from Prague. Alex and I started work on the next day we arrived home. I was occupied with my other stuff and had no time to write about the trip. I didn’t know how to write and where to start. But I suppose it would be easier for me to write and for you to read if I separate the posts by days.
So, we left home early on that day. We made sure that the door and windows were securely locked and all electrical appliances except for the fridge were disconnected from their power. We departed from Birmingham airport instead of Stansted Airport [London], but it only took us about 90 minutes to get to the airport. 

no rush. we were early at the airport.
Eliska and his brother came to pick us up from Prague international airport. It saved us so much time from navigating our way with the Czech words.
Eliska’s house. she is staying with her grandma and brother.
the street in front of her house
she and her grandma prepared some food.. 
turkey drumstick . boiled potatoes . sweet cabbage
alex and eliska
the living room. nice and cosy
the ancient coal powered heater, now a decoration

pots of herbs painted with their names in czech and their relevant drawing
Me, nuts, and the nutcracker.
I was fascinated because i’ve only seen them in chip and dale cartoons when i was younger. 
eliska must have thought i was a bimbo malaysian girl

After a month of 2009

I guess 2008 was not a good year for most people, but I’m not sure if it had been a bad one for me. I am working at a cafe after I was unable to secure an internship in an architecture practice. I had many miserable moments, but sometimes I feel I am blessed that the many things that I had to go through had taught me to be stronger. I supposed I was also lucky to have this experience as my greatest teacher in life, whether good or bad.
When I was a student, final submissions was the only thing that bothered me. I now have to stand on my own feet, paying for rent and expenses, for a year at least. But on the brighter side, my issues are far less serious than those who has family to feed, businesses to keep afloat, loans to pay and lifestyles to maintain, so I shouldn’t be whining.