Bruadarach

Scottish Gaelic: Dreamer, Visionary

Category: Travel

Scotland 2018 Calendar

I’ve been taking thousands of photographs in Scotland since I first visited in 2009. Working on a calendar was only a natural thing to do. Maybe one day I’ll make a photo book as well. 🙂

Enjoy!

At the moment, it’s available directly through Lulu:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/katharina-maimer/scotland-2018/calendar/product-23334260.html 

 

 

Christmas Markets in Vienna, 2015 Edition

XmasCover E 2015When I started blogging about Christmas markets in winter 2012, I never thought it would become a book, let alone I would be publishing a second edition three years later.

After it was first published, I still wanted to go to new markets or revisit old ones, and I took my camera and Mick with me, to be safe. The plan was to update it for 2014, but we moved house and the project landed in the queue.

I was sure though, once the new opening dates and times were published I would manage a 2015 edition – and here it is! 🙂

Updated infos, seven new markets, and many more photos!

Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.de

Smashwords (and many more…)

Food in Prague, Check

For the May holiday weekend, we took a trip to Prague with a couple of friends, one of whom is Slovak and thus fluent in Czech as well. This helped a lot, especially when it came to finding nice and not-touristy spots to eat. On top of that, Prague is also excellent when it comes to cafés and the selection of cakes you can find there.

Overall, the city is much cheaper than Vienna for eating out. In Vienna you can seldom go out and pay below 40 EUR for a meal for two, but in Prague we paid about the same for the five of us.

Other than Prague being a really great city, I decided to write a bit more about the restaurants and cafés we visited there. Important to know are two words – in case the menu is only in Czech – knedlík (dumplings) and spek (bacon). That’ll get you through most menus 😉

 

DSC_6527

Pod Dračí Skálou
Karlštejn 130, 267 18 Karlštejn

Our first stop on the way to Prague was the town of Karlstejn, south west of the city, location of a great castle. The restaurant is not easily accessible, you either park at the town’s car park and walk for half an hour since the whole town and the way up the castle is a pedestrian area, or you try to drive through the masses of people by car. Either way, it’ll be worth it. Hearty Czech cuisine, duck and bacon dumplings, pork roast with more dumplings and skewers with… dumplings. Washing it down with Kofola, the Czech/Slovak version of coke, and pancakes with fresh berries as dessert.

Mick adds:
A word about Kofola – this is a very dark (think Guinness-black) fruit drink we first came across in Slovakia. Its history dates back to communist-era Czechoslovakia, but it still functions as a viable rival to the big US brands who have appeared on the scene since the Velvet Revolution. The drink is more fruity and rich, but less overtly sugary than brand colas and is worth a try if you are steering clear of the ridiculously cheap Czech beer.

DSC_6606

Café Savoy
Vítězná 124/5, 150 00 Praha 5

Once we arrived in Prague, it was time for coffee and cake. The café Savoy is located in the “Small Town”, is a beautiful café with tasty cakes and on the way to the toilet you can even see their kitchen and watch the bakers at work.

Paul
Václavské náměstí 42, 110 00 Praha 1

I admit it, if there is a ‘Paul’ in town, I will go there. This French bakery can be found in many large cities in France and across Europe, but not in Vienna. I’ve been to their branches all over France for breakfast, so when I heard there was one in Prague as well, we had to go there. For croissants, and breakfast eclairs, and breakfast mini quiches and and and…

DSC_6926

Hergetova Cihelna
Cihelná 2b, Prague 1

Going to lunch at one of the prime spots next to the river with perfect view of the Charles Bridge is just as fancy as it sounds, but by far not as expensive. Whilst I had fantastic salmon and home-made ice tea, my beloved went for the octopus monster that’s coming out of the black sea. It tasted much better than it looked!

DSC_6961
Kavárna Obecní dům
Náměstí Republiky 5, 110 00 Praha 1

That afternoon, the rain was pouring, but we found shelter in this huge and beautiful Art Deco café. We “had” to try almost all the cakes because the rain took a very long time to stop, but this was the very place where I discovered honey cake. Honey in the dough, honey in the cream, many layers, crunchy, moist, delicious!

