Babooshka dolls and Franz Kafka in Prague

You would think Prague is all about Kafka, Mucha and Dvorak but it’s really about these dolls – the Babooshka dolls are everywhere in Praha:

michele roohani babooshka dolls Matryoshka prague

I would like to share my last trip to this beautiful city with you. I stayed in this fabulous hotel where everything but the view to the river was red (my favorite color)

michele roohani prague red steps

these exquisite chandeliers are the pride and joy of the Czech Republic.

michele roohani prague crystal chandelier bohemia


this is the view from my room:

michele roohani prague room with a view

and this one

michele roohani prague room with a view sunny

Just look at Frank Gehry‘s edifice in the middle of these gorgeous buildings set on the shore of a shallow branch of the Vltava river – these tiny pictures are really not doing it justice.

First the sun was shining,

michele roohani prague gehry building Vltava river

 then it was raining like hell,

michele roohani prague under rain Vltava river

and then this amazing double rainbow; talking about a room with a view…

double rainbow michele roohani prague

Prague is a city of posters,

michele roohani prague posters communism museum

and the capital of caryatids! Paris will never get close to these gorgeous men and women.

michele roohani caryatides prague honey colored

these two weren’t talking to each other:

michele roohani caryatids prague bank

but these two were – for an eternity.

michele roohani caryatids prague balcony

I woke up at 6 in the morning and took the tramway to Charles bridge – the only time in the day that it’s a bit quiet. Cities are majestic in the morning blue hour.

michele roohani charles bridge prague early morning

The astronomical  clock is the main tourist attraction.

astronomical clock prague michele roohani early morning sun

Speaking of Kafka, he’s omnipresent:

michele roohani prague cafe franz kafka moody

and here and everywhere…

michele roohani prague franz kafka mucha

Beautiful  city/people/pastries/absinthe (I brought some mean ones back to L.A.)

All and all, the Czech republic has shown gargantuan progress in a few years since the fall of communism – if only it stayed as inexpensive as the first time I visited…

“A book must be the ax for the frozen sea inside us” Franz Kafka

14 thoughts on “Babooshka dolls and Franz Kafka in Prague

  1. Sometime I wish some magician makes me a little mouse, getting up in your bag and traveling the world.
    I looked at the photos. For sure small pictures don’t do justice.. BUT.. they make one dream. Everything is food for the heart, for the eyes, for the culture. You did so well again. As I like so much Dvorak, I need to come back to kafka … I love the blue babooshka dolls (blue is my fav. colour). Thanks Michele.

  2. I was in Prague last year in May and again this year in May. The stark difference was that the first trip was a romantic one, an anniversary trip with my wife, and the other a close friend’s bachelor party! As it turns out, Prague is also known for its multifunctionality, designated as the capital of what’s soft and harsh about the human nature. If there was ever two different sides of a city I’m here to report that Prague is both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide! It is simply amazing! Hands down, it’s the most beautiful city in Europe. It’s vivacious and humble, yet it acts a wormhole to a past that’s peppered with Baroque style architecture, Gothic steepled churches, and friendly people. Oh, and the Goulash is fantastic! Given all that culture, Prague also serves as the entertainment capital of Europe. Bus loads of tourists visit the city for its churches and museums during the day, while a similar, but much louder group come out at night to see its other side. The night clubs, bars, discos, cabarets, and the casinos can sure give the city an around the clock appearance. So, although on the one hand, you have the sheepish day tourists, gathering in large numbers in front of the Astronomical Clock inside the Grand plaza, waiting for the top of the hour and the inevitable ringing of the bells – which reminds me of the time I watched paint dry for an hour – you have on the other hand the drunk British Stag party crowd, crawling out after the sunset, hitting bars, casinos, clubs, and cabarets and topping the night with a morning meal at Dawn and before returning into their dark dwellings. I do agree that the second set of tourists are a lot more obnoxious and probably not good for the city. But that’s what’s funny about economy, it works when it works! This is a testament to Prague’s versatility that it concurrently serves both ends of the human spectrum successfully. My two trips were also a great personal lesson in the differences between men and women; but getting into it would make a long log. So, thanks for the post Michele, it was a great reminder of the two cities that dwell in the same human mind.

