Four Sunny Days in Prague...

Trip Start Dec 30, 2012
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Trip End Jun 27, 2013


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, May 19, 2013

The morning of the 19th our train arrived to take us to Prague. The trains in the Czech Republic are much different than the ones we've been on so far. It doesn't help that we've only been on trains in Germany and Austria, which are some of the best in Europe. To get to Prague by train from Krumlov it cost a total of just over $19 US for both of us, so we shouldn't be expecting much, right? Our first train took us from Krumlov to Ceske Budejovice and was a charming train from the 70's with plenty of space, although it did sway back and forth on the ride quite a bit. The train stopped several times on the way to Ceske Budejovice. It seems like it was more of a connecting public transportation to Ceske Budejovice from the surrounding suburbs. As long as you had the window open the train car was perfectly comfortable. Unfortunately, we had to change trains in Ceske Budejovice and our second train was divided up into stuffy eight passenger compartments. Maybe a window would be open, but in our case, maybe not. It was a hot 3 hours but we made it to Prague finally.

I think my favorite part of our stay here was our walking tour. We found a guide on tripadvisor that walks you through the main sites of the city. Our tour started at St. Wenceslas Square, where countless demonstrations against communist occupation took place over two decades. Later we came upon the huge 15th century Powder Tower, the Prague Old Town Square, and finally our tour pointed us down a narrow alley where at the end is a lovely café with a view of Charles Bridge. On the way we happened upon a free choir concert at St. Nicholas Church, part of the Rowan University Choir International Tour. I uploaded a video of their Kyrie performance here.

Eating in Prague is inexpensive, relatively the same as in Krumlov. Beer is especially cheap when compared to prices back home. No surprise since brewing has long been part of Bohemia's history. There's even controversy about suggesting that something nonalcoholic be added to restaurants' menus at a lower price than beer.  Despite the fact that we could get ridiculously cheap traditional Czech food next door to our apartment, we couldn't resist the idea of trying out the Prague Hooters. I can't say that I'm proud we did that, but I guess you could call it a moment of weakness. We did feel pretty much at home with the blond joke stickers on the wall and chicken quesadillas on the menu. Czech women look the same as US women in very little clothes (if you were wondering).

Other than Hooters there is also of course a castle, and an interesting museum on the communist occupation of the Czech Republic. The castle has some of the best gardens I've seen on our trip, as well as a beautiful Gothic cathedral. The communist museum gave me a new perspective on the history of Prague.

Another great thing about our stay in Prague is the place we rented for a few nights. We stayed with a student who is renting his place out short term while he gives living with his girlfriend a try. His place was in one of the high rise Panelak towers built during the communist era, now home to of what Ondra our host estimated about a third of Prague's population. On our last night in Prague Ondra came by and shared a glass of wine with us and discussed among other things, Prague's history, his studies in school, and his future plans to move to Germany to get his masters degree. Ondra is about to graduate with his bachelors and is fluent in three languages: Czech, English and German. He also knows the basics of Spanish and French.

From Prague we took a night train to Krakow. More on that in our next post. Until then...
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Comments

Anne Wood on

Hi Rachel and Jeremy,

Thank you for taking the time to journal your trip and pictures. I have been enjoying everything! I just started reading your journal recently and am still back in the part when you're in the USA! I didn't realize I could receive it in my e-mail and then Dawn told me all about your updates. We've been asking for both of you all along. Your pictures are breathtaking and very enjoyable! My grandmother was from Czechoslovakia. My grandfather was from Yugoslovia. As you know, both countries don't exist any more. My other grandparents were from Italy. Take care and blessings to both of you. Ann

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