Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Picture Challenge

What is happening here?

And I don't want an answer like "too many well-dressed men in two small boats doing something with a barrel". I want to know specifically what significant event is being commemorated here.

Clue #1: Location
Clue #2: Flag

I know I have smart readers. Let's see how long it takes for the first person to figure it out.

Update: Congratulations to Greg who found the answer by using The Google. The event in the picture marks the handover of the Presidency of the European Union from the Czech Republic to Sweden. A barrel of beer from a boat rowed by the Czech minister for EU affairs, Stefan Fule, was passed to a boat with a delegation from the Swedish embassy, in the middle of the Vltava River in Prague last Saturday. Thanks to ROWING FOR PLEASURE for drawing this historic event of boating symbolism to our attention.

How much more moving the inauguration of Barack Obama would have been if he and George W. Bush had sailed a couple of Lasers out to the middle of the Potomac last January, and George had handed over a barrel of presidential ale to our new President.


Greg said...

Amazingly, googling "sweden" and "barrel" goes right to it.

"Pilsner Urquell – the official beer of the whole of the Czech Presidency" how cool is that to have an official beer of the EU presidency?

Tillerman said...

Damn The Google. It's impossible to set any quiz these days without someone using it to gain an unfair advantage. The Google is the Mommy Boat of online quizzes.

Mr. Peabody said...

Actually, Sherman, the exchange of presidential ale on the Potomac was an early tradition of our inaugural ceremony in the days before prohibition.

Surely, you're familiar with the musical theme that was first played on such occasions and which, to this day, may be played only in the president's presence - Ale to the Chief .

Tillerman said...

Ale to the Chief? Mr. Peabody is right.

Carol Anne said...

It's a pity I was busy grading papers at the time you posted this; I wouldn't have had to Google the answer.

Meanwhile, the right brew is definitely good for whatever ales you.

MJ said...

Interestingly enough, I believe during the week of Obama's inauguration, the Potomac River was closed to recreational boat traffic for security reasons. This forced the local laser frosbite fleet to miss a day of racing.

Pat said...

On Czech Airways, beer is dispensed as a soft drink, for no extra charge. So, once while we were taking off from Prague at 7:30 in the morning, some of our seatmates were drinking beer. I was shocked that Carol Anne didn't avail herself of good free beer.

Outside the tourist areas of Prague, it's quite possible to get a great deal on beer -- and it can be much cheaper than bottled water. The Czech lands -- Bohemia in particular -- are the source of many good brews, with place names such as Plzen and Budovar being translated in English in Pilsner and Budweiser.

Beer is typically sold in small (male, 3 deciliter) and large (velky, half liter) mugs, but we also went to a bar where the large mug was a full liter and beer was also sold by the "giraffe".

One of the first challenges for students of the Czech language is learning the proper forms for ordering different numbers of beers, as noun forms change with number. Once that challenge has been mastered, students can then learn to ask for directions to the "koupelna" or "vet-say".

Czech emigres escaping from fascism also created some great Mexican beers such as Bohemia and Negro Modelo. (Carol Anne is probably much more conversant with the details.)

Interestingly, Prague has a yacht club with a few boats on the Vltava, though it seems that most Czech sailors sail on some lakes in the southern part of the country or travel south to the Adriatic or north to the Baltic.

Prague Castle is sort of like a giant mansion that goes on and on and on. Some of my blog archives from early summer of 2005 have some nice pictures of Prague -- and even an attempt at a Czesky - English sailing terms glossary!

Post a Comment