Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, May 1, 2009

After an exhausting train ride, we spent the first few hours in Prague getting settled and sleeping before venturing out.

We went to the Jewish synagogue, through the multitude of souvenir shops lining the cobbled walking streets, and to the crowded main square.  My parents got their portraits sketched by an amazing artist on the Charles Bridge. A lot of people crowded around to see how he used charcoal to roughly shape out their faces, and then used white chalk to provide contrast and show the light reflecting.

We went to the Vsygard Fortress, one of Prague's "Top Fives." The views from the top of the hill were cool, gorgeous gardens, the oldest surviving building (a church), memorials, cathedrals, and a cemetary dating back to the 1700s.

Our Mozart concert tickets included the museum, so we got a chance to see the piano forte Mozart played, a lock of his hair, tickets to Don Giovani and excerpts from his letters. After a welcome champagne in the garden, we were invited to the music room. The show is set up to feel like an informal and intimate gathering with Mozart and his friends--very cool. It was striking to hear their voices and their instruments resonate.

The big attraction was the castle and the Royal Gardens. Our self-guided tour took us to the museum, St. George's Basilica, and the Golden Lane. The museum was excellent, and the highlights were Wencensel's medeival crown, the history of the castle being built, and the creepy tombs. The cathedral has some truly amazing and intricate stain glass windows, and the silver tomb at the end was breath-taking.

We stopped by the National Gallery to complete the European experience, getting the chance to see Rembrant, Rubens, and Goya. The spectacular Last Supper, Carrying the Cross, Crucifixtion, and Resurrection paintings were another highlight.

We made it to the castle gates to catch the changing of the guards, walked back to the centre of town and with a kabeb in hand, called it a day.

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berwanjp on

Dude! Sweet!
Eastern Europe looks fantastic. I'm all caught up, you need to write more! Even though you came to visit, and I read all this, I'll seriously be asking you about your journey for years.... What an amazing trip.

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