Prague: Czech it out!

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
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Trip End Oct 11, 2008


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, September 21, 2008

Despite the rain and blustery winds, we are happy to say that Prague is one of our favorite cities of this trip! The city is always full of life, and as we walked the streets, breathtakingly beautiful buildings materialized around every corner. We saw Prague Castle (Prahsky Hrad), including the cathedral which contains many years of (somewhat violent) history and some truly magnificent art and stained glass. Just a fun fact we learned there -- Prague's soldiers used to roast bread shaped like babies outside their enemies' gates. Enemies were so terrified by this savageness that they didn't put up too much of a fight. Probably would have worked on me. As usual, the cathedral was full of holy, mummified saint pieces which is always grotesquely interesting.

After seeing the castle, we made our way to the Church of the Nativity of our Lord, which housed many wonders, including 2 skeletons all dressed up, posed, and wearing very creepy wax masks, a crucified bearded lady (St. Starosta...strange...look it up), and unsettling little baby angels (puttos). Catholics can be weird. And rich. The treasury held more diamonds, silver, gold, and jewel-encrusted monstrances, hats, robes, etc. than one could count. And oddly, there was a collection box right outside of this armored room of riches. Maybe our pics can begin to do this strange and beautiful place some justice.

On our last day in Prague, we walked the Charles Bridge, a very crowded and famous bridge. Across the river, we found our way to the Lennon wall, a wall covered in pacifist graffiti and peaceful Beatles lyrics that stayed full of color despite communist repression and repeated secret police white-washings years ago. People are still adding to the wall today. Also, noteworthy, we saw the Cathedral of St. Nicholas nd the church of the Infanta (home to a strange little Jesus doll that has over 400 lavishly bejeweled little outfits. People apparently love to take pictures of it. And finally, Mrs. Hayes and I got to do some shopping in the many, many Bohemian souvenir shops around the city. We ended our night with a delicious dinner at "Red, White, and Blues," a down-home Cajun-ish restaurant complete with live blues. The musical duo included a seriously gifted Czech piano player with a taste for the blues and a huge, deep-voiced, Jack-drinking, slightly insane "blues man." The music, paired with delicious Long Island Iced Teas and 2-for-1 margaritas made our night a great one, although at the end of the evening, we almost expected to find ourselves on Bourbon Street. Prague was amazing, and I hope to return someday to see more of it. I recommend you do the same.
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