Winter weather & walks

Sunset over Podbaba © Ricky Yates

Where is winter? It is a question I’ve been asking for several weeks. This time last year, there had been snow lying on the ground for about seven weeks. Until yesterday, when we finally had a few heavy snow showers, there had been no snow at all in Prague this winter.

The temperature this evening has just dropped below freezing and the forecast is for temperatures of below 0 degrees Celsius for the next four nights at least. But there is still no sign of any serious snow.

There is a very good reason why I want some serious snow and for temperatures to remain below freezing for many days at a time. To ensure that the mosquitoes are kept at bay!

In the Autumn of 2008 when we first arrived in Prague and throughout the warmer months of 2009, . . . → Read More: Winter weather & walks

Celebrating the Royal Wedding in the Czech Republic

Being interviewed on Czech TV ©

Being interviewed on Czech TV © – with my correct title on the screen in Czech

One of the things I have begun to learn as part of being the Anglican Chaplain in Prague is to expect the unexpected. So when on the afternoon of the Wednesday of Holy Week, whilst walking along Jugoslávských partyzánu, my mobile phone rang with a call from a number unknown to me, I answered it with my friendly “Ricky Yates speaking”, unsure what the response would be.

“This is Czech TV”, said a female voice in English. “We would like you to take part in our special programme next Friday covering the Royal Wedding”. Therefore, following an email exchange with Veronika Linková of channel ct24, yesterday morning at 08.30, a taxi arrived outside the Chaplaincy flat, to whisk me away to the . . . → Read More: Celebrating the Royal Wedding in the Czech Republic

Flooding in Prague

The height of flooding in Prague over the last 300 years © Sybille Yates

Prague is a beautiful city. One of the reasons it is so beautiful is being situated either side of the River Vltava. However, with the beauty of the riverside location comes the inherent danger of flooding. Unfortunately, over the centuries, this is something to which Prague has not been immune.

The picture on the left is of the wall of a building in Mala Strana, just south of Charles Bridge, and shows the height reached by floodwaters on several occasions during the last 300 years. Bearing in mind that I am quite tall, (1.87m or 6’ 1½”), and that where I am standing is well above the normal river level, it does illustrate the immensity and devastating nature of the flooding that engulfed Prague as recently as August 2002.

Apparently, there is an historic . . . → Read More: Flooding in Prague

Snowy Prague

Chechuv Most, Prague; in the snow © Ricky Yates

Like much of Central and Northern Europe, the Czech Republic has recently experienced extremely heavy snowfall. Here in Prague, it started snowing just over a week ago on Friday 8th January and continued doing so, almost without interruption, until part way through Monday 11th January. According to the local media, around 40 centimetres of snow fell during this period, the heaviest snowfall here for 17 years.

Since it has stopped snowing, the weather has been overcast and grey with virtually no sunshine. Temperatures have risen slightly, but have rarely got above zero degrees Celsius, meaning that hardly any of the lying snow has melted. According to the weather forecast I have just looked at, it will start snowing once again tonight and ‘Heavy snow’ can be expected for the next two days!

Phillip in the . . . → Read More: Snowy Prague

Celebrating the Queen’s Official Birthday

Our Official Invitation

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (to give my home country its full official name), does not have a National Day as such. Some of the constituent parts of the UK do have their own special day with the Welsh making much of ‘Dydd Dewi Sant – St. David’s Day’ on 1st March and the Irish, both north and south of the border, celebrating St. Patrick on 17th March.

The nearest we get to a National Day is the Queen’s Official Birthday. This is usually celebrated on the second Saturday of June each year. Queen Elizabeth the Second’s actual birthday is 21st April but she has her official birthday in June in the hope the weather will be better for events put on to mark the occasion, most notably, the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in London.

The occasion of the Queen’s Official . . . → Read More: Celebrating the Queen’s Official Birthday