  3. I would express something today to Ali.
    Bonsoir Ali,
    Thank you for this extraordinary writing on Prague.
    I always read your posts on michele’s blog, and like them, as they are very interesting. today…. i was/am really impressed.
    Thank you so much.. She did the photos, she submitted the subject, and you … did the rest. Beautiful… You know what ?? I’d like to take the first plane now… and fly to Praha.
    Thank you once more.

  4. Dear Marie:
    I’m sure you’ll enjoy your stay in Prague. It’s a great mix of fun, beauty, and excess! 😉
    During my second visit, I also noticed an impressive increase in overall prices! Of course, I’m from the US and the dollar is dropping like a lead balloon thanks to our president’s woeful leadership. So, it may not be the case for you if your from EU and have a sane president! 🙂 So, just a heads up so you do some research before you go for the best hotels, etc. 🙂

    Now, In my previous post, I didn’t mention anything about Michelle’s great selection of Babooshkas! After all, it was the tittle of the post!

    Aren’t these little marvels captivating? What beautiful, colorful, and mysterious objects they are. Like little onions, they unravel to their core with a surprise in each layer. But unlike onions, no tears! In a strange way, they truly represent us, don’t they? Consider this. Every year that we get older don’t we simply grow a layer over our previous self? So when we’re 37, aren’t we also 36, 35,…19,18,…7,6,5,…? If this is right, amazingly, our core is still the toddler full of wonder, one who grabs a stranger’s nose if he/she got too close to our face, or the 4 year old with his/her endless why questions, eager to learn. It appears, however, that as these outer layers are laid down, we grow farther and farther out of touch with our inner layers. Our core grows away as we live on the daily grind of our surface. It’s sad. For many of us, we’ve lost touch completely and for others, only in special occasions we may visit it. But I do wish there was a way we could also open our own shells on regular basis, and dust off our inner shells. Maybe we could find a lot about why our outer shells are shaped the way they are.
    Oh well. Just a thought. 🙂
    Have fun in Prague Marie and buy yourself a Babooshka for a souvenir!

  5. Prague est sans conteste une des villes les plus représentatives de ce qu’a été la “Mitteleuropa” avec Vienne et Budapest, et qui a été une des grandes périodes de la vie intellectuelle de l’Europe .
    Il me semble que dans le livre de l’écrivain français Danièle Sallenave :”Passages de l’Est” , il y a des phrases intelligentes sur cette ville. Il est aussi possible de lire “La pleurante des rues de prague” de Sylvie Germain.
    Prague a aussi été un des foyers de la Kabbale en Europe : pensez au mythe du Golem.
    Mais je crois savoir que le Golem et le fantôme de Kafka ont quitté la ville, en raison de leur allergie aux “Big Mac” et autres produits à “manger vite”, sans prendre du temps…

  6. Wow Michele,
    Thanks for sharing those beautiful and unforgattable moments of your life.
    Those pictures are really BREATHTAKING, beautiful and with a touch of an artist of course!.
    By looking at them it feels like traveling with you.Why don’t you contact a tourist company? They will buy them for sure.
    And as you said “Prague is a City of Posters”
    Gracias Amiga.

  7. Seeing Prague through the eyes of an artist is a privilege. Now I’m almost afraid of going there because seeing it with my own eyes might be to great a disappointment.

    By the way, I don’t think you have a single picture of Caryatids. All those strong men holding up buildings are called Atalantes (from Atlas).

  8. Fascinating, really, this is the eye of an artist. The best book on Prague is still that of Peter Demetz. Talking about Prague do not forget Kundera.

  9. Fascinating Pictures and equally thoughtful comments by your reader fans

    Prague Known as the “golden city of spires,” has architectural splendors that span a hundreds of years. the Medieval, Baroque, and Renaissance.

    The architecture of the city is reflected in the writings of the surrealist, Franz Kafka The city’s convoluted streets and unpredictable architecture are reflected in his bizarre, disturbing stories.

    “Prague never lets you go… this dear little mother has sharp claws.”
    — Franz Kafka

  10. Thank you for the suggestion to visit this gem-city. Your pictures give a great impression of the beauties which are a must to see at least ONCE in a lifetime.

    My daughter was in Prague recently so I’ll also show them to her.

    The images of the red staircase and your lucky double rainbow are truly enthralling.

    Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *