Exploring Prague (with no map)

Trip Start Apr 27, 2011
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Trip End Aug 09, 2011


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, June 26, 2011

I woke up a few separate times during the evening since it was a new place, and then came to find out the sun rises VERY early! I'm talking 5am- reminiscent of when I visited Croatia.  Somehow, I was able to ignore it and got up at 10am.  Natalie and I were talking about going to visit the city centre so we got ready and set off to figure out how the tram system worked on our own. 

After we found a kind stranger to tell us what to do, we got on the tram and then went through the metro system in order to get to the Old Town as I believe it’s called.  Natalie doesn’t speak very good English so sometimes it is hard to communicate with her, but we somehow managed (and continue to manage) pretty effectively.  Although it was an overcast day, we still admired the beautiful buildings (but we had no map so we had no idea what we were really looking at).  As we were walking through the centre, we managed to find ourselves in the middle of a food festival.  I got pretty excited and we were both eyeing this strange bread stand that was a kind of dessert.  It was rolled around a stick and then was turned around with a bed of hot coals underneath.  After it was done baking, a mixture of sugar, vanilla, and almonds were tossed on top before handing off to the final consumer.  It was delicious!  I think it is called Trdelnik by the locals, but regardless of its’ name, I gobbled it up within seconds of receiving it.  As we continued walking around, we started getting hungry for an actual meal.  I was determined to try a traditional Czech dish so we found a place (it was pretty touristy, being in the centre of town).  The place itself had a pretty interesting history, something about an executioner who always came to eat there.  Once he gambled away his axe and hat on the same day as an important execution was supposed to take place.  I asked the waiter to choose a plate for me and he came back with pork, white cabbage, and dumplings.  The pork was delicious; the white cabbage wasn’t so bad when I mixed it with the pork sauce, and the dumplings were amazing!  Before we left the table, a mock executioner walked up to our table, put paper napkin flowers in our hair, and posed for a photo .  Like I said, super touristy, but lamely entertaining as well.  I came across a store I’m pretty sure sold marijuana, but I didn’t stop to check inside.  We also came across a lot of absinthe stores while walking around- selling absinthe anything.  Ice-cream, cocktails, coffee, slush, you name it- they had it.  Natalia and I also walked through a beautiful church near the centre of the Old Town called St. Nicholas Church that’s been around since the 13th century.  We walked across Charles Bridge, saw (from a distance) the Kafka museum, and saw an absolutely stunning church also called St. Nicholas Church in the Lesser Town.  It was amazing- the paintings and the sculptures were so beautiful.  From there, we climbed up a hill to see the largest Castle in the world, known as Prazsky hrad.  It was a bit of a hike but we were able to go inside the complex and admire some of the chapels, monasteries, and the cathedral that was located all within the walls of the Castle!  It has the surface area of 7 football fields, just to give y’all an idea.  I loved seeing the cathedral because they had beautiful mosaics- my favorite kind of art.  They were so intricately done and I very much appreciated them. 

After walking though the Castle, Natalie and I decided it was time to go back.  We had both done a lot of walking and we had to wake up a little earlier since on Monday we had to register for classes and have "orientation".
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