Praha

Trip Start Aug 30, 2005
1
7
20
Trip End Jan 04, 2006


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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Saturday, October 1, 2005

So this entry is a bit late. A week late to be specific. Last week was crazy with work and other such diversions. I had my first presentation on Wednesday for my thesis paper. I hope to have a PowerPoint presentation prepared for the next one in a couple of weeks but that is beside the point. On to my weekend adventures.

Last Friday a group of eight girls caught a night sleeper train to Prague (Praha). We crossed the Carpathian Mountains as we slept. A surly border guard who was pounding awaked us on our door. Ania, thankfully was in our cabin, and relieved the language confusion. We awoke to the red rooftops of the Czech Republic. It was a interesting experience to step into another country and still see the similarities between the language. Polish has no "v" 's in there words and Czech has them. I am thankful that I have learnt some basic Slavic language skills... but don't send me to Russia yet...
We arrived at 7 am and got off the train in search of food. Finding breakfast is difficult. First of all nothing opens till after 9 second, they don't serve what we call breakfast. I have often been wandering around early in the morning searching for any semblance of light food... often resulting in fruit pierogies. So the sad thing was that the eight of us only could find a McDonald's that was open. I had a Cheeseburger for breakfast. We then wandered for 1.5 hrs with our backpacks on to the hostel. We were recommended from some of the guys on the trip, a hostel that was supposedly amazing. In our brilliance we didn't book a head. But I was given a map and successful found our way over the bridges to our hostel. Sad new was that they didn't have enough beds. We had to keep on walking and found a place that was apartments and 750 crowns a night (I still don't know how to translate that into CDN) It was in a drab area but that didn't matter cause it was only a place for us to sleep at the end of the day. For some odd reason my bed wasn't quite a bed but made up of couch cushions. We dropped our stuff off and headed for the town.

The first stop whenever you go to Prague is generally the Castle, which sits up on a hill overlooking the river. We climbed the old castle steps and went into the Cathedral, deciding to come back the next day and do the tour of the castle and grounds. From there we went and got some lunch, which I know have to say... the Czechs really know how to do food. I have never had such cheap wonderful food in my life. It was sad that we started off with McDonalds when there was roast boar, duck, Hunter's stew etc abound. I had a Goulash that was divine and spicy! After lunch we went down the hill and ventured thru the old town and saw St. Nicholas's Church, which was gorgeously baroque (I am in an Art and Architecture class and I am finally able to differentiate the different styles and eras in Architecture). We crossed the Charles Bridge and about half way we noticed a larger congregation of people around one of the statues. They seemed to be rubbing a figure of a dog and woman... like the sheep we are, we did the same, and still to this moment I have no idea what that did!

Getting tiered now we crossed thru the town square had a coffee to warm us up and found a restaurant where I had what I though was the best meal ever, until it was trumped by the next days dinner. I had Moravian Sparrow, which is pork with dumplings. We ended up staying at the restaurant for 4 hours and talking with the waiters, having some Pivo (which cost us 79 cents CND) and went home and fell pleasantly asleep.

The next day we covered every sight there is to see in the town: The Astronomical clock, numerous churches, the national museum/gallery/theatre, but we started the day with a tour of the castle. We went back early to the hostel so we could prepare for that night. We had been told that the largest club in Eastern Europe was in Prague, so this was the main attraction for the night. We got dressed up and the eight of us took a (surprisingly very efficient) tram into the city and crossed the Charles Bridge and went to the Club, which had 5 floors, and each floor had its own dance floor, lounge, washroom, bars (at least 3) and pool table area. It was awesome cause they had screens in the stairway that listed the songs that were being played on each floor. For some reason we ended up in the Oldies where they remixed Elvis and the Macarena. We all tried Absinthe (I am bringing some home for yall to try if I can get it across the boarder)
Our last day we had to pack early and drop our stuff at the train station so we could walk around all day because out train didn't leave until late at night. We finished seeing the sights that we had missed including the Jewish quarter that was preserved by Hitler because he wanted to "have a museum to the annihilated Jewish nation", this gave the whole area a strange vibe. (Interesting fact the Czech rep. has the largest Jewish Population inside Europe) and of course we sampled the cuisine. This is where I am going to explain my dinner... I had Wild Boar in rosehip wine gravy... I have never ... NEVER tasted anything so delicious as this. The sauce was the best in history and I wish I could have taken it home. I just cant describe how wonderful it was, besides that I cleaned the plate.

There was a interesting thing about Prague. It contains much of the same architecture but on a much lager scale as Krakow. You can see that it is a wealthier state because the buildings are maintained. The amount of tourist was impressive too. Krakow is filled with Students, Prague with everyone else. It was jam-packed with tourist but being one of them it was ok. I don't know how enjoyable it would be to live with so many foreigners.
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