Prague - CZECH ME OUT!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, October 5, 2009

I have a bit of a soft spot for Prague for obvious reasons, and I had it didn't let me down on my second visit! We had booked into the same hostel that I stayed in last time, and I was in the same dorm room that I slept in 4 years ago.. Ohhh! After being there for about 5 minutes and chatting to some Aussie guy (Lachlan) we realized we knew each other – in 2 different ways! I worked with his sister Kirsty at the YMCA and I travelled with his cousin Liam in Greece and Turkey last time I was backpacking – small world! I could even say 3 ways because he went to school with my cousin’s cousin (a Bodycoat – If you’re not a family member that’s a last name just so you aren’t confused), but I don’t actually know him so we’ll say 2.

Lach and his mate Sam were about to head off to join a pub crawl, so we made ourselves look pretty (as pretty as you can look after living out of a backpack for 4 months.. so if I’m honest it means I put my least stinky top on, my new Italian boots and some mascara.. eww I’m gross), and hot the town with about 120 other travelers! It was my first official international pub crawl – I had no idea they could have that many people on them, but it was actually really good because every place we went was full! I tried absinth for the 1st and last time, it’s the devil’s drink YUK!! We started at an irish pub, then boogied to top 40 songs from 10 years ago (can someone PLEASE explain to me how Europe is so behind?!), drum and bass, and ended with techno crap.. Good times..

The boys highly recommended a tour they went because the tour guide was HILARIOUS so Megg and I decided to give it a go – they were right. We basically had Arj Barker with a little Vince Vaughn showing us around, telling us heaps of stories which may or may not be true about the history of Prague (if anyone knows whether the sea lion at the Prague zoo is dead or alive please let us know). We saw the astrological clock - which blew our minds by the way, the Jewish quarter (which used to be a swamp), old town, new town, the Charles Bridge (held together with eggs did you know?!), a rude American (he interrupted our tour with his southern drawl to ask the guide what the calling code is for the Czech Republic..), and so much more. It was pretty much the best tour I’ve ever been on so if anyone is going to Prague do the 'New Europe Free Tour’ and make sure you get Isaac. And no I am not employed by them to advertise..

Megg, Sam and I (Lach was still a little under the weather from Oktoberfest..) had a giant feast at a medieval restaurant for dinner, with wild boar skins and amour on the walls – we felt like we were in a Robin Hood movie it was great!

Next day the 4 of us visited the Jewish museum. During the war there had been a concentration camp not far out of Prague. It was one of the ‘better’ ones as the Germans would take photos of this one for propaganda, saying that the camps weren’t so bad. One of the prisoners was an art professor who asked for pencils, paint and paper so that she could teach the children to draw, and they actually got them. Close to the end of the war most of the prisoners were killed, but the professor managed to hide thousands of drawings that the children did, and they are now on rotating display at the Jewish museum. We also visited the Jewish cemetery – the Jews were only given a small area for their cemetery and when it filled up their request for more land was denied. Instead they had to pile more dirt on top of the cemetery to create a new layer, there are 11 layers in total making it quite high, and absolutely covered in tomb stones. A pretty sad place really.

The boys left for Berlin after visiting that, so Megg and I continued our site-seeing! We walked over the Charles Bridge (which is under reconstruction.. Grrrr!!), and checked out all the artist’s stuff, then wandered along the river up to a big park with a giant metronome (I don’t know why it’s there..) to get a nice view over the city. Then we walked back into the old town and went up the clock tower for a close-up view of the old town. With our site-seeing officially finished (too late to get to the castle district… Yo well!) we hit the souvenir shops to peruse all the glorious crap they had to offer..

We spent the evening doing traveler admin (booking hostels and figuring out how to get to our next stops) and went out for an Indian\Thai dinner.
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