Rumple-stilkskin city

Trip Start Jan 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2006

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Sunday, February 26, 2006

Let's just say that Prague was an interesting experience. The first thing that really surprised me was the price of living. I was under the impression that the Czech republic was going to be cheap and in some ways it was, but if you really think about it, it is no different to anywhere else. For example, I was in a hostel for the first two days and I was paying 290Kc (said 'crowns' in English) each night. That translates approximately to 11 euro, which is what I have paid in some hostels in Germany. We also did a walking tour that we paid for, which was a big mistake. We walked around for four hours following a woman who talked through a microphone. As much as I tried to, I couldn't concentrate on what she was saying because of the monotone she used. Compared to the Free Tour in Munich, it was really bad. Plus is cost me 400Kc. By the way I promised the tour guide in Munich that I would plug his tour to all my friends because I really enjoyed it and he works for tips. As I could only afford 3 euros at the time, I said I would help him out like this. It seriously is worth doing though if you ever go to Munich.

Prague has a really bloody history behind it that I never knew much about and it very recent too. For those who don't know, it was only liberated in 1990. Note that this was real liberation, not the American kind where they blow up the city. When the Russians rolled in with their tanks, a young man, Jan Palach, only nineteen at the time, burned himself alive in protest to the invasion. Unfortunately for him, he survived for four days severely burned before he died. Palach is now somewhat of a national hero and symbolises the freedom movement in Prague.

The inner city is beautifully kept and it is no wonder people always mention it when the subject of Europe comes up. There are massive churches and synagogues around and heroes are remembered by plaques and monuments. There is a stark difference between the city centre and the greater Prague. Houses are run down, some buildings are still in ruins from what seems to be some sort of conflict and there is graffiti EVERYWHERE! It shows just what this city is really about: the rich, tourism and government. Nice for those who can afford it or work in the centre, but for everyone else, it seems to be very poor conditions.

I didn't find Prague that interesting and an incident that I am not allowed to discuss publicly meant that we were very glad to get out and back to Germany. Nice place to go to if you like pretty buildings though.

Now I am in Berlin again because I liked it so much! YAY! LOL

PS I called this entry the Rumple-Stiltskin city because the American girls I was hanging around with jumped on the escalators, which run about double the speed they do at home (you have to almost get a running start), and she fell over saying "ahhh this thing has shaken my first baby out of me!"... You had to be there.
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