The Land of Old-School

Trip Start Jun 06, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2009

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Where I stayed
One Prague Hostel

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, August 10, 2009

I arrived in Prague at 11:30pm after 6 hours on the train from Munich. I was pretty tired and just wanted to find my hostel and go to sleep. So I followed the directions of the website to find the hostel. Little did I know that the street address was in fact the neighborhood and not the street. I even tried to call the place but got no answer. I had to ask a hotel to look it up for me and I eventually found it at 1:30am. I was not too happy after carrying my bag for 2 hours and getting completely lost late at night in a new city. I told the hostel staff about my problem and he just kind of shrugged it off. He made mention about me just asking around for it. Ask around for it? That was BS. Since I book my hostels online before I come, after you check-out from the hostel you get an email asking to review the hostel. This hostel is going to get a piece of my mind.

I woke up at 4:30am by the sight of numerous people entering my room and making a mess of things. Fast forward to 8:30 and I couldn't sleep anymore so I decided to get to it. The company I have been using throughout most of Europe that has free tours has one here as well. So I just bummed around the city for about 2 hours until that got started. Walking around the city, it seemed like every concert hall and church had their very own concerts almost daily. For a small fee of course. So I was in a church that was pretty neat and I bought a ticket to a concert they were selling for like $10. The free tour got started and it was so far the biggest group I have been on yet. There were 3 separate groups and each probably consisted of about 30 people. And each stop we would make we would add more people along the way because our guide was very animated and vocal. Like he should be! As usual, the tour was just a basic tour that covered the history of the city and of certain buildings and their importance. In the Old Town Square the city has their version of the Glockenspiel like in Munich. It is a bit smaller and less happening but neat to see. The tower that holds the clock was about 10 feet from being leveled in WWII because the other part of the building was destroyed. Learned how the Jews were yet again being oppressed in the city by having a wall around the Jewish Quarter. Thereīs even a very small Jewish cemetary that has 20,000 people buried there. But they are stacked like 12 high because of the limited space. Learned how a lot of the city was destroyed but all the buildings that look old are actually recreations of its former self. Learned how the the Czechīs fought against the Nazis by moving around all the street signs in German so as to confuse the soldiers in the city. Learned that the infamous Charles Bridge has 30 statues on it and the most famous one was of a guy(I forget) and he was tossed off the bridge for something and when people looked down to see him, they saw 5 stars floating in the water at the spot where he was at. So a statue on the bridge of him has 5 gold stars around his head. Clever huh? After the tour, I just milled around the city and found a bite to eat. I had some pretty tasty duck in wine sauce, red cabbage, goulash soup, and some potato(I think) things. It was tasty!! Then I made my way back over to the church that I bought the ticket for the concert.  Before I went, I slammed a pretty tall Espresso so I would stay awake.  The concert consisted of two trumpets and the big organ.  And unlucky for me they were seated behind you way up in the balcony.  So you couldnīt see them unless you turned around.  All you could see was a big picture of Jesus in the altar.  The concert was an hour long and consisted of various classical songs from different artists.  Iīll say that I made it about 20 minutes before I started to nod off.  I just couldnīt do it without falling asleep.  If the musicians were facing us I might have stayed awake but I spent the better half of 30 minutes fighting the sleep fairy.  I actually enjoy classical music but it was a losing battle.  Maybe next time.  I figured that I only had one night in Prague so I would walk around a bit and see the city at night. It was neat to see the square and castle all lit up. And the pictures are hard to get without a tri-pod.

The next day I headed over to Prague Castle early in the am because I wanted to catch a train at 2:30. I bought the short tour ticket because that was the rest of my money in Czech money. It coverd all the highlights which was good for me. I went into the Old Castle which was neat to see, but I wish they opened it up more. All you really saw was the Great Hall, and like 3 other rooms. I think because the Castle is still used by the Head of State today so they can only show you so much. Next I went to the really tall St Vitus Cathedral. You can see the towers from across the river and was neat to see up close. I went in and immediately noticed the beautiful stained glass windows they had. I donīt think Iīve ever seen such colors like that in stained glass before. At least not that big. The rest of the Cathedral was the usual(Iīve come to that point), alters, Jesus, and donation boxes. But it was neat to see. Then I went to the Golden Lane and Tower of something. It was basically a neatly decorated street within the castle walls that had shops galore. They did have a pretty cool place with Medieval armor and weapons. Then the tower of something used to be a jail cell and torture chamber. They even had different devices to inflict maximum pain on their victims. Like the stretcher thing that pulls your limbs in the opposite direction you would want them to go, some kind of cage thing, and numerous instruments of pain. Then I made my way over to catch the Clock Towerīs Glockenspiel like moving clock. It started with a skeleton pulling a chain that was ringing a bell and some guys would appear out of a window. Kind of cool to see but the one in Munich was way cooler. How can you beat jousting kinghts? You really canīt!!

And that was Prague.
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