Tuesday, December 9, 2008

捷克/Czech Republic(Part 1)

My knowledge of Czech Republic is about as much as my knowledge of the other European countries, i.e. I only know of their football. However, hearing others talk of Czech Republic all the time, watching drama series like that of the Korean drama “Lovers in Prague”, and hearing songs like Jolin Tsai’s “The Square of Prague”, made me concoct this vision of a romantic and alluring country. In the end, I did fall in love with Prague like I thought I would, and stayed there for a week without realizing it. And what about the parts of Czech Republic outside of Prague? I loved them even more than Prague.

I had been impressed by the number of old buildings and old streets in Poland. But the number of “oldies” in Prague was even more dazzling. And the place where you can find the largest concentration of old buildings and streets is of course, the Old Town. This has got to be the biggest Old Town I’ve been to so far. From the trademark astronomical clock on the Old City Hall, to the baroque buildings, to the winding cobblestoned streets filled with tiny shops and restaurants, everything in this Old Town has character. You can definitely stay here for one full day and still wish to go back a second time.

布拉格的这个天文钟是世界上最著名的天文钟之一,钟的核心部分于1410年完成。钟盘上画着代表地球和天空的背景,并有四个主要移动的圆盘,分别是黄道十二宫圆盘、老捷克时间表、太阳和月亮,后来在1870年,在钟的下方加了一个日历盘。这座钟在第二世界大战期间几乎被纳碎人摧毁,之后被修复。根据当地古老的传说,如果这个钟没有妥善维护,这个城市就会面临灾难。The astronomical clock in the square of Prague’s old town is one of the most famous clocks of this type in the world. The central portion was completed in 1410. The background on the face of the clock is that of the earth and the sky. There are four rotating dials, one representing the position of the sun and moon, one depicting the zodiacal ring, one indicating Old Czech Time, and the last, which was added in 1870, that of a calendar dial, with medallions representing the months. This clock, known as the Prague Orloj, suffered heavy damage during WWII, but was eventually repaired. According to an old legend, misfortune will befall the city if the clock is not maintained in order. 所谓的巴罗克建筑就是这些外观七彩缤纷的建筑;巴罗克艺术指的是在16世纪后期开始在欧洲流行的一种艺术形式,因此在这个时期的建筑外观大部分都有巴罗克绘画。
Baroque buildings refer to buildings like these with a unique style of paintings or decoration on them. Baroque art refers to a style of art popularize in the late 16th century. As such, buildings built during those them are usually covered in paintings like these.与之前去的古镇一样,在布拉格古镇四处可见贩卖各种纪念品的商店、装潢独特的精品店,或是有特色的餐厅和咖啡座等。另外,其中一条街布满了小摊位,在这里你除了可以买到新鲜的蔬菜和水果外,还可以买到各种各样的布拉格风景画,或是独特的纪念品等。
Just like the old town in the other cities, you can find little stalls and shops selling all sorts of souvenirs in the Old Town in Prague. There are also many cafes and restaurants, each with its own character. There is a street dotted with little stores, selling fresh produce, on top of the usual knick knacks for tourists. 走出古镇,你还是可以看到很多老建筑。这些建筑大多都很庞大,外墙上的雕刻都很精致。
If you venture out of Old Town, you can still see many old buildings, many of which are huge in size with intricate carvings on the outside walls. 另外,还有这个历史悠久的旧城门。
And then, there is this ancient looking gate. 到布拉格的犹太人区,也会看到许多设计独特的建筑。当然也少不了犹太人教堂。
There is a Jewish quarters here, where you can see many unique buildings and a few synagogues. 这是布拉格的电视塔。对这个单调的塔感兴趣纯粹因为它的外观,仔细看了一看才发现塔外的装饰是……宝宝。够诡异吧?
This here is the TV tower. This boring building captured my attention only because of the “things” on the outside of the tower. On closer examination, I realised that these were actually crawling babies. Weird, huh?走着走着,突然发现布拉格一个小小的角落里居然有新加坡的味道。喏,就是这个陈美的海报。虽然对陈美不太认识,但能够在遥远的地方看到这位在新加坡出世,但现在已经是英国公民的著名演奏家海报,接触到与新加坡有一点点关联的东西,多少觉得其实离家并不远。
Strolling along the streets, I suddenly found a touch of Singapore in a small corner of Prague i.e. a poster of born-in-Singapore violinist Vanessa Mae. Although I don’t know much about Vanessa Mae and her music, but to be able to see something with a hint of Singapore in it in such a remote corner, it felt as if I was not too far from home. 晚上再兜回古镇去,看看夜晚的古镇与白天的有多不同。
