Who needs a Eurail pass, we could of swum Europe.

Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
1
65
185
Trip End Jan 10, 2011


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Where I stayed

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, May 17, 2010

The rain we have had for the past 2 weeks reminds me of being in Darwin on the lead up to a major cyclone. The weather I have witnessed between Belgium to Germany, through Poland and now the Czech Republic is some of the worst I have ever seen. We were lucky as even though our train trip was over 3 hours delayed (due to flooding in Poland), we were able to make it to Prague as the rain stopped when we were in the Czech Republic. We arrived in Prague and even though it was overcast and cold at least it was not pissing down. We quickly made our way to our hostel which was called Miss Sophies and got settled. Once again we had scored well as the hostel was pretty new and had awesome facilities. We really have had a very good run with hostels and are sure to come unstuck sooner rather than latter. Anyway we got sorted and quickly found some dinner before we called it a night.

The next day we awoke to find it freezing cold and overcast but at least no rain. Maureen decided that the cold was no excuse not to go for a run, so off she went while I stayed nice and warm inside the hostel. We decided it was a good idea to do our free walking tour as well as a tour of the Prague castle while the weather was reasonable, which turned out to be a very good idea. The tour was once again with the Sandemans New Europe free walking tours and turned out to be very educational. I must admit I really did not know much about Prague and its history and really did learnt a fair bit. We were told of a lady who has lived in Prague all her life and due to German occupation, communism and the wars throughout history, has lived in 8 different countries. One other thing that really stuck in my mind was seeing the Jewish quarter during the tour. The majority of this had been untouched during the war because Hitler wanted to preserve it as a museum for people to visit to see how an extinct race once lived. Obviously this really back fired for him. 

 Prague really surprised me; it turned out to be one of the prettiest cities I have visited in Europe, which I really was not expecting. Anyway we spent 3 hrs walking around looking at all the sights and seeing what this beautiful city had to offer. On completion of this we decided to go on a tour of the Prague Palace which also was stunning. The only problem was this meant we were on tours for nearly 6 hrs which really took it out of us (god help us when we go back to a job). Anyway by the end of the day we were ready to climb into bed with a good book and not surface until the following morning, which we did.

 Our last day we awoke to find the weather had once again caught us and it was absolutely pissing down. We had decided it was going to be a pretty easy day anyway and only had planned to visit a couple of sights. One of these was Town square where there was a massive astronomical clock that every hour had little figures that dance and move. It really sounds better than it looks but we figured we better go and see for ourselves.

 We then set off to the Jewish quarter to go to a museum, which our guide explained the day before was a must do whilst in Prague. The Pinkas synagogue is dedicated to the Jewish victims of Bohemia and Moravia and contains names upon names of victims, approximately 80,000. About 10,000 children were sent to Theresienstadt of which, only 100 survived. During their time there, they were given art lessons and a room in the Pinkas synagogue contains this artwork. You would think their drawings would be quite negative and hopeless. But in fact, the children's artwork often contained pictures of themselves with family and friends, of drawings of them going home and in general, of hope. When it became apparent that they were all going to be deported to the extermination camps, the art teacher collected and hid about 4,500 artworks. They are now the only documented evidence that these children existed. Only 100 of them survived.

 Unfortunately it was a Jewish holiday and it was closed so this would not be possible. Now the weather was really set in so it was time to do some shopping have some lunch and return to the shelter of the hostel to stay warm and out of the rain before we move on.  
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