Saturday, 30 June 2012

UEFA EURO 2012 (part.2)

In a recent pool my firends postcrossers told me that the story from the opening match of the UEFA EURO 2012 was their preferred one. So I decided to share with you one of the semi-finals as well.

The semi-final was played on the National Stadium.

Already when I was approaching the stadium it was obvious who is going to play.

Football is a game that unleashes strong emotions. As a result, not all fans behave the way they should. To prevent incidents, the stadium was surrounded by policeman. Of course, I liked best these ones.

I booked a comfortable place in one of the skyboxes.

Before the match started we could watch a little dancing show.

Then the call for respect began. Both captains read a message in their native languages. The supporters had their part too.

The national anthems were a moving moment. Unfortunatelly the supporters of one of the teams did not understand the "respect" message and were booing, whistling and hissing during the other country's anthem. Very bad behaviour folks.

During the German anthem a huge flag arose.

The teams shook hands.

Finally, the game began.

The German supporters were all excited.

No surprise, since Buffon was very busy in the first minutes.

A relief for the Italian sector - no goal this time.

And then out of a sudden the ball was in the German goal. Balotelli is an amazing player. The Italian team was more than happy.

If you rememebr well, the opening match included a penatly. Well, this one as well. This allowed Mesut Özil to score his first goal in the chapmionship.

The match ended with 2:1 for Italy. As it was the last match of the championship played in Poland, a huge "thank you" message entered the field.

That was really a great match and I enjoyed it a lot. See you in 2 years in Brazil!

P.S. Thanks to Mariusz for his support with the pictures.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Vyšehrad and Nove Mesto

My next trip took me to the Castle on the Heights or Vyšehrad.  It is located in the outskirts of Prague so to get there I had to take a tram and then the underground. It allowed me to have a short walk around the so-called New Town of Prague first.

Obviously the New Town is quite old as it was built in the 14th century. It has a couple of interesting spots, like the New Town Hall.

It does not seem that high at first sight but unfortunatelly some people made the bad experience of a fall from the windows. Defenestration is a really nasty thing.

The best known place in the New Town is the Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí). It is quite weird - it is called a square but it is rectangular. And in fact it is more a space between two parallell streets. Well, just look for yourself.

The square is named after St. Wenceslas, a former king and now a saint patron of Bohemia. His statue is placed on top of the square.

Behind the statue you will see the National Museum. It is a truely impressive building in the neo-rennaissance style.

Time to go to Vyšehrad at last. The interesting thing is that the underground is actually going in the air, under a tall bridge.

Vyšehrad is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Prague.

Unfortunately, the castle of Vyšehrad does not exist any longer. The most important building there is the Church of St. Peter and Paul. It is a basilica minor.

The porche is beautifully decorated.

But I was most enchanted by a little round-shaped church of St. Martin. Believe it or not but it dates back to the 11th century!

At least that was what I liked best on the hill itself. Because the true treasure of Vyšehrad is the view on the city and also the high walls protecting the castle in the old days.

It is difficult to show it on a picture. You'd better look at this panoramic view.

All right, time to go down again. This means lots of steps ahead.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Mala Strana

After my short break in Warsaw I am back to Prague. We ended our last trip in the Old Town by the Veltava River. The Veltava river is crossed by many bridges. The oldest and best known is the Charles Bridge. It is made of stone, which is understandable if you know that its construction started in 14th century.

From the side of the Old Town, the Charles Bridge starts with the Old Town Bridge Tower.

When you cross the bridge, you will enter the district of Malá Strana or Lesser Town. Obviously we will enter it by the Lesser Town Bridge Gate.

The Malá Strana district used to be a suburb below the Hradčany castle. One of the best known buildings there is the Saint Nicolas church.

You should make sure that you do not miss to visit the Wallenstein Gardens.

The garden has a beautiful artificial lake ...

... and a wall with artificial stalactites that imitates a cave.

What I liked best though were the peacocks. Have you ever seen a peacock that would be completely white? I did not, at least so far.

The most important building in the garden is the palace that houses now the Senate of the Czech Republic.

Let's now step out of the garden and walk through the narrow streets of Malá Strana.

We still need to have a look at the Kampa Museum, a modern art gallery.

It is an unusual museum since some of the artefacts are exhibited in the open air. Like the giant chair in the middle of the river.

Or some bronze statues. Guess what they are?

.And yes, this is a huge human baby!

The last big attraction of Mala Strana is the Petrin Hill that I have shown you recently.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


I still have not seen everything I want to see in Prague. But I had to come back to Warsaw this weekend. I simply had to. After all, it was a once in a lifetime chance to show you the opening match of the European Football Championships. This year, the UEFA EURO Finals take place in Poland and Ukraine. Warsaw is one of the proud hosting cities.

You can see the signs of the football madness everywhere.

The opening game was taking place at the National Stadium (you might remember the basket that I have shown you from the Palace of Culture and Science).

The crowd was overwhelming. I hoped to find some rest in this nice lounge. Unfortunately the Men in Black did not let me in.

So I strolled to the lucky gate number 7.

They scanned my ticket and I was allowed to enter the Temple of Sports.

I liked in particular the roof. In the middle there were huge TV screens where everyone could see the most important parts of the match. Just in case the people standing in front of you would not let you see the players.

The National Stadium in Warsaw has 58,000 places. This one was mine.

The match was to be played between Poland and Greece. You could see quite many Greeks.

And a few more Poles.

Everybody was waiting for the game to begin when strange people in black suits entered the stadium and started to put a blue thing on the grass.

After a few minutes, the playing area looked like a small lake.

The reason was probably so that the dancers do not ruin the grass. You probably ask yourselves what would dancers do in a football field. Well, they danced.

It was a very nice and colourful show.

Then a huge logo of the game arose.

Finally, Slavek and Slavko, the Official Mascots entered the playing field. It was the sign that the match is to begin at last.

Both teams played with devotion.

After the first half Poland was winning 1:0. Then suddenly it lost a goal.

And them came the worst. The Polish goal keeper got a red card, followed by a penalty.

To the delight of all Polish supporters, the new goal keeper managed to defend the penalty! The match ended with 1:1. Which is probably a fair score. Though of course 2:1 for Poland would be slightly better. Keep your fingers crossed for the next match!