When night fell, I went back to Old Town again to check out how the place looked at night. 相信每一位曾到布拉格的游客相簿里一定少不了一张相片,即查尔斯桥的相片。这座桥可老啦,是在1357年建成,一直到1841年它是布拉格的唯一一座桥。桥上有30樽18世纪的雕像,可惜我去的时候桥正在装修,什么都看不见,就连平时会有的小摊位也寥寥无几。
One photo which will definitely be in every tourist’s photo album for Prague is that of Charles Bridge. This bridge was built in 1357 and until 1841; it was the old bridge in Prague. The 516m long bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of thirty statues and statuaries, erected in the 18th century. Unfortunately, the bridge was undergoing reconstruction when I was there, so I could not see the actual beauty of the bridge, nor the many little souvenirs stalls that usually crowd the bridge. 走过查尔斯桥,就会来到布拉格的另一部分,这里最著名的旅游景点之一就是布拉格城堡。这可是世界上最大的城堡之一,走进去感觉就像是处于一个小镇似的,里面有教堂、宫殿、楼台等。不过入门票可是贵到极点,所以选择了不必花钱的方法,即晚上才去。虽然不能进入任何一座建筑参观,但从外面拍照也不错。站在城堡外,你可以欣赏到布拉格的漂亮夜景。
Going across the bridge, you will come to the other half of Prague, where you can find the iconic Prague Castle, which is one of the biggest castles in the world. Here you can find churches, palaces, towers and other buildings. Since it is the biggest tourists’ attraction in Prague, entrance fees are of course, really expensive. I opted for the free method, which was to walk around the grounds at night, forgoing viewing the insides of the castle, but it was still interesting nonetheless. From the outside of the castle, you can catch a wonderful night view of the city.在桥的这一边另一个受欢迎的旅游景点是卡夫卡纪念博物馆。在这里你可以看到与这名世纪德语小说家 有关的一切,有他写的日历、信件和书刊等。另外,你也可以了解到卡夫卡的一生,知道这名在布拉格出世的犹太人与他父亲的关系,他和他的女人,以及他是如何度过他生命中的最后几个月。博物馆的外面还有个非常有趣的喷水泉。留意人像的下盘,那其实是会动的喔!
On this side of the city, you can also find another popular attraction, The Franz Kafka Museum. Kafka, born into a middle class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. Here you can see his diary, letters and books on display, and you can also get to read about his life, his relationship with his father, his women, and the last few months of his life. The museum is tastefully done and outside the museum, there is an interesting fountain. If you look carefully at the picture, you will notice that the pelvic part of the human fountain is actually moveable. 之后到布拉格旧要塞去走走。这座要塞坐落在古镇南边的小山上。这里最引人注目的是这座11世纪的彼得与保罗教堂,教堂旁边还有葬了不少捷克名人的坟场。教堂旁边有个开放给人野餐的小公园。从要塞的围墙,你可看到捷克的环景。
Next up was a visit to Prague’s ancient hilltop fortress, Vysehrad, located to the south of Old Town. Dominated by the 11th century twin towers of SS Peter & Paul Church, Vysehrad was rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. The cemetery besides the church contains the graves of many distinguished Czechs. There is a nice garden for you to stroll around or have a picnic, and you can have a panoramic view of Prague from the citadel’s battlements. 离旧要塞不原有一带有着非常特别的建筑,即带有立体主义的建筑。这一类型建筑是布拉格独有的,在其他地方是看不到的。
Not far away from Vysehrad, you can find a small group of unique buildings, i.e. cubist architectural buildings. These buildings are unique to Prague and cannot be found elsewhere in the Czech Republic.傍晚时分,到伏尔塔瓦河去看日落。在等待日落的当儿,对着河中游来游去的白鹅发呆,结果发现了其中一只白鹅的脖子是畸形的。
Sat by the Vltava River as evening approached. While waiting to catch the sunset, I amused myself by watching the swans swimming in the river, and found a poor swan with a crooked neck. 在捷克又与之前在俄罗斯经常碰面的Michael见面,不过这一次我们是约好见面的。晚上到他的宿舍去,与其他人一起煮晚餐吃。晚餐之后,就到酒吧去,这还是我这次旅行以来,第一次到酒吧去。
Met up with Michael whom I met several times in Russia. But this time round, we met by appointment, not by coincidence. We cooked dinner at the hostel with other travelers and then went to check out the pubs after that. Believe it or not, this is actually the first time I went to a pub on this trip!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

我对Prague也不是很了解,但一直以来都会慕名向往。它现在看起来,好像没有非常特别的景点。比方,巴黎有Eiffel Tower, 埃及有金字塔,纽约有自由女神等等。值得去吗?