Synagogue City

Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, May 4, 2009

Well I never really met the guys from my room as when I went to bed at 1230 and they still weren't back at the dorm yet. Thank god for eye masks and ear plugs as I didn't wake up when they came back, and they must have been also quiet as well.

I decided to make it to the Jewish area of Prague today. The area is called Josefov, and you buy a very expensive ticket to see 5 synagogues and the cemetery. The crowds were horrendous and there isn't much room to begin with in this area. The first and second ones I saw was the Klaus Synagogue and the ceremonial hall which describes Jewish traditions such as birth, circumcisions, bar/bat mitzvahs etc.. and it was interesting as they had a lot of old artifacts relating to each ritual. The next on my list was the old/new synagogue which is the oldest preserved synagogue in Central Europe (13th century). It was neat to see, but you had to pay an extra fee to see it, and I didn't' think that it was really worth it. The Pinkas Syanagogue had 80,000 names of holocaust victims names on the wall and the upstairs had drawings that children made while interred at Terezin Concentration Camp. The attached cemetery was cool to see as from back in the day, Jews weren't allowed to enlarge their cemetery so they stacked the graves. The Maisel synagogue was intended to be used by Hitler as a museum of the "extinct Jewish race". All in all the sites were interesting to see, but it was very expensive. It worked out to be around $30 and there was also a charge for taking pictures of the Jewish Cemetery (there was no one enforcing that, so I snuck in a few).

I walked around the "new town", only about 14 century, and saw Wenceslas Square and where the Velvet Revolution took place and did some shopping. There must be a big thing going on here as there are police everywhere and SWAT team guys walking around with their German Shepard's. When I was in the old town square there was a band playing and they were having a BBQ of sausage and beer. For a sausage, bread and a beer it was under $1!! I overheard that Stephen Harper was in town along with other dignitaries from other countries. There were police cars and the sirens going crazy at this point and helicopters all over the sky. Looking around the square I noticed lots of guys in suits with ear pieces. 

Headed back to the hostel and met up with some Canadians and Australians. The Australians were an older threesome who were traveling around Europe for 17 weeks! Sat up in the bar downstairs drinking with one of the guys-Kevin-until late. When I went to bed 2 guys from my dorm were just heading out for the night. They asked me if I would "like to make part". I hope they were asking me to go out to a party with them and not something else! haha. It must have been around 1 am at this point and I can't sightsee and stay out until 5 am at the same time. 
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