february city hangs | prague & linz

it’s been such a great month so far! i thought january was good, but february seems even better and the fact that we just had our semester break and i enjoyed most of a week off work was just the thing.

i was thinking i’d head to prague on sunday, the second day of the month, until  there was a “severe snow advisory” (??!) warning and decided not to mess with that. (besides, a friend of mine had to spend the night on a train last autumn when she insisted on traveling in heavy winds! trains + inclement weather = not going there)

instead we went on monday when there was already a nice helping of snow all over the city, beautiful bright blue skies, and even better that it was a weekday because my sights were set on going to dóttir – the new icelandic/scandinavian restaurant, recently open in prague. yes, we have an icelandic* restaurant. prague is so cosmopolitan! not only that, but they serve einstök beer for what i am sure is much less than you can even get it in iceland (although i didn’t really look at the bill, and the beer wasn’t even on the menu yet). 

so an einstök + delicious split pea soup and a ceviche salad on a snowy monday afternoon? be still, my heart.

if you are hankering for some scandi or fish dishes, (or you just want to get your icelandic things fix) i can definitely recommend

dóttir! the fact they serve akureyri’s own


beer is reason enough for me. it’s a little on the dark side in there as it’s essentially basement level but it was fun to see how they could brighten up the place and put a nordic spin on the decor in such a czech–style cellar area. since it’s also fairly new and not in a touristy area, there aren’t many people there so we had the place almost all to ourselves! (we’ll see what a few months brings, though…)

we then had a lovely jaunt through riegrovy sady, a block away from slavikova. i always think of summers and the beer garden at riegrovy sady but wouldn’t have thought to really go there in the winter. i do think it is truly one of my favorite prague parks! i just get a really good feeling there. maybe it reminds me a little of budejovice, with all of the views that only hilly prague could provide. and ferdie liked it too!

we even met a twitter friend ana for coffee at kavárna co hledá jméno

and was great to chat about all things “czechpat” related. then i bought a giiiiiant canister of kusmi tea because they were the same price as the smaller ones and i am NOT mad about it. this baby’s gonna last me! (do you like kusmi tea, as well? they have a great shop at nový smíchov

which i have never seen another soul in – a shame, as i hope it lasts a long time here!)

and yes, those are flame-kissed marshmallows in the hot cocoa!

a pit-stop at home for a bit of work and some language study… (state of the desk)

…then a few days later, we headed the opposite direction across gorgeous, snow-covered south bohemia for a city break in linz, this time without our little doggie, and it was time to do all the non-dog things. yessss! i really did miss him this time, but i was relishing my dog-independence. this is how parents of small children must feel, am i right?

we stayed in quite a residential district east of the center so it was fun to see “workaday linz” for really the first time and see really how massive the city is, even if it isn’t, well, that massive (pop. about 200,000, third biggest city in austria). the point of being there, really, was to see kælan mikla on their european tour with some embers at kapu that night which was such a cozy little rock bar and i loved hanging with all my fellow new-wave gothy types come out for some robert smith-approved music. 

before that, we ate at the best polish restaurant i’ve ever been to in my life. this includes restaurants across poland.

gościnna chata is an absolute gem, a national treasure. it’s a bit out of the way on hafenstrasse, which is a strange, sort of commercial-industrial area and not at all beautiful, but the restaurant itself is plenty beautiful, with lots of “chata (cottage) vibes” – i actually almost felt like i was in poland! or maybe that was my own confusion for wanting to speak czech in austria, being surrounded by a polish menu. 

when in central europe.

we drank delicious polish regional beer styles, had some of the best barszcz west of the wisła, and for the

pièce de résistance – this vegetarian pierogi platter. the cheese one was filled with something between ostiepok and bryndza, but regardless, i was shook. this platter changed my mind about what pierogi should be: small, delicate creations with thin dough and big flavors. i clearly will be going out of my way to return here sometime. i would walk miles for this.

i always love to soak up the very particular austrian kaffeekultur (i think it’s simply the best of anywhere i’ve been!) but there was no time for that – more important was see all the art! without a dog in tow, we got up early-ish and headed to the lentos for an interesting newly-opened exhibition on the 20th century austrian painters lassing and rainer. i do sincerely love this museum and would make a point to go there every time i’m in linz, if i could.

what a lovely cold winter day it was! then a baguette and a newspaper for the road, and back up to budejovice in just a couple of hours.

are you making any city trips this winter? where are your favorites?

* if you were wondering, no, it isn’t possible for me to go through one damn post without talking about iceland somehow.

ps, december in linz (two months ago) or a wintery prague day from last year’s semester break.