Czeching it out again (Part 3 of 3)

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star
Czeching it out again (Part 3 of 3)
Panoramic view of Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, and Charles Bridge
Photos by Pepper Teehankee on a Leica C Digital Camera

Chateau Mcely (https://www.chateaumcely.cz/en) is around an hour outside Prague. It is a beautiful spa hotel and forest retreat that was once the property of the noble Thurn und Taxis family. A night here is perfect to unwind and relax.  The bar serves excellent drinks and their restaurant Piano Nobile has excellent dishes.  They have a spa with house-made oils and lotions as well.  I had a wonderful time in this Chateau that was built in 1653 and was extensively refurbished by the Cusumano family in 2004. Do wake up for breakfast so you may have your fill of unlimited champagne, organic eggs, smoked salmon, and caviar!

It was time to check out the vibrant art scene after recharging in Chateau Mcely.  We headed back to Prague to visit Langhans Centrum, where Ukrainian teenager Polina Budagovska is exhibiting some of her digital artworks.  Polina is only 19 but has experienced war in Ukraine twice, now and when Crimea was invaded. She showcases her digital paintings chronicling her then daily life in Ukraine to fleeing and showing the atrocities of war. She came to Prague with her mother Alyona for the opening of this exhibition, which will be shown all around Europe. Both will be bravely going back to war-torn Ukraine, a country they deeply love.

Municipal House in Prague.

Czech contemporary art

We then headed to DOX Centre for Contemporary Art (https://www.dox.cz/en), an artistic institution that features exhibits of contemporary art. It has a library, café, outdoor terrace and a really cool store. One will instantly notice the 42-meter-long Gulliver Airship by architect Martin Rajnis, David Kubik (Martin’s coworker) and Dox founder Leos Valka upon entering. Guests may enter this massive installation as well.  By their outdoor terrace is “Shoe Christ (Compulsion to Refuse Something That Has Been Used)” by Petr Moty?ka (aka Sadofsky). This huge sculpture is made of over 1,400 (mostly single) used shoes and is six meters high!

I continued to admire the amazing Czech contemporary art exhibited here before heading to the “Black Butterflies: Burned Pieces of Life” show.  This photo exhibition is by Spanish photographer Albert Lores, who is based in Ukraine and has photographed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a two-man photo exhibition together with Pulitzer Prize winner and fellow Spanish photographer Manu Brabo. Their photos of the war in Ukraine are haunting, powerful, heartbreaking, and disturbing.

Like Polina’s exhibit, this will also be exhibited all over Europe. Also like Polina and Alyona, Albert was determined to head back to Ukraine after the opening of his exhibition at DOX. Both photo exhibits were organized by People in Need (https://www.peopleinneed.net/), a Czech non-governmental, non-profit organization active all over the world.

Gulliver Airship at DOX.

Outlet Shopping

Before my flight back to Manila, we stopped by two places near the airport. One is the supermarket where I get last-minute food stuff to bring home and to POP Airport, or Premium Outlet Prague (https://pop.cz/). It is not only an outlet for shopping for brands such as Adidas, Hamley’s, Trussardi, Delsey, Karl Lagerfeld, and Nike, but this entertainment complex also has a dinosaur museum, a collection of vintage motorcycles, and an Engine Classic Cars Gallery exhibition! Car enthusiasts can see around 200 unique cars, including a one-of-a-kind Lancia Stratos from 1974 or a rare model Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition.

Their car collection also includes Porsche, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Citroën, Lancia, Audi, Jaguar, Fiat and Tatra.

POP Airport is right by the airport so you can swing by there right before your flight to shop or check out dinosaurs, motorcycles, or cars!

This is my fourth time in the Czech Republic and she has never ceased to amaze me.  I discover new places to visit and more things to do with every visit.  I can’t wait to go back again and see more of this beautiful country!

* * *

Check out https://www.czech.cz/tourism/ and the hashtag #visitczechrepublic.

Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.


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