Ahh.. Praha!

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Jun 18, 2008

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

<Brian's brief chronological list of "highlights" (and of whinging)>
- Did a morning free tour of the right hand side of Prague... this includes the old town and new town of Prague. We spent the 3 hours appreciating the different architectural styles laid throughout the city... We even saw a statue of Freud hanging outside a window as his protest against something. It was quite interesting. Learnt more about the plight of the Jews and the Jewish quarter...
- Spent the afternoon exploring the areas the tour had covered. Visited a lot of souvenir stores and looked at the babushka dolls. Nothing much to report really.
<Lang's Extended Version>
One thing that we seek out at every new town we arrive at now are the free (or really cheap) tours, and Prague was no different. At 10am, freezing in our t-shirts and pants, we headed over to Old Town Square and joined the throng of other tourists after an overview of the city squeezed into 3 hours..
At 10.30 on the dot, Veronica showed up and started her very interesting tour of the right bank, covering the Old Town, New Town and Jewish Quarter. You could tell how enthusiastic and passionate she was about her city and was eager to share it with all.
We learnt that the statue of Jan Huis standing tall and noble in the middle of the square was exaggerated to show his importance to the Czech people. In reality, he was short and fat.
Veronica also showed us the different types of buildings that could be found in both the Old and New Towns - there were gothic, renaissance, art nouveau and also cubism designed buildings.. WTF was cubism??!! Apparently it was a Czech architectural invention and some buildings were built with windows like a cube shape.. it was totally weird and didn't really compare to the prettiness of the other designs..
Also, during Hitler's reign, 80 000 Jews were taken and killed in Prague - 2/3 of their whole population. Given that all Jews are required to be buried and their remains were not allowed to be moved once buried, the cemetery had layers and layers of graves..
As our tour only lasted 3 hours and covered just the right bank, there was another tour at 2pm to cover the other side of the Charles Bridge.. However, since we were freezing cold in just our t-shirts, we decided to head back to our room to get our jackets and missed out on that tour for today.
The rest of the arvo was spent retracing our steps through to the New Town to Wenceslas Square, visiting numerous souvenir shops and taking some more photos.
BTW, it rained and rained and rained in the afternoon and most of the night.. Too bad I had lost my rain jacket in Bled but luckily we still had our umbrella and I had convinced Brian to bring along 2 jackets before the trip.. =P
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