Tuesday, 31 July 2007

cheers to Prague

Last weekend was truly momentous. A life-long ambition was fulfilled when I became, for one day only, a Cheerleader! How did this happen? Well, I was lucky enough to go to Prague for the 20th Bauer Agency Cup Football competition. Ad agencies from mostly Germany companies, (totalling about 1500 Germans!) and us, Wieden+kennedy, Amsterdam, competed for the Bauer Cup. We made it through to the quarter final's but lost on a round on penalty goals. All in all it was a beautiful day and a stellar effort from our boys! But, um, it's really all about me being a Cheerleader!

Prague itself was simply stunning. Because Prague was largely undamaged through WWII it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. An amazingly maze of ornate buildings, churches, palaces, cathedrals and castles, all in pristine condition making this very compact medieval town centre seem something out of a fairytale. In fact the city is so spectacular the historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1992. I was very content to have the cobblestone streets lead me around to soak up the atmosphere in full rich and vibrant colour.

A few of us were lucky (or unlucky) to be travelling by train (15 long hours each way), but it did give us an extra day in Prague. So Sunday after breakfast, a litre of water, Panadol and swearing to never drink again we all hit the streets of Prague for a day of meandering.
Around one corner we found a crafts market. A really beautiful market. I fell in love with one stall selling gorgeous wood ornaments. Mostly Christmas tree ornaments, they were laser cut wood with intricate detail. Below is the largest one they had, a 15cm tall tree. I also found hand-made lace angels, bells and stars for my tree. Goodbye mercury glass ornaments, hello quirky European craft ornaments. I can't wait for Christmas now and am already planning a trip to a German Christmas market with the divine Miss Julia. Oh! My tree is going to rock! There was also some beautiful wooden toys, all made by a Czech toy company that's been around for over a century. I was in craft heaven.

Other than Absinthe and glass works, the other big souvenir on offer are puppets. There are a lot of puppet shops in Prague! But all seemed rather large for my taste. Plus you need few to be able to put on a show, now don't you? One little puppet would be very lonely. Further strolling through the backstreets bought me to a little shop full of puppets and it was here these 10cm tall miniature puppets caught my eye. So I bought four, for a mere €6 each: Little read Riding Hood (I have to make her a read cape), the Hunter, Grandma and of course... the Wolf!

So if you've three days holiday up your sleeve and don't know where to go, I strongly recommend a trip to the Czech Republic's beautiful fairytale capital, Prague.

1 comment:

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