Czech it out!

Trip Start Jan 23, 2011
1
Trip End Jun 07, 2011


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Where I stayed
CzechInn

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, February 13, 2011

 PRAHA {PRAGUE}

First and foremost sorry for this being my first post. Since I have gotten to Italy it has been go-go-go and the internet situation has been far from easy. That being said, welcome to my international life!

Prague was my first European trip outside of Italy, or Florence for that fact. It topped my expectations and I'm pretty sure I fell in love with the place. The buildings are so decorative and colorful, the people are so accepting and "bohemian" (in the fact that they judge only on your personality, not what you're wearing or where you are from), there is magnificent architecture such as gigantic gothic cathedrals, clock towers, and old bridges .. it is so picturesque it feels surreal at time (much like Firenze, only more bold), and the beer!! Pivo as its said in czech. I can definitely say it was the best beer I've ever tasted and probably will for quite some time, or at least till i get to germany ;). But we'll get into that later,

For now.. take a look at these pictures! make sure you actually click on the photo so that a slideshow "pop up" appears (you cant read my captions unless you view them that way). enjoy! :)


.............
After putting this pictures up, I realized I didn't even get to document half of my trip. My camera died at sunset on the charles bridge.. definitely a disadvantage with the rechargeable brick battery because we never went back to the hotel until we had to leave the next morning, ha thats a story in itself. But Alecia has pics though so maybe I can put a few of those up.

So the first day we got there consisted of the walking tour, lunch at this super local spot with cheap and delicious cafeteria service style food, then went around this open air market (bought a beautiful print of a painting of prague and czech hockey jerseys yeaahhh!!), and then to the awesome Mucha gallery.. totally new appreciated for him (an art nouveau artist) but he had the most elaborate beautiful fantasy-like works of females (typical Mucha pieces), but then the gallery had so much more like these incredible pencil drawings of anything and everything (plants, kitchen-ware, furniture designs, industrial design) just really sweet stuff, such a talented draftsman, when most people think most of his work is just "pretty" portraits of girls. He even made patterns and the most ornate money I have seen, incredible! He was from Prague. Cool stuff. So we left the museum and grabbed the best tomato mozzarella basil bagel sandwhich i ever had.. (notorious for their bagels, and me being bagel deprived from italy). We then went on the pub crawl with the bus2alps group. we went to 4 different places (3 bars and one club) it was really fun but at times a little annoying going with so many people, plus it made the bars we went to mostly american.. hard to get a local experience when thats the case. thats why the next night was AWESOME.

so the next day, our second day there. alecia and i finally arise after the pub crawl and staying up in the hostel with our new friends from Wales till almost 6am. We grab breakfast and take the tram/subway to the old town square..

small insert, i jsut took a break from all this typing (im in my graphic design classroom because i get the internet here) but i just got a little instant macchiato out of the coolest vending machines that are everywhere here!! i dont know what im going to do when i get back from the states.. they are amazing for .40 or .60 euro you can get a cappucino, espresso, yadda yadda made instant and its actually good. heaven.. its how i survive my night class.

anyways so we head to the town square to meet with our group for our first excursion that we signed up for: the castle tour!! thats what half of the pictures i put up are from. It was insane the massivemassive area with a HUGE gothic cathedral and tons of other buildings. the "castle" was actually like a town it was so cool, definitely look at the pictures if you haven't already. From there alecia and I set off to go to the lennon wall which unfortunately we never had enough time to make it there but on the way (on the tram) one of the people helping us out with directions to the wall ended up being friends with on of my really good friends (Maria Rose for any UMDers reading this) from college, they grew up in the same town together. Small world huh! So instead of making it to the wall we go to the charles bridge for sunset and then make our way to meet for our next excursion: Beer Challenge.. well i dont know what the challenge part was, it was basically beer tasting and learning GREAT.

