Beautiful buildings, old time fun and absinthe

Trip Start Apr 26, 2010
Trip End Dec 02, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, August 16, 2010

This morning everyone slept in until breakfast at 9am and fortunately it wasn't raining. I don't think we even got going until maybe 11am, which was a little lazy of us, but I wasn't feeling very well again and was a little slow.  This was how it was with me all day, which was a little annoying, especially because Prague was really cool.

We headed on our own to Prague Castle, which is the largest castle complex in Europe – maybe the world, not sure of that detail.  It's pretty big anyway.  We paid to do the long tour – which included all the exhibitions but the inside that we paid to see was a little disappointing for me.  We saw the Old Palace and we really didn't get to see much.  A grand hall, a few upstairs rooms with nothing left in them, a little church room inside the palace and a random upstairs room, and that was it.  Considering all the palaces we have seen, it wasn't really up to the standard which was a shame.  The castle complex itself was really nice and you could wander around this for free which is quite nice.  There were teenagers gathering in the courtyard which for a New Zealander would be a random thing to do – "Hey, let all just meet at the Palace and then we will go shopping"

The best thing was the St Vitnus Cathedral which was absolutely amazing.  I don't think I have ever seen so much gold decoration in my entire life.  There was also a massive tomb at the end of the cathedral that was so grandly decorated – it was really mindblowing.  After a while I didn’t really know what to take photos of as everything was interesting and different.

We also went and saw the museum side of the castle.  This was relatively standard and discussed the history of the land of the castle and all the geology behind it all, which wasn't of interest to me – someone perhaps.  The best thing this had in it was a few skeletons that were still in tact and laid in the same positions as they were found.  They were pretty cool – couldn’t take any photos though.  They also had a lot of royal jewellery and crowns –although some looked like they were made of tin, something a child could make – that struck me as rather amusing, but they were pretty old though.

Rob also told us that the golden lane was a really cool place to visit, but of course, this was being refurbished and we had no access at all – damn.  From here we went for a wander down the hill into the east side of the town – over the bridge which was full of painters and other types of artists.  All day the bridge is just full of people which is quite neat.  We went back and had a look around the main square in the day – and I have to say that I think this is my favourite square in Europe – well it is today, I might have to have another think about it because it's pretty impressive.  There is the tower and the Tyn Church was looking crazy scary with the dark cloud backdrop.  There was also some sort of old time festival going on I think – I don't really know, my Czech isn't exactly outstanding, but there were lots of old stalls selling food, making them the old way.  We had some sort of doughnut type thing, that was just cooked over coals that were pretty good and someone said the deepfried bread with cheese and garlic was good too.. but we didn’t get that far.

We headed back to the Jewish Quarter just to have a look in the daytime at the cemetery – which we would have a had a look at, but we had to buy a ticket that included all the synagogues and few other things, so it worked out a bit expensive just for the one thing we wanted to see.  But the area was pretty cool and there were so cute old stalls outside the cemetery too.

We met up with a few of the others after that and went for a drink for Robs birthday at a bar where you could pour your own beers from the tap and you just paid per litre, which is pretty cool.  It worked out really cheap too, so would have been good for a big night out, but we only had a few there and then met about 20 of the others and had a nice dinner in an underground art gallery – random but surprisingly cheap – despite our really shitty exchange rate.  We had a nice goulash and apple strudel, so that was good.

We met up with most of the other people – besides the gappies who were pub crawling at an absinthe bar, where they actually serve the real stuff.  The proper way to drink this nasty shot is to melt a teaspoon of sugar into the glass by adding a little alcohol to the sugar and lighting it on fire, then pouring it in and knocking it back.  I still wasn't feel shit hot so I passed on this one, although it probably would have killed in the germs in my system.  The looks on some peoples faces were pretty funny because I don't think it was great tasting.

We headed back with the first group as Simon had to be taken home – pretty funny, he was drunk before he even got to town, so we managed to get one of the last trams back and walk what seemed like forever back to the camp and our nice little room, which was not cold or wet – woohoo!
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