Showing posts with label Charles Bridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles Bridge. Show all posts

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pavel's Prague, Part III: Tonino Lamborghini

Pavel entering Tonino Lamborghini,
his favorite cafe

Pavel Pisan, an accomplished ballet dancer with the Prague National Ballet, has been taking us, that's you and me gentle blog reader, to his three favorite cafes in Prague, saving the best for last. We had first visited Cafe Emporio, and then the Grand Orient Cafe. Did you enjoy them?

Tonino Lamborghini is Pavel's very favorite cafe. I was surprised the first time I went with him because it didn't seem very Czech to me with it's ultramodern vibe and sleek styling - more Italian, like it's name. The exotic appeals to people all over the world, doesn't it?

The cafe has originally been called Pasta Caffe, and changed it's name to Tonino Lamborghini, when it became part of the very successful Ambiente restaurant group.

Pavel loves coming here because "of the excellent service. The first time I came in here, I felt it was the right place. The staff helped me. They knew when to talk to me, and when to leave me alone. Besides, it has the best espresso in town, simply THE BEST. In eight years of coming here, I've had bad service only once. I think that's a good record." He also appreciated the excellent venilation, "even the smoking section air seems healthy."

Pavel's two favorite entrees here are "al pesto di basilico and con pollo e limone all Ambiente." And don't forget dessert. The "tiramisu is great!"

Tonino Lamborghini
is known for it's pasta

The cafe doesn't hurry you.
You're free to enjoy your time here
with reading material already supplied.

That porch is also the smoking section.

Pavel Pisan,
always with a smile of pure sunshine

I didn't take as many pictures here because I was too busy enjoying Pavel. He told me about the legendary beauty of his mother and his favorite opera stars. Our conversation was over the tiniest cups of esspresso accompanied by the tiniest little yummy cookies that came with it. I loved the "just right" serving sizing for walking away guilt free.

Pavel adores American opera diva Jesse Norman, " a goddess!" He waxed rhapsodic about Czech mezzo soprano Yvona Skarova. "99% of the time she was singing, I was in the audience. The first time she sent me a stage present with her calling card I screamed." He also enthused about Jiri Solzenko, an operatic bass singer with "perfect technique and amazing acting. He's perfect in both comedies and tragedies." What a compliment it must be to hear the appreciation of a fellow artist who has these same acting gifts. When I saw Pavel dance, he played Paris in Romeo and Juliet. You wouldn't believe how evil he could make his face look!

"It doesn't matter where you are in Prague," Pavel said, "Prague makes you happy." He continued, "I'm not a big fan of walking. I don't need it. But when I walk across the bridge by the National Theatre or across the Charles Bridge, the views are just gorgeous."

Thank you Pavel for sharing your favorite spots in Prague. Prague makes me happy too!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's the Best Yummy at the Prague Food Fest?

Good food in Prague is to be encouraged! Here's the lowdown from the New York Times on the Prague Food Festival.

This has been the year of wasabi and horseradish for me; I can never get enough of those two tastes. Hence, the King Solomon's kosher restaurant offering of horseradish on matzoh wafers sounds like it would bring me back for seconds. And I've never tasted a gefilte fish but those two words are a lot of fun to say. Is it good? It doesn't sound good. If you've been to the festival already, what's been your favorite taste?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Track Trip to Karlstejn

So after our cozy little group had our wonderful brunch at Jana and David's, it was time to catch a train for our afternoon field trip. Off to Karlstejn! Karlstejn is one of the easiest day trips from Prague; it's a vista so sacred to Czechs it's enshrined in a mural in the National Museum along with three of their other fabulous castles. My Czech friend Jana said when she was in America, the three views of the Czech Republic she had in her head when she thought of home were the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and Karlstejn. It's easy to see why.

Taking a train rather than a car
allowed us to pay attention
to children, our friends, and the view
rather than the road.
Food for thought.
The train hugged the Berounka River
all the way to the castle.
A gorgeous trip.
We're here!
One last look at the river
before we head up through the village
to the castle.
It's all uphill from here,
but you wouldn't know it
from how much fun we were having.
David said this wooden structure overhanging
the side of the castle
served as a handy WC.
The last push to the top!
A family portrait of our hosts:
David, their daughter, and Jana
Looking from the castle downwards:
this was part of the village road
we just climbed up
The well at the top of Karlstejn.
It was impressive not only for how deep
they chose to dig
but also how steep a roof they chose
to shingle.
The drop down for the roofer
to the mountain below
would probably cause death.
Karlstejn, in all it's glory.

Click on my title if you want to read about the gory and disgusting "biological warfare" that took place here. It's very easy to imagine a movie featuring this story - and even easier to imagine the Monty Python actors giving it their special treatment.

You might also enjoy:

My First Taste of Czech Village Life

A Day at the National Museum

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Springtime Saturday Stroll Around Letna Park

My friend Sher and I had lots of catching up to do! We took a long leisurely stroll around Letna Park, famous for it's beer gardens and view of the Vltava. Why don't you join us for awhile? It's lovely!

Everything was joyously, exuberantly in bloom

The start of our walk - this regal boulevard

All this pond needs is koi

The leaves on these tulips are stunning
with their variations

An apple tree awaits May 1st

Can't you just smell them?

A first fabulous view of the Vltava
with lilacs
Is this pretty enough for you?

Two of my favorite flowers:
pansies and tulips

The last of the forsythia

These beautiful blossoms
adorned entire trees.
I nicknamed them
peppermint popcorn.


The Charles Bridge and another
from Letna Park

Local landmarks:
the 1970s Hotel Intercontinental
The Church of the House of Tyn in Old Town Square
National Museum
Vysherad Cathedral

Are you feeling more peace?

The entire riverbank is a riot of lilacs

I hope this helps you
"slow down and smell the flowers."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fashion Report: First Beautiful Spring Evening in Prague

The sun was shining in Prague and
the energy of the people last night was fantastic.
Here the sun sets on a
beautiful church just off of Charles Bridge.

I was enjoying one of my favorite walks home.
Going from Malastranske Namesti across the
Charles Bridge through Old Town Square
to my place.

I chatted up many interesting people along the way.
This beautiful woman is from London
and has lived here for fourteen years.
She is a walking advertisement for her profession - stylist.
She was so visually arresting walking across the Bridge
she literally stopped traffic.
Check out this pin the man in the gray suit
is wearing!
How cool is that?
It's a dirigible.

A group of Europeans in their 1930s best.
I thought there might have been some retro dance
but this lady was going in the opposite direction
in Old Town Square. It almost looks like her
period car is waiting for her behind her
(it's a car for hire for sightseeing around Prague).

This American and his friend made me laugh.
They made these T-shirts themselves.
They're not actually gay.
They just have serious man crushes.

Such is the excitement in Prague this weekend
about President Obama's visit!

The American Embassy is reporting four times
the normally requested number of press passes
have been asked for.

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