This tour with worth every penny/euro/crown whatever. we basically got to go around for the night with a local (Tomas, he's actually from spain but has been living in Prague for 7 years now) but he brought us to the coolest local bars and pubs it was awesome to get a taste of the local life (literally and figuratively). Our tour group consisted of me and alecia, a couple from australia who are living in London for the year, and a couple from Chile! quite the mix.. and a portion of our night was in spanish, kept things interesting. I wish I had pictures from this night! Alecia does so I'll see if i can get some up but the bars were really cool.. one was decked out in this vulgar cartoon where the main character is Prague's equivalent of Homer Simpson we drank the darkest beer I've ever had but it actually was really tasty and not bitter and wasn't carbonized to it actually sits way better with the stomach.. the czech in fact don't carbonate their beer.. I'm sure you could find it there, but why would you want to! it was way better than regular beer because it still was fizzy and it had the thickest foam head.. beautiful you could say. At the second bar we we sat next to this room with beer barrels/tanks behind us though a glass wall it was really cool. The awesome this about this bar was the fact that we got unpasteurized beer! It was THAT fresh.. and THAT delicious. Only a few places in Prague offer that, and Prague is the practically the beer capital of the world so it was such a treat. That's why the restaurant/bad had the tanks in it because they hold the beer there and every few weeks that have to pitch it for a new batch because its not pasteurized.. but that also means the taste was more rich and pure because it was heated to a really high temperature to kill the germs.. sorry I'm getting so much into the beer part, I just never knew this stuff before. From there we went to this restaurant that has been open since the days of Columbus--wild! Alecia and I spit a sausage mustard and horse-raddish appetizer (the czechs love sausage, stange meat like cow neck, potatoes, dumplings and fried food.. especially cheese), and then we got this savory half of a duck meal!! so good and tender.. this restaurant definitely knew what they were doing. it came with dumplings of all sorts too (bread, potato and one other kind) and a bunch of cabbage haha, delicious though. And of course we had to grab a beer there (it was included after all!) After filling up on a traditional delicious meal we went to our final destination in our "tour". A bar called propaganda. Real cool. The interior was funky and had all these crazy posters of stalin and propaganda things and they even had this HUGE statue of stalin hanging off the ceiling that was taken off the streets and he was painted as the joker from batman hahah. Cool place for sure though. Got a golden wheat beer, delicious of course and alecia tried the organic beer. Apparently hangovers are from the chemicals (preservatives etc) in beer. good to know right? We also had this crazy ( i cant pronounce or spell it, ill have to ask Tomas) liquor thats good for digestion.. it tasted like cloves and spices, it was an earthy organic-like liquor really different. 

 So from there we bid our farewells to our new australian friends (who we might meet up with when we go to london) and the couple from chile and tomas alecia and I headed to the 80's 90's club Lucerna.. this is where the rest of the bus2alps kids were, but we showed up later because we were on our way cooler bar tour. but we got to go to lucerna anyways and it was SO fun!! it was this club with a huge screen by a stage type thing in the middle with all the orginal music videos playing with the songs and it was the best mix and so fun to dance to (not the typical grimy club) it was awesome really enjoyable. From there Tomas took us to an unforgettable place (that was a pretty unforgettable night on the whole) but this in particular. We went to a "club" it was more like a bar that played house music, but this wasn't just any bar.. it was a boat! So there we were in Prague on a club/boat on the beautiful charles river. We watched the sunrise as a backdrop behind the fairy-tale like landscape as we stood on the balcony of this boat floating on the charles river. absolutely amazing. We were going to walk to the lennon wall (attempt #2) but it was WAAYY too cold, it "would be a risk to our health" as Tomas worded it. He was probably right. Instead we ate the weirdest breakfast i've ever had.. random little deli salads lord knows what was in them and a cold fried chicken strip. Maybe not the best food, glad i tried it though. From there I picked up a nip of absinthe with the clock tower on the glass as a little souvenir (there were more liquor stores open than breakfast places.. go figure) and then we waited to catch our tram back to the hostel. Alecia and I hopped on tram #22 and waved to tomas we we pulled off. The world is pretty unbelievable, the places you go the people you meet. only on a mission for the good ones though. So Alecia and I get back to the hotel today being one of the first people up from bus2alps for breakfast! haha we pack up and then get on the bus for a 12 hour ride hope. yikes. it wasn't as bad as it sounds. The worst part about the ride is that we were leaving Prague. The beautiful whimsicle stunning historical city that is full of surprises. It was an experience, an amazing experience and the perfect way to kick off our travels in europe. I think its pretty fair to say I have the best parents, i wouldn't have any of this without them.

Na Zdravi! Cheers!

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