The Golden City - Prague

Trip Start Jan 27, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello :). So I am currently on the train on our way to Munich! Our train took off around 9 and we will arrive in Munich at 3 or as the Europeans say 15:00! I cannot wait for Munich! It is supposed to be an amazing city!
This weekend in Prague could not have been more wonderful if we tried! I took my 3 tests on Thursday, ran home, packed and we left. We met our friend Christina at the train station where we caught a cab to the airport. We flew out of a different smaller airport so it is more of a hassle to get to. Christina came from Florence and her study abroad program ended this week so she flew back to the states this morning. She had a ton of luggage!! We flew Wizz Air, a cheap Hungarian airline :) it worked out great!

We arrived in Prague and took another taxi to our hostel. Our room was huge!! It was nicer than staying at a hotel, which is hardly ever the case! We had our own bathroom, a dining table, fridge, ect! And it was $22 dollars a night for each of us! We got a good nights rest and got up at a decent hour on Friday morning. We ate crepes for breakfast with cinnamon sugar! Then we took a Sandeman's free walking tour! He showed us the main attractions and explained the history behind everything. It was a ton of fun and lasted 3 hrs. Then we went spent the afternoon walking around and shopping! For an afternoon snack I ate a twisty pretzel thing which I believe is called Trdelajk. They twist the dough on wooden poles and spin them over a fire. The outside gets hard and the inside lining is super doughy and soft. They sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar and almond and walnut pieces! Absolutely delicious!!

Our hostel was very close to the Astronomical Clock and Old Town Square which are two major things to see in Prague. In the Square they have little vendors that sell sausages, hotdogs, beer, hot wine and the pretzel things so for dinner we ate sausages :). We are not sure why the Astronomical Clock is so famous but it is actually a major attraction in Eruope. It does a little display on the hour, every hour and there are hundreds of tourists every hour that watch it go off lol. On Friday night we did the Clocktower Bar Crawl. By the way there are pub crawls in all the major European cities. :) We met the group at 9:15 and went to an open bar for an hour. Then they moved the group to the first bar/club. They give you a free drink when you walk in and you can do whatever. We danced of course haha! But after an hour of dancing to techno we were burnt out and were annoyed they had not moved us to the next bar. So we went outside where tons of other people were and then we just decided to head home. We were tired and didn't feel like waiting anymore.

On Satrday we got up and headed to The Prague Castle! It is the largest castle in the world! We walked over Charles Bridge to get to it. Then we went inside the St. Vitus church. It is by far my favorite church that I have seen, ever over the hundreds we have in Rome! It is Gothic style I believe with gargoyles on the top. I think it is more beautiful then St. Peter's in Vatican City! It was outstanding! After we sat on some the steps and rested outside the church. We started talking to a girl and she turned out to be a tour guide! She recommended things we have to do when we go to Salzburg, Austria later this week! We followed her and her group to the Lenin wall. Which is basically a really grafitied wall. It is brightly colored and anyone can write on it. It is all about love and peace.

Then we stopped for lunch at this amazing little restaurant! The home it was in was built in the 14the century! I thought I would make a leap for some authentic Czech food and it was surprisingly very good! I had cabbage soup with sausage and sour cream. We sat there for a couple hours and the atmosphere was fun since it was small and quaint. We walked back to Old Town Sqaure afterwards where an Easter Festival had been set up! There was of course tons of food and beer, little arts and craft gifts and live music, traditional Czech music of course! We ate Belgian waffles with Strawberries and Cream on it!

On Saturday night we went to a venue called Lucerna! The tour guide had recommended it. During the weeknights the place holds concerts and on the weekends they have 80s night! So we danced the night away to Madonna, Micheal Jackson, an many others. They had a huge screen next to the dance floor that played the music videos! We went home late and slept in on Sunday.

We got up the next day and saw the last few things we hadn't seen yet. Two big ones were the Jewish Memorial and the Dancing House. We ate crepes for breakfast and headed to the Memorial first. The Memorial is located in the Jewish Quarter where the Jewish ghetto used to be located. The memorial is dedicated to all the Czech Jews that died during the Holocaust. The building is filled with over 70,000 names of the people that had been killed. On the second floor they have a room filled with drawings by children that were done while they were in concentration camps. Surprisingly many of the drawings depict happiness. As you leave the Memorial they lead you through a graveyard that is elevated and is left from the once Jewish ghetto.

Afterward we went and grabbed food. We found this amazing cafe! It had a hot pink bar and amazing atmosphere! Very young and trendy and they had two TVs that were showing Milan fashion week and the runway shows :). It was the perfect place to people watch! Two girls that stuck out to me were sitting a table near us. They were listening to an ipod and each had a headphone in their ear. They were smoking thin little cigarettes and sipping on coffees. :) They looked like something out of a movie! We walked to the Dancing House next. I am not sure what the story behind it is. It is very futuristic looking, especially compared to the other architecture of Prague. It is a famous building since anytime you look at info about Prague there is always a photo of it. Then we wondered the streets until we ended up back at our hostel. We packed all of our stuff to leave the following morning. We went out for a beer to end the night and say farewell to Christina who flew back to the states to go back to Stanford this morning.

I fell in love with Prague this past weekend, way more than I was expecting! The architecture is out of this world and it is very clean, especially compared to super dirty Rome with grafiti everywhere!! Every single building looks very different and they are all different colors and yet there is still a theme that seems to run throughout the city to bring it together! I love cities that have rivers that run through them. In Prague it is the Vltava River. In Florence its the Arno River and in Rome we have the Tiber. They are wide, beautiful and bring a sense of peace to abusy city! Overall everyone was very nice and many people spoke English.

I can't wait to get to Munich. I have friend that lives there and said he would show us around! And we get to chill at fun beer gardens :)

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