Prague, Czech Republic

Day 32, Thursday,  September 26, 2019

First thing we need to do this afternoon is return our car rental.  Because the rental office is in the train station it didn’t cost us anything for parking.  When I went to take photos of the car before we returned it I realized I had left my memory card in the computer at home!  Good thing we have a backup camera on our phone, but it isn’t as good or handy as my camera.

Bob is doing a great job organizing our days and finding information about what to see and do.  He went out for a walk this morning and discovers that, because we are seniors, we get free transit passes!  We just need to have a passport photo.  It costs us $6 CAD each for our photos and another $1.20 to get the card.  A transit ticket good for one day costs $6.60 so this is a great deal.

We go for a walk to Wenceslas Square and take a few photos.  These horses are part of an art exhibit in the square. The Prague Astronomical Clock, or Prague Orloj, is a medieval astronomical clock.  The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest clock still operating.  Crowds gather here to watch it strike the hour. We enjoy this street performer and the poor lady volunteer who is terrified by pretty much everything he does, including pouring lighter fluid in a circle on the ground around her!  He never does light it but her reactions made the crowd laugh. We find the Senat, where there is a free concert.  We were expecting classical music but a group of students perform and sing more modern songs, including Hey Jude, These Boots are Made For Walking, Can’t Buy Me Love and Cabaret.  Some of the songs are in Czech and some are sung in English, with a heavy Czech accent!  It started to rain during the performance but we had brought our umbrella so we stayed dry.
I tried to draw but didn’t manage much.

Walking through the gardens after the concert we saw this pretty white peacock, who walked along with us for a bit.

 

East Side Gallery and Mauer Park, Berlin

Day 21, Sunday, September 15, 2019

The 1,316 meter long East Side Gallery is the longest open Art gallery in the world and it is also the longest surviving piece of the Berlin Wall. 118 artists from 21 countries began painting the East Side Gallery immediately after the wall came down and it officially became an open air gallery in 1990.

The sign says: Erection of the Wall, 1961, Fall of the Wall, 1989, Painting of the wall, 1990 and Restoration of the Wall 2009

Walk along the wall with us.

A Trabant, cleverly painted to look like it’s breaking through the wall is a well known image. We see a white Trabant soon after seeing this.  The graffiti n the back-side of the East Side Gallery is interesting too.
We stop for a snack and listen to some music along the banks of the Spree River before continuing our walk along the open air gallery.

Honecker and Brezhnev in a ‘brotherly socialist kiss’ is another famous image.

At the end of the wall we walk across the historic Oberbaum Bridge.Apparently all the hanging shoes are street art.
Next we take one of the old trams to Mauer Park which is the site of a huge flea market and a gathering place for Berliners and tourists alike. There are people everywhere!
The people on the hillside are watching karaoke performances, which happen here every Sunday. There is also an ongoing 3 on 3 Basketball game in the foreground.  Did I mention that there are people everywhere?  Bob figures probably over 20,000 people in the park today and I think we are older than 99% of them! After sampling some of the food trucks wares, we make our way up to the karaoke viewing on the hillside and have fun watching the performers. Some were not the best, but the audience was very supportive and everyone gets a big round of applause.  Here is a video of the first performer we saw.  In a few places I now realize I need to move the camera a bit more slowly when panning, but take a look. This lady was selling some rather interesting pins, and offered to let me take her photo for a small donation, and yes, they were those kind of dicks! This guy from the Dominican Republic got a great round of applause, but more for his dancing than his singing.
Some of our fellow audience members.  One of the performers from Afganistan got lots of people up dancing.The flea market was closing by the time we got around to visiting it. As we passed by this booth I overheard a guy say to his girlfriend “All these glasses and you still can’t see my point of view!”
There were lots of groups of performers. Here is one video and here is another. I can’t figure out how to edit them, so just stop watching when you have seen enough. This sign on an artist’s booth makes me laugh.  Today was a nice change from the sight seeing we have been doing. It was really relaxing, a lot of fun, and great people watching!.