Mick adds:
In addition to the food and drinks, we were treated to some live music, courtesy of a jazz trio (bass, piano & sax) who played a mixture of classic standards as well as a couple of modern pop songs given the jazz treatment. They were generally greeted by polite applause, but were not intrusive. The resulting atmosphere, despite the lashing rain beating against the windows, was very relaxing and it was such a pleasure to have something other than the usual piped pop junk clashing with the natural murmur of conversation. Apparently jazz is really a big deal in the Czech Republic and it was common to come across bands playing out on the street, as well as in cafés and bars.

DSC_6966

Mistral Café
Valentinská 11, 110 00 Praha 1

Another day that started with French breakfast, though some of us went for an English one (not who you think!); it was delicious! The only problem we had was that it only opened at 10am, which is a bit late when you are under-caffeinated and hungry.

2014-05-04 10.33.04

Posezení u Čiriny
Navrátilova 1632/6, 110 00 Praha 1

For lunch, we went for the native’s suggestion again and ate in this small and cosy restaurant. There were spaetzle with bacon and cheese on the menu at which point we didn’t even bother to read more. As usual, it was fantastic!

 

Grand Café Orient
Ovocný trh 569/19, 110 00 Praha

This cubistic café – though I’m not sure why it was supposed to be cubistic – was full of people, twice. If you have the patience to wait for a table and for the attention of a waiter (who seem to be even more aloof than Viennese ones), you will be rewarded with great café and even better cake. The honey cake was even better than the one we had the day before.

2014-05-04 15.14.32

School Café Restaurant
Smetanovo nábřeží 205/22, 110 00 Praha 1

Our last breakfast in Prague was also by far the most lavish one. There was savoury breakfast and pancakes, accompanied by fresh juices and a lot of coffee. Some even had two courses of breakfast. Another great start to a busy day!

 

U třech čertů
Starobrněnská 7, 602 00 Brno

Driving back to Vienna, we stopped in Brno, a town close to the Austrian border. After going for a small walk, we came across a restaurant with two devils as a logo, that looked intriguing. Inside, there were people eating from huge pitchforks, so we knew we were at the right place. Somewhere between very stinky cheese and a comfy pub atmosphere, we ended up pretty stuffed for our drive back home.

Mick adds:
Of course, we didn’t spend ALL our time in Prague eating and drinking. As well as a walk up to the castle (which is stunning, but was very crowded), visiting several great bookshops (Shakespeare & Sons and The Globe being particularly memorable), climbing up the Observatory tower and visiting the National Library of the Klementinium (the guided tour is recommended for a stunning view over the city) and taking in a Tim Burton exhibition, we thoroughly enjoyed losing ourselves in the various winding streets of Prague. Western high street shops are, as everywhere, starting to take over the centre, but there are still plenty of interesting local shops, restaurants and cafés to explore. The popular tourist attractions (especially the Charles Bridge, the castle and the Astronomical Clock) can be overwhelmingly mobbed, but it doesn’t take too much exploring to escape the crowds and find some true gems.

 

Mick Photo A Day

9678711011_ed521f2922_o When I did the Photo A Day challenges last November and in June, I found that everyone loved pictures of my husband Mick. I obviously knew how photogenic he was, but the reception was very positive. On top of that, I don’t have much experience taking photos of people other than snapshots of him in front of something. That’s why for September, I challenged myself to take all photo prompts with Mick in them. The fact that we spent most of September on holiday in Scotland helped of course. It would’ve been much harder taking a photo a day of him which fits the prompt if we were working and the only possibility would be to take pictures in the evening, mostly at home.

Three weeks in Scotland gave me plenty of opportunity to take fitting pictures of him, experiment with portrait photography, show off the stunning countryside and even leave me with a few photos to fill the rest of the month when we were back home in Vienna.

9709801177_6071c9fd32_o

After 30 days of photos from Mick, I’d say I’ve learned a lot about taking photos of people. It’s easiest with a willing model obviously and I’m very thankful that Mick was happy to go along, jump along, pose and do silly things to fit the different prompts. Making whoever you take photos of feel comfortable enough to do creative or weird things is the best way to get candid shots – even if the person is looking into the camera. You get the feeling they are just talking or gesturing to the person behind the camera, not thinking about the photo itself.

All of the shots were taken with natural light, which is quite easy with Scotland being one of those places where you get quickly changing lightning and most of it is fantastic. For now, I’m taking a break from the daily photo prompts, maybe getting back to it after a few months have passed. I hope you enjoy the photos I took of Mick around Scotland! 🙂

You can find all the photos in the Flickr Album “September Photo A Day“.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén