EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Last weekend hubby and I had the opportunity to meet up with old friends, Deb and Jukka. Deb is from the U.S., Florida to be exact, and Jukka is from Finland. We met Deb and Jukka while we were living in Shanghai, China. Deb and I met at an American Expat Luncheon and made fast friends. We both like art and took calligraphy classes together. She was far more dedicated and successful with this difficult style of writing than I was. Together, Deb & Jukka, Steve and I, would spend the next two years getting acquainted. Now, we live in Germany and they are in Helsinki. However, for two days this past weekend we were able to meet in Praha (Prague) in the Czech Republic. It was like old times and we were even able to meet up with another Shanghai couple, Jane O'Hara Paisley and her husband, Richard, who now live in Prague. It was a weekend of sight-seeing, food, drinks, and dancing!

Here are some photos I took while in Prague. It is a city that endears itself to you with all of it's history and amazing architecture. At every corner there is a statue, a bas relief, a pediment, or a tower to look at. Intricate designs and artistic motifs cover every building surface. You can find buildings that cover over a thousand years in Prague. There are Gothic style churches, Baroque buildings, Renaissance, and even Art Deco. Some famous buldings are the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace, the Prague Castle (Hradcany Castle), and the Astronomical Clock, just to name a few.
"Prague never lets you go... this dear little mother has sharp claws." -Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka, the surrealist writer from Prague, knew the grip this city had on it's inhabitants and visitors.

An example of the amazing architecture is pictured below with the twin towers of the Church of Our Lady at Tyn in the distance.

I was attracted to the address signs on the buildings. I don't read Czech, but here is one that caught my eye:

There were other kinds of signs posted on walls, billboards, and posts that advertised upcoming events such as concerts, plays, and museum showings. The one that caught my eye was this one:

This, on the otherhand, is what caught my hubby's eye, being the "chocoholic" that he is. It sure looked yummy. I spent my calories on "sopska" salad. I've got to make that bike riding easier and giving up deserts is just the beginning. It's not easy being good on vacation....

Prague surprised me. It is full of symbolism and mystique. One of the most famous symbols, the astronomical dial, represents the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displays various astronomical details; "The Walk of the Apostles", a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months.

It wasn't the only astronomical clock we saw in Prague and I'm sure there were more that we missed. However, at Deb and Jukka's hotel, this clock adorned the wall of their stairway. Then there were symbols on top of domes that resembled the Freemasons. Astronomical symbols were seen throughout the city giving the observer the sense that this city once relied on the sun, the moon, and the stars for its' providence and guidance.

Notice the top of this dome with the triangle and the eye inside. The same symbol that appears on our American money. It's called the Eye of Providence or the all-seeing eye. It is a symbol showing an eye surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. Bing has a page showing the many symbols on houses in Prague that are meant to bring luck. You can find it at : http://www.prague.net/gallery/house-symbols/

And speaking of "All-knowing eyes," take a look at the creepy rooftop in the center square of the city of Prague. Now, I'm not usually superstitious, but I could swear this house was watching us wherever we went. I would love to hear from any one who has visited Prague and find out if they perceived the same spooky feeling of being watched. Have you felt paranoid in Prague?

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