Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anniversary / Birthday Trip to Czech Republic

This last week KLynn and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary and my (Bob's) 60th birthday.  We spent four days in Prague and Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, and it was wonderful.  I had heard so much about Prague I was afraid it had been built up too much in my mind.  It wasn't.  It really IS that pretty.  Cesky Krumlov is a preserved medieval city near the Austrian border.  It will spoil us for Disney World forever.  A few pictures follow:

 This is KLynn with St. Nicholas' Church and part of Old Town Prague in the background.

 This is on the way to Karlstein, about 25 miles outside of Prague.  It has a fairy-tale castle on the top of the hill to the left.

KLynn with Cesky Krumlov in the background.  It is amazingly well preserved.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and well deserving of the distinction.

We hired this vintage Skoda roadster and driver to give us a driving tour of Old Town for an hour.  It was a good way to see the city.

This is a shot looking across the Vistula River during our driving tour.

This picture captures the spirit of the trip.  We had a memorable time.  It's been a good 38 years.

This is a shot from the Charles Bridge.  Prague has lots of tourists in the summer, and with good reason.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Concert at the Palace

Today, Sunday, KLynn and I went to Izmailava Park, to the old Tsar's palace built in the 1600s I think, for a musical program by a baritone singer friend of ours, and a guitarist / accompanist.  The concert was very nice and the park grounds were beautiful.  It is a hidden gem.  Pictures follow.

This is a gateway to the palace grounds.  The concert was in one of the wings off to the right.

This is walking back from the palace toward an Orthodox Church.

This is the pathway through the palace grounds.  The onion domes in the background are the church.  It had rained earlier in the day and the path was a little wet.

This is KLynn standing outside the church.  (Headscarves for women are customary inside Orthodox churches.)

The old church in the foreground was built in the 1600s.  The newer one is in the background.

Wednesday evening we went to the Moscow Conservatory for a fabulous concert of Beethoven's 9th Symphony performed by the Moscow State Orchestra conducted by Pavel Kogan (formerly the principal guest conductor of the Utah Symphony).  We had dinner at a little sidewalk cafe before the concert, the concert hall was beautiful, the music was magnificent, and it was one of those near-perfect evenings.  Summers in Moscow help you forget about the winter.  There is much in Moscow that is beautiful.  I'll miss it when it is time to leave.  It is becoming home.

Friday evening we attended a choir concert at St. Andrew's Anglican Church performed by an expat women's performing group.  They weren't professional, but it was fun.  The president of the International Women's Club this year (wife of the Polish Ambassador) sang in the choir and invited us.  She and KLynn are becoming good friends, and I'm glad we went.  Saturday evening we had my office staff, their families, and some of the missionaries for dinner at the Pokrofsky Hilly Bowery - about twenty people.  So it's been a busy week-end. Life is good.