Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Iowa - Cedar Rapids - 4/25/2013

Cedar Rapids lies on both sides of the Cedar River.  It is the second largest city in Iowa with a population of 126,000 or so people.  Many of the early settlers of the area and of this city were of Czech and Slovak origin.  The city is the home for the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library.  this was our first stop of the day.

The original museum was located at a lower elevation and was badly damaged in the 1980 flood of the Cedar River.  Part of what is now the museum was moved up to a higher elevation and then greatly expanded.  The museum is beautiful and very professionally done....definitely worth a visit if in the area.

Edel and Sigrid are already having a good time and we haven't gotten into the building yet....must be the sunny weather.

The Cedar River.

Aside from the ethic clothing and crafts, the museum also has a fine collection of artwork by Czech/Slovak artists.

We toured the library.  Edel and Sigrid enjoyed that since there were also German publications there.

The house below is the Sleger Home.  It was the home for five generations of family from the 1890's through 1984.  The house was originally built by immigrants around 1884 before the Sleger's took possession.

Sorry, I can't remember what this is in English.

The house had a small second floor which we didn't see.  There wasn't much privacy in this house but it was easy to clean being so tiny.

We are on our way to check out the Czech Village which is just around the corner from the museum.

The village was a little disappointing only from the lack of Czech oriented businesses.  There were a few but not enough to be impressive.  The village is just one block long.

I think we all know that the Red baron was German not Czech.

The Sykora Bakery was a treat.

The Village Meat Market had a little deli in it but we were looking for more than a sandwich and we wanted Czech food for darn sake.

 We had a nice Czech lunch at the Blue Toad Bar & Grill.  Interestingly enough, the Blue Toad is next door to the Red Frog Bar.  I don't know if the names are Czech inspired or just what happens if you are located on a river in Iowa.

We had lots of time left in the day since there wasn't much to the Czech Village, so headed for Kalona to check it out.  It was on the schedule for tomorrow but we had nothing else we wanted to do in Cedar Rapids and it was only about a 30 minute drive to Kalona.

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