Monday, April 17, 2017

Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs

Happy Easter Monday!!  Veselé velikonoce!!

It's Easter time which means that it's easier to find white eggs in the market.  When I first moved to Brno, almost eight years ago, all I ever saw in the market were brown eggs.  Not very conducive for Easter egg colouring.

Over the years, it seems that white eggs have become more common.  I can find them if I look for them but I still think that brown eggs are the default here.

I know that in the USA, brown eggs cost more than white eggs because there white eggs are definitely the default colour.

I've honestly never looked to see if there's a price difference between brown eggs and white eggs in here in Czechland.  I just always buy brown eggs.

Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg is home to more than 575,000 people making it the second largest city in Sweden.  There are more than one million people in the metro area.  Gothenburg is on the southwest coast about halfway between Copenhagen, Denmark and Oslo, Norway.  It is 500 km (311 miles) west of Stockholm and 300 km (186 miles) north of Malmö.

King Gustav II Adolf founded the city in 1621.
In Swedish, the city name is Göteborg which is pronounced "yeh-teh-BOR-e".  It is the only city in Sweden that has a different name in English.

Today, it's the home of Volvo and a student city.  With over 60,000 students, Gothenburg University is the largest in Scandinavia.

It's a beautiful city to just go for a walk in.  The Göta Canal was built in the early 19th century.

Gothenburg Cathedral belongs to the Church of Sweden.  It is also known as the Swedish Church and it was consecrated in 1815.

Christinae Church was consecrated in 1748.  It is known as the German Church as it was used by the the city's German and Dutch congregation.

The City Museum was established in 1861 and it is located in the 18th century East India House.  It covers everything from the Vikings to the present.

The Stora theatre opened in 1859.

The Gothenburg Synagogue opened in 1855 and sits 300 people.

The city theatre opened in 1934.

The Vasa Church was built in 1909.  It was restored in 1999-2000.

The city library opened in 1967.

Masthuggskyrkan is a 1914 church that doubles as a well-known landmark for sea navigation.

Gothenburg Concert Hall was built in 1935.  It is home to the city's symphony.

The Poseidon fountain was unveiled in 1931 and is located at Götaplatsen in front of the Museum of Art.  The square was inaugurated in 1923 celebrate the city's 300th anniversary.

The flowers in front of the fountain are in memory of the five people killed and 14 who were seriously injured in Stockholm terrorist incident on 7 April 2017 when a hijacked lorry was driven in to a crowd.

From 30 June 2017 to 31 January 2018, the city is hosting the Gothenburg Green World exhibition.  The Reincarnation, on display until the official opening, is made from 400 green bamboo poles.

Haga is the city's bohemian district with picturesque 19th century wooden houses.

Skansen Kronan is a fortress that was introduced in 1698.  It was never attacked and it never fired its cannons.  Until 2004 it was a military museum but now it is a private facility used for conferences and private parties.

The Haga Church belongs to the Church of Sweden.  It opened in 1859.

Liseberg is an amusement park that opened in 1923.  It has more than 30 different rides and is among the top ten amusement parks in the world.

The town hall is located in a building dating back to around 1670.  Until 2010 it was used as a court of law.  The newer extension was completed in 1936.

Feskekôra, fish church, opened in 1874. It's a fish market hall but it just happened to be built resembling a church.

It's a great place to grab a quick sandwich for lunch.

The Medical History Museum is located in a 200 year old former hospital.

The new opera house is located at the waterfront.  It opened in 1994 and seats 1300 people.

This is the Swedish Merchant Seaman Memorial.  Sweden was neutral in WWII but 200 merchant seaman were killed during the war.

The Lilla Bommen building opened in 1989.  Locals call it The Lipstick.

From 1850 to 1930, the old Customs House is where more than 1 million Swedish emigrants had to pass through on their way to lives in new countries.  Many went to the USA.

