Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 12, 2008

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, October 10, 2008

About 8 of us from Florence left bright and early for Pisa Airport on Friday morning.  We found an awesome 2 for 1 special through Skyeurope, so we buddied up and went to visit our friends studying with NYU in Prague!

Our hotel was in the Old Town, about a ten minute walk from the Old Town square and the Charles bridge.  We started our stay with a traditional Czech meal -- lots of meat, potatoes and beer.  The portions were absolutely huge, especially when compared to Italy!

Friday night we met up with our friends on the Charles bridge, which is very pretty at night.  We heard it was beautiful during the day too, so we made sure to come back the following days.  The next morning, we got up and made our way to the largest castle in the world -- the Prague castle!  If you didn't figure it out by now, I love castles!

We took some pictures with the serious guards outside...not quite as intense as the UK, but its still pretty funny trying to make them laugh.  We explored the castle grounds, and went inside St. George's Basilica. 

Saturday night we went to a 5-story club right on the Charles Bridge.  Each floor played a different kind of music, so we danced to everything from techno to hip hop and even a little bhangra!

Sunday was our last full day, so we went to the "mini Eiffel Tower."  Situated on the top of a huge hill, one can either hike up, walk a steep, long path, or take a tram up....unfortunately for us, the tram was broken and we created our own 2 hour hike/walk combo.  Once we got there, we had another 299 steep, curvy stairs to climb but the view was well worth it!  We could see all of Prague from the top -- Old and New Town!  In Florence, the leaves don't really change color so the fall scene was a welcome change :)

After the observation tower, we rented paddle boats on the Vltava River and watched the sunset.  We ate dinner at Cafe Louvre, infamous for their rich hot chocolate. 

Prague is completely different from Florence, but it really grew on me.  Something about that place seemed unreal like I was in a fairy tale -- maybe it was the castle, or maybe it was the fact that I was in central Europe but still had access to a 24-hour McDonalds, or maybe it was the fact that I bought a t-shirt for 300 koruny (about 10 USD) that just made it seem like playing a game of Monopoly?  It was a good weekend, and I can't wait to go back to central Europe and see Budapest over spring break.
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