Things I've Learned and More

Trip Start Oct 13, 2010
Trip End Dec 19, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Okay, so it's the night before I leave my first city. There are a couple of things I have learned so far. 

(1) I really should have given myself more time in Prague. I always underestimate how long it will take me to get used to the time change. Because of this, there are quite a lot of things I wish I had been able to do in Prague. I know I could technically stay one more day, but then I couldn't stay in Budapest as long and I have plenty I want to do there. I know for sure that if I ever have the chance to return to Prague there will be plenty to do. 

(2) It is so much colder than I anticipated. I did look up the weather before I came and that is why I did not bring my shorts, but a high of 50 degrees Fahrenheit is actually quite cold. I had to cave and buy a scarf.

(3) The escalators to the metro run really quickly, at first I thought I was imagining it, but I'm positive they don't run as fast in the US. There have been a couple of times when I stepped on and almost fell because my feet where on two steps at once and yeah it could have been really bad. 

(4) Apparently Tom Cruise films most of his action movies in Prague. He is here right now getting ready to film Mission Impossible IV. Even if the movie takes place somewhere else, he films here a lot, along with many other movies. One example, Eurotrip (I know not Tom Cruise, but this was an example he gave) was filmed completely in Prague even though they were all over Europe. 

(5) The sidewalks are all really pretty with intricate designs. However, they I feel like they make your feet hurt more and I saw at least five people stumble in them (luckily not me however), so they are not necessarily the safest option. 

Although I did not get to do everything I wanted to do in Prague, I did get quite a lot done. Yesterday, I spent five hours at Prague Castle. I got the audio tour and learned a lot about the history of the Czech Republic. I spent some time just walking though the gardens and enjoying the fall weather and the leaves changing. It's nice to know that things such as the beauty of the fall which is by far my favorite season is something that is appreciated by people and cultures throughout the world. While I was making my way to Prague Castle, some people stopped and asked me for directions. Even after I said I was a tourist, they kept pestering me. It was a family from somewhere in Asia and they didn't speak much English. Anyways, I think I pointed them in the right direction, the dad had a subway map and they knew the name of the stop they wanted to go. However, I got a kick out of the fact that even though I know nothing about a city, I already have my bearings and feel as if I know my way around. After Prague Castle, I came back to the Hostel. They were serving free dinner so I saved money and had dinner here. It was not necessarily what I would have bought, but now I can say I have had Afghani food. It was a vegetarian dish with eggplant, tomatoes, spices, rice and a yogurt sauce. Surprisingly I liked it, even though it was a little spicy. Then I had pancakes for dessert all washed down with a Pilsner which is a native Czech beer. The beer was a little bitter for my taste and I probably would not have it again, but I'm glad I tried it. 

Today was a day of walking tours. I did two, the first was the Free Tour of Prague (they only asked for tips at the end). It was from 11 to 2:30, however, a guide picked a group of us up from the Hostel at 10:15, so it was nice to get a little bit of a bonus. The tour was very informative. We got to see the New Town, the Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, and Charles Bridge among other things. The history of Prague is amazing. The tour guide was telling us how his girlfriends grandmother had lived in 8 countries even though she had never moved from Prague because of all the different rulers and governments that have come through in the last 100 years. After that tour was over, I did the Communism and Nuclear Bunker tour. This one which cost money was okay, but of the two, I'd actually recommend the free one. The tour guide on the free one spoke better English and seemed to be more prepared. However, the second tour was still pretty good. The best part was there was no overlap between the two tours so I got to see a whole other part of Prague. He showed us lots of buildings that were relevant to the USSR rule in Prague and some plaques commemorating the Velvet Revolution. After that, he took us into a nuclear bunker where we got to see gas masks and all the preparation in case of a nuclear war. The bunker is now used to host private parties which I find quite weird actually, but anywho, it was still quite interesting. One thing of note, both of the tour guides where male and both had long hair which they desperately needed to cut. After the tours were over, I walked across the Charles Bridge which was awesome then got a traditional Czech meal of roast beef and dumplings. I probably wouldn't seek it out in the future, but wouldn't turn it down either. After that is was back to the hostel. A great day overall and next time I'm back in Prague, there is still plenty for me to see and do. 

Also to note, I haven't fallen yet (although the guy in front of me on the 2nd walking tour almost did which made me aware of a whole I probably would have stepped in) and I have yet to spill anything. All of that was typed while knocking on wood. 
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Kate Taylor on

sounds like a GREAT start to your trip!!

Michelle T on

Yay for an update! Prague is beautiful! <3

kathy on

Sounds like a great time so far! Look forward to reading your next entry. I feel as if I am with you. xoxo Kat

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