The Cows of Prague

Posted in Mixed Nuts on November 21st, 2008 by MadDog
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If Prague were an animal I think it would be a platypus. It’s just a little bit of everything stitched together into something that’s more interesting than any of its parts. I guess it’s a synergism.

Anyway, we had lots of fun there. Here’s a panorama from the top of St. Vitus Cathedral. It was a long, long climb up 287 steps:

Prage Panorama from St. Vitus Cathedral

We had to stop and rest several times. That was a little difficult since there is a line of souls ascending and descending at the same time (a philosophical conundrum) elbow to elbow. When we came to a window, we could just squeeze back against the sill and stand there panting for a few minutes.

Prague also has it’s share of scary escalators. This one is worse than the one in Budapest:

Prague Escalator

I’ve been a pilot, climbed mountains, jumped out of airplanes and other stupid things to numerous to mention, but I can’t remember having knees as wobbly as mine were when I stepped onto the top of that one.

Here’s another scene using what’s called the Tilt-shift Miniature technique:

Prague as a miniature replica

It’s supposed to look like a photograph of a miniature scale model. Click on it to enlarge so that you can see the effect more clearly.

Now, to the subject of the post. I’d never been any place where the Cow Parade people have done their thing. Let me tell you, it’s a remarkable phenomenon. There were cows all over the place. They are all made the same size, but they are decorated in incredibly imaginative ways. It was fun to go cow spotting:

A MadDog with a Cow

If you want to know what the cows are about, check the link above.

I think that this one was Eunie’s favourite. I never realised that she was a gold-digger. Man, did she marry the wrong guy!

Eunie with her Golden Cow
If you are still craving cow, check out this one on THETHEORY’s Flickr photostream.

There seems to be a church or cathedral on every block. I love this giant bronze rooster on top of this one:

Giant bronze rooster

And, here’s some yummy stained glass:

Yummy stained glass in Prague

Another shot from the top of a cathedral shows the incredible complexity of the flying buttress construction:

Flying butresses at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

I’d go back to Prague at the drop of a hat. Of course, I could say that about a lot of other places. The food is splendid at modestly priced restaurants. There is an acute glut of culture. It has a nice, quirky ambience that delivers a little surprise around every corner.

And, it is absolutely crawling with tourists.

Oh, well. You can’t have everything.

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Workers of the World – UNITE!

Posted in Humor, Mixed Nuts on November 6th, 2008 by MadDog
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What miniscule political leanings that I exhibit are, admittedly, to the left. For me, however, this has a biological cause. I have an excuse, as it were, from the doctor. Let me explain.

When I was a small child I got all tangled up in a bush (ironic, eh?) while attempting to jump over it. I broke my left femur. When it healed, my left leg was shorter by about 2 cm than my right.

So, it’s not surprising that I’m celebrating the victory of President Elect Obama. I just love saying that name. Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama . . .

If I could vote, I would have only one criterion for selecting a president. He must be the coolest of the candidates. There was no contest.

In celebration of the victory of downtrodden workers everywhere, I’ll photographically reminisce about our last visit to Budapest.

Here’s an amusing panorama of the city on a grey day:

A panoramic view of Budapest

If you’d like to see a more detailed version, it’s here.

Budapest is home to some of the scariest escalators in the world. Here’s one of them:

A scary escalator

The only one that scared me more was in Prague. I’ll show it to you someday.

People gather everywhere in eclectic mobs. It’s as if they’re waiting for the next revolution to begin:

Waiting for the revolution to begin

One extremely charming place to visit is the “Statue Park” where they put all of the old Communist era statues.

Here’s Eunie demonstrating the colossal scale of this patriot:

Note the clenched fist

I think that a lot of wisdom was demonstrated by the decision to gather them all together in one place where they could be admired, cursed, ignored, spat upon, or saved for a rainy day. One never knows.

Look carefully and you will see your host peering through the star-shaped hole:

Peek-a-boo Commie-style

I reckon that this one is the largest in the park. That’s teensy-weensy Eunie down by his left foot:

A Communist Colossus

And now, it’s just me and Lenin:

Me and Lenin

What a cool place.

They have a kiosk where you can purchase all sorts of old Communist paraphernalia. They also had t-shirts featuring the Trabant, possibly one of most horrible cars ever built. We wanted to purchase a Trabant t-shirt for our son. Shirts showing a red Trabant were on display, but the clerk absolutely refused to sell us one. It seemed to be an emotional issue.

The Hungarians were never very enthusiastic about Communism, to say the least.

I wonder what they do with all those t-shirts with red Trabants on them?

I’ll leave you with two of my favourite images of the Trabant:  (both ripped from the web)

The horsed horseless carriage 1.
The horsed horseless carriage 2.


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