Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tünde's 4th Birthday

It's hard to believe that Tünde turned four years old this week.  So today's adventure was her birthday party at Jump Park - the first trampoline park in central Europe.

Jump Park is actually a lot of fun.  There are trampolines connected to one another from wall to wall.  There's even a back area where you can jump or flip in to a foam pit.  It's quite the workout and it sure does take a lot of energy to keep up with a group of kids who all want to play.

We got there a little early so Tünde got to have a few minutes running around by herself before everyone else arrived.


Instead of a birthday cake we went to Cupcakekárna and picked up an assortment of cup cakes for everyone.  They were a big hit.
I should look at having a team building at Jump Park although probably without the cup cakes.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Museum of Romani Culture

Today's adventure was a visit to the Muzeum romské kultury, Museum of Romani Culture.  Located here in Brno, it the first and only, museum of Romani culture in Central Europe.  It was founded in 1991 and in December 2000 it moved to its current location in the centre of Brno's Roma neighbourhood.

Roma community flag

The museum's permanent exhibit focuses on the life, culture, and history of the Roma, with an emphasis on Czechland from 1945 to 1989.

The Roma are the people that, growing up in the USA, we would call Gypsies.  Cikán is the Czech word for Gypsy.

©Test Tube News

The Roma came from Northern India and came to Europe about 1,000 years ago.  Today, there are about 12 million Roma across Europe but the highest percentages are primarily in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia.  In Czech Republic only about 1,96% of the population is Roma.

The Roma face a lot of discrimination no mater where they are.  In communist Czechoslovakia there was a state policy of forced assimilation and there were many counts of sterilisation for Roma women designed to reduce the Roma population.  Some cases of sterilisation were reported up to until 2004.

Here's a video I found out on YouTube that talks about the Roma in Czech Republic.  The interviews are with Romodrom, which is a Czech Republic based Roma advocacy group.


The museum s quite interesting and well worth a visit.  Here's a video about the museum that they put up on YouTube.
©Muzeum romské kultury

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Kometa Wins!

HC Kometa Brno is the local professional ice hockey team and they play in the Czech Extraliga.  On Wednesday night they won the top domestic league title.  The last time Kometa won was 51 years ago during the 1965-1966 season.

The club dates back to 1953 when it was founded as an Czechoslovak army club then called Rudá hvězda Brno, Red Star.  

In 1993, the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League split up following the Velvet Divorce and the Czech Extraliga was formed.  There are 14 teams in the league which is the top-level league in the country.

HC Kometa Brno has won 12 Czechoslovak, and Czech, championships and 3 European Cup titles.  They placed second in the league in 2012 and in 2014.  Ice hockey is a big deal here so there has been a lot of celebrating (i.e., drinking) going on since Wednesday when they beat Liberec for the championship.

I've only been to one Kometa pre-season match against St. Petersburg which was a lot of fun.  It's quite difficult to get tickets to matches as Kometa fans are very loyal.  Even when they're not playing well it's damn near impossible to score tickets.

There was a procession in the streets today and a big rally in the centre for the players.
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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.