Sunday Fun Day!

Trip Start May 25, 2012
Trip End Jul 07, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time is flying! 

Sunday morning Abby and I woke up around 8 to try to get ourselves adjusted to local time.  We thought it'd be fun to find a church service to go to which was easier said than done.  Because of the former Communist rule the majority of the population identifies as atheist.  We knew this, but I don't think we realized how extreme it was until Abby went to look up church services in Prague and their times and found a total of TWO.  We went to the Church of St. Nicholas in the Old Town Square because they had a service at 9:30! It was great to be up and about so early because Prague really hadn't woken up yet.  We took a bunch of pictures of the church which was gorgeous and realized it wasn't actually Catholic like we had thought--it was a combination of Catholic and Presbyterian.  Unfortunately, the service was all in Czech so we didn't get too much out of it.  They did a lot of singing though which was interesting and even the woman giving the service had big portions to sing.  

After church, we decided to take our first adventure to the grocery store!  We'd heard from a USAC alum that the store Alberts was a lot cheaper and friendlier than the one Billa that's nearby so we thought we'd give it a shot.  We found one over by the Palladium (like a mall) and it was underground like the metro.  We didn't really have a list so we kind of just wandered and ended up getting bottles of water, instant coffee for me, a danish for breakfast filled with this cherry filling and pudding filling, and then vanilla wafers! It was pretty easy and we found the Great Value brand of Europe called Euro Shopper.  AND it was really cool because it was two levels and there was just a moving ramp to take you up and down.  The only rough part was paying since the lady checking us out just started chit chatting and neither of us knew a word she said so I just said sorry and shook my head.  And then Abby and I followed exit signs which actually took us up into what looked like a car dealership so then we took an elevator up and ended up in the Palladium so that was kind of awkward. We also didn't realize they don't give out grocery bags here so we were hauling around everything and the water bottles they sell in liters so they're huge!  All's well that ends well though, and we made it home on time.

We went almost immediately from the apartment to our Orientation.  We met the group back at Wenceslas Square which has a huge statue of him riding a horse and looking down the strip of businesses.  He was a king who founded New Town in Prague and is the Patron Saint of Bohemia.  We took the metro over to the stop we needed for school which is actually called "IP Pavlova" after Pavlov--they have a painting of a dog at the top of the metro stop reading one of his books and talking and wearing a wig.  Our leader showed us where to go to get to school and then took us to a restaurant called Knajpa for lunch.  They served us this interesting soup because apparently that's a popular dish in Prague and it was some mixture of cheese, dill (WEIRD), egg, and mushroom.  Then the main meal was chicken breast stuffed with sauerkraut and served with mashed potatoes! 

Later Sunday afternoon we decided to go to the Prague Food Festival with a big group of people!  We took the metro/tram to the garden at Prague Castle which is where it was being held, but found out that it was $25USD to get in which no one particularly wanted to pay.  Instead of doing that we just walked around to go to the castle and walked in right on the hour so they were doing the changing of the guard.  It'll be fun to see how it compares to the changing of the guard in London so Abby and I are definitely going to have to go to that. We walked around for a bit and took some pictures but we didn't end up going into the actual castle so we'll have to go back.  When we left, we took the metro back and had an unpleasant experience with one of the workers there.  A girl named Lauren had problems with her flight and got to Prague while we were at the orientation.  She didn't get any of her stuff from our director but we had her buy a one day pass from the metro because we had heard stories about them being really strict about it.  We got down to the metro and this worker was checking for everyones tickets.  All of our first thoughts were "oh gosh good thing we had Lauren buy one!" We showed him our student transportation passes and then Lauren showed him her ticket... APPARENTLY it says in fine print on the back that she had to validate the ticket and couldn't just buy it so she was going to have to pay the fine.  The fine is actually 800 koruna which is around $40 and over double what we have to pay for our month long student passes.  He was a huge jerk and didn't seem to care that she bought the ticket he still made her pay and was acting like she was going to have to go into jail if the 4 of us didn't have the money on us in cash.  NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE.  

The rest of the night we hung out in our apartment and a bunch of people ended up coming over!  Loving the group so far and can't wait to see what else happens these next few weeks.

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