Czech Pleased - Prague & Brno
Prague remains a favourite city despite the rapid changes. But after my last trip out I'm thinking I want to live in Brno. Reason: Villa Tugendhat.
The Marlborough World flask came in handy for a chilly day-trip to Brno, Czech Republic, which is south east of Prague sitting above Vienna. You can be there in under two hours on the E50. Bitterly cold that day. I went to have a gander at the recently restored Villa Tugendhat, the beautiful house designed by German-born modernist genius Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This gasp-inducer was built between 1928 and 1930 and could be used in argument for those that think that civilisation has been in decline since the 20s.
I wish I'd planned the trip a bit more. They have special days there, such as a recent screening in the house of the 1933 Fay Wray version of King Kong with a live musical accompaniment. Could you want for a finer evening?
I'm not one to think I need to tweet every thought I'm having or photograph the whole world around me, but it was remiss of me to capture a few photos of the place. I was off-duty, what can I say? These photos come courtesy of David Židlický.
I'll return when it's a bit warmer.
Further Intelligence on Prague
A cafe I've neglected to mention before is the Lucerna in the Art Nouveau Lucerna Passage off Wenceslas Square. Open till midnight, like all good cafes should be. It was almost empty when I was there, so I enjoyed a nice cigar and glass of brandy before wobbling back to my hotel. It's also got wireless internet access, so you can read The Tweed Pig in there too.
Cafe Europa, an old favourite nearby, was looking a little neglected on this trip. (Still has Christmas decorations in the windows.) I hope we're not going to lose it or they panic into a radical re-fit. Too many Costas and Starbucks in the city now, along with all the other multi-national brands that conspire to make everywhere look and feel the same. I fear for the old cafes.
What about this one? At Thomas's Barbershop in the centre of Prague on Navrátilova ulice, again just off Wenceslas Square, you can enjoy a traditional shave, a drink and a cigar all in one place. I'm not saying you have any, but they can also burn away your ear hair in the Turkish style too. Next time you're in Prague, why don't you take a swim in 'lake you' and call in. You're probably worth it.