Belgium / Czech 2002 Home :: :: Geoff's Travel Home :: 2002 :: Best-Of Photography

After spending several wee morning hours at the Rozvadov border crossing, we arrived in Prague. It was unseasonably chilly even for October. With a determination that only the strong survive, we spend five days exploring the city with Lenka as our guide ("Uhhh...I think we've already been on this street two times before...does anyone have a map and a compass?"). It is amazing how many pubs, museums and churches one can visit in a day when the weather outside is cold! 

Window on Prague
Window on Prague (H&M)

Belgians in Prague. Dreaming of Kriek and warmer days in Belgium. "Lenka you didn't tell us "unseasonaly chilly for October" ment this darn cold!" 

The famous Charles Bridge. We arrive in Prague several months after the big 2002 flood covered half of the city. Even in October some lines of the underground (Metro) were unoperational and the damage from the river Vltava was appearent on the facades of many historical buildings. In this picture, the river rose all the way past the first floors of the buildings on the riverbank. If you look carefully, you can still see the window panes missing on the bottom floors of the yellow house. 

Charles Bridge (L&G)
Charles Bridge (Karlovy Most)
Lenka on Karlovy Most
Charles Bridge (Karlovy Most)

American playboy in Prague.

Below are some fun 360 degree views of Starometsky Namesti in Prague ("The Old Town Square"). Some of the buildings are a bit "out of wack" to make the 360 view work. Also, keep an eye out for Herman and Maria lurking waldo-like in the background. 

Staromestky Namesti with Lenka(s)


Staromestky Namesti with Geoff(s)


The St. Vitus cathedral at night. We were fortunate enough to be there on Sunday morning, when the entire cathedral is closed to tourists and open only for people wishing to attend the morning mass. We did, and it was an almost surreal experience. Siting in seats that have seated Kings and Queens in the 1300's, listening to the organ resounding through the halls, the same way people have listened to for centuries.

Of course the moment the doors opened after the mass the halls were filled with thousands of multi-national tours, tourists and visitors. Being one of them, we stood our turn to go bellow into the catacombs to see the coffins of famous historical figures, such as the king Charles the IV, a holy roman emperor who made Prague his home. 

St.Vitus cathedral
Mucha Stainglass window

One of the famous stainglass windows in St. Vitus is made by Alfonse Mucha, the Czech artist who originated the Art Noveau style. 

Many eastern european churches were left to a total dissolution during the communist days. Now they are being restored to their original grandour after decades of neglect. One such church is the Emauzy in Prague, a fairly unvisited gem away from most pedestrial footpaths. This old monastery contains one of the oldest fresco paintings in its halls. Its history is unlike any other of Prague's churches: it is the only church that was bombed during WWII. Ironically, the bombing occured by accident by the US military, who was trying to bomb a Nazi camp further down but mistargeted and hit the Emauzy instead. This is one of the sites we definitely want to revisit on our next trip to Prague to see the transformation. 

Window view

Another relic of the communist days: all of Prague's spires and towers were made inaccessible to the public for the fear of regime protester's suicides and hostile shootouts. Nowdays most are open, some with spectacular views. And as a bonus, the hundreds of stairs leading on the tiny winding stairs up make a great exercise to burn off all those dumplings, omacka a pivo! 

Architectural detail of Charles Castle rooftop. 

Roof tops
Roof Tops

Prague's red roof tops. The city was one of the few European cities not bombed during the WWII and as such has many of its buildings preserved and physically untouched by the attrocities of war. 

Lenka sensing Praha

Riding the old communist era train to a castle Konopiste, just an hour outside of Praha, was one of the highlights of the trip.

Below, Lenka reflects on the train rides in the past here as a child.  

Dalmation train ride
Train ride
Konopiste Castle

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is a good phrase to apply to this castle. In comparison to many of Europe's grand castles, from the outside this one seems relatively simple. However, it is the inside that leaves people breathless. One room after another, the place is filled with all the art, comforts, luxuries, inventions of the royal days. Every hall burst with collection of hunting trophies, vintage armor and weaponry, art collections. Walking through you get a real impression of what life must have been like during those times for those on both sides of the fence. The story of the last castle owners is sad, as many are, but given that the daughter of the last residence died just a few years ago it brings the history of this castle almost earily to life. 

What would a visit to Bohemia be without sampling the true meaning of "Bohemian life"? 

Czech eatin'

...including gorging on a czech speciality, the pig's knee. Geoff thought I was kidding...until they brought out the knee. On the front plate is another traditional czech meal: knedliky (dumplings), maso (meat) and svickova omacka (svickova gravy). Geoff added this plate to his list of European food addictions.  

Pigs knees aside...getting a dose of the "other" culture. The Narodni Divadlo (National Theater) is one of the treasured pieces of the czech artistic scene. Of course, Lenka made a big fau paux by trying to tip the champagne waiter; Geoff kept greeting the attendants with "Ahoj". Live and learn. 

Narodni Divadlo
Narodni Divadlo

King Geoff for a day...for 30 bucks. We got extremely lucky by getting tickets that someone returned a day before the show - to the first balcony! Of course, the 32:1 exchange rate made life easier as well... 

We close this webpage with a photo of one of Prague's icons: the trams. Besides keeping the city moving, they offer heated seats, upclose view of city life and a chance to sit down and take a break. Praha wouldn't be Praha without them. 

Tram ride

(c) Geoffrey Peters and Lenka J.,, 2003. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
Other web sites include:,, ...intangible northwest..., Travel Logs, Where in the World is Tig?