I had a great weekend in Gothenburg.  Highly recommended and it's on my list of places to come back to.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Street Work

There's some street work going on in front of my new flat.  building.  The sidewalk has been dug up for just a couple of days so far.

It shouldn't be too bad and hopefully it won't take as long as the pipe work lasted in front of my old flat.

I get to miss a bit of the inconvenience as I'm headed off to Gothenburg, Sweden for a few days.  Fingers crossed that everything will be back to normal by the time I'm back.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Road Trip to Székesfehérvár, Hungary

Road trip selfie
Yesterday, five of us headed off on an early morning road trip to Székesfehérvár, Hungary.

Only a couple of us had been there before so we took the others on a quick tour after work.

This has got to be my eighth or ninth work trip here so it's nice when there's something new.

For example, they've done up the spot where Hungarian kings and queens used to be crowned.

Everyone else got to go home today but I headed to Slovakia for meetings in Bratislava tomorrow.

Tonight's view from my hotel is the Presidential Palace.

Dobrou nos z Bratislavě.  Good night from Bratislava. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Old Man Eyes

I went to my GP clinic this week to see the optometrist and she diagnosed me with "old man eyes".  I asked her how bad it is and she started off with "at your age...".

I guess it could be considered as kind of rude by some people but she said it jokingly.  I appreciated that she had a sense of humour about it.

The prescription isn't that bad and I just need reading glasses.  My VZP insurance entitles me to new glasses every three years.

The prescription comes with a 150 Kč ($6.90) discount on frames.  That's not a whole lot so I end up paying out-of-pocket for better frames and anti-glare, anti-scratch lenses.  The discount is taken at the store so I don't need to submit anything to the insurance company.  I should get my new glasses in seven to ten days.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Andalusia Trip Summary

We had an awesome week in Spain.  This was my first time in Andalusia and found it to be brilliant.

We stayed in Málaga which was great.  There's so much to see and do here.  It's also makes a great home base for several day trips.

Plus it's on the Costa del Sol and it felt so good to be at the beach.

In Málaga, we saw people preparing for the Holy Week celebration.  The processions will start on Palm Sunday and continue until Easter Sunday just as they have here for more than 500 years.

Our first day trip was to Tangier which was my first time in Africa.  It was a long day and gave us a quick feel for the city.  There are still places I want to visit in Morocco but I don't have a burning desire to go back to Tangier.  But I did ride a camel.
Our next day trip was to Granada and a visit to La Alhambra.  Granada seemed like such a great place that we really want to stay here next time.  Perhaps combining it with visits to Córdoba and Sevilla.

We really enjoyed our tour to Gibraltar.  Not sure I would want to stay here a week but perhaps for a long weekend.

No visit here is complete without seeing the macaques.  I made sure to pick up a toy monkey souvenir for Tünde.  It makes loud monkey noises so I'm sure she'll love it; Claudia probably not so much but my job as godfather is to spoil her.

In Málaga

I grew up in California and part of my family is Mexican so I grew up with people speaking Latin American Spanish, or our version of it called Spanglish.  Normally my biggest challenge is Latin American Spanish vs. European Spanish.

Breakfast hot chocolate and churros
This week I found my Czech messing up my Spanish.  In Czech, jo means "yes" or "yeah" which sounds just like yo which in Spanish means "I".  So I found myself wanting to say "yes, yes" and felt bloody stupid saying "I, I".  Very much like my Czech messing with my Greek in Crete and Cyprus.  I guess on the bright side Czech is becoming more and more second nature.

The food this week was a definite highlight.  Everything was so fresh, especially the seafood.

Seafood paella
Dinner in Spain is served late as most restaurants don't even open until 8 PM, and that's kind of early. Things start to get busy around 10 PM.

One thing I had never tried before were boquerones, fried anchovies.  They were surprising good.

So a fabulous week in Spain, plus Morocco and Gibraltar.  Even a quick stop in Zürich.  The 23℃ (73℉) weather was a welcome break from the cold in Brno and I'm looking forward to my next trip to Spain.