Advent 2016

Advent ring with the first candle lit © Ricky Yates

This year, the season of Advent has been as long as it possibly can be – a full four weeks. In 2017, quite the reverse happens with the Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, also being Christmas Eve!

I have very much appreciated the length of the Advent season this year, for a number of reasons. One slightly selfish reason is the cause of Advent lasting fully four weeks – the result of Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, which is every clergyperson’s delight! No need for services on three successive days, or on three out of four days. Instead, a full week beforehand, to prepare for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then an uninterrupted week afterwards, to take as a post-Christmas break 🙂

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Spring seems to be arriving!

Snowdrops in Stromovka Park © Ricky Yates



During the past three weeks, we’ve had numerous bright sunny days, enhanced by the hours of daylight getting longer each day. This has encouraged Sybille and I to get out walking and exploring again, especially on Mondays which are meant to be my regular weekly day-off.

As I wrote in an earlier post, three weeks ago on Monday 16th February, we made a round trip to Prague Zoo. A week later on Monday 23rd February, late in the morning, we left the flat, took the tram and travelled to Hlubocepy in the southern suburbs of Prague. From the tram stop, we made our way down to the side of the Vltava River and then walked all along the river bank to the village of Zbraslav.






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A round trip to Prague Zoo

As Monday 16th February dawned cold, but fine and sunny, Sybille suggested that we should take advantage of the weather on my day-off, and pay our first visit of 2015 to Prague Zoo. Here is an illustrated account of our most enjoyable day out.

The ferry boat waiting at Pobabe © Ricky Yates

Prague Zoo lies directly opposite from where we live in Podbaba, on the other side of the Vltava River. As there is no immediate bridge, the only way to get there is by ferry. So we walked down to the Podbaba bus stop and took the bus, two stops to Podbabe from where the ferry departs.

Approaching Podhorí © Ricky Yates

Here we are, approaching the arrival and departure point of the ferry at Podhorí, on the other side of the river. I love the . . . → Read More: A round trip to Prague Zoo

Discovering the Way of Saint James in the Czech Republic

Svatojakubská cesta – the Way of Saint James © Ricky Yates

As Sybille and I have, at different times, both made a walking pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, ever since moving to Prague more than five years ago, we have sought to discover more about pilgrimage routes that lead from the Czech Republic, via Germany and Switzerland, to link with the well-established paths in France and Spain.

Soon after we arrived in Prague, we managed to purchase a guidebook in German entitled, ‘Der Jakobsweg von Prag bis Tillyschanz/Eslarn‘. It describes a route starting at Kostel sv. Jakuba / Church of St. James, located in the Old Town centre of Prague, heading in a roughly south-westerly direction to the German border at Tillyschanz, a small village four kilometres from the Bavarian town of Eslarn. The guide is the work of three Germans and one . . . → Read More: Discovering the Way of Saint James in the Czech Republic

Ricky has returned to Rícky

Ricky at Rícky v Orlických horách © Ricky Yates

I am writing this, sitting in the bar/dining room/lounge of Hotel Konšel, located in the small settlement that bears my name, Rícky v Orlických horách. Yes, after our short, very snowbound visit in early April this year, Ricky has returned to Rícky 🙂

This time, Sybille and I are here, hoping to spend the first eight days of two weeks of my annual leave, enjoying a walking holiday in the Orlické hory. And, if the hotel’s slightly dodgy wifi internet connection had allowed me, I would have posted this on the evening of Wednesday 26th June, as my first ever blogpost not posted from my office in the Chaplaincy Flat in Prague.

We arrived here on the afternoon of Monday 24th June, following a . . . → Read More: Ricky has returned to Rícky