07 June 2009

Prague

After the wedding, we were off to Prague! We arrived very late in the evening as our flight was delayed out of Frankfurt. Getting to the apartment was only supposed to take about 40 minutes, but the directions were a bit "lost in translation" and it took us over two hours.But we arrived safe and sound and were pleased with our accommodations, which consisted of a bedroom with working computer and free Internet, a kitchen with a washing machine, and a nice bathroom! Good digs huh?

The first morning we got up to explore Praha in all of it's glory. Our neighborhood looked much nicer (and less we're-going-to-get-mugged-with-these-giant-backpacks-on) during the day, and you can imagine my elation when Ryan shared that our neighborhood had the most bars per capita than anywhere else in all of Europe!Our walk took us to Wenceslas Square. Yes the same Wenceslas as in our American Christmas carols, however he was actually a Duke and war hero and not a king. Here's Ryan standing at the beginning of the Royal Mile, which we walked on our way to the Old Town Centre. During this walk, we encountered the first of what would be many HYDSIN's....Hair You Don't See In Nature. Many women all over Europe seem to think this hair color is a good idea....I am not convinced.

En route, we went up in an old tower that gave us great views of the city! I just love the red roofs! Hundreds of years ago, Prague was surrounded by a fortification wall. Some of the old Towers still stand. A quick story: Ryan and I have recently been introduced to this show called Three Sheets - it's both a drinking/travel show and a drinking game. You should really youtube it! Anyway, the host, Zane Lamprey, went to Prague for an episode and was fascinated by this sign....so we took a picture for our own records! It's pretty weird, you have to admit! Here is Old Town Square. It's too bad someone built those buildings in front of the beautiful church!
And at night We paid to go into the church, but it was certainly worth it!!!
Now this I don't quite understand....what sort of "technical reason" could cause a Crypt to be closed??? Did the body just decide to get up and walk away??? After all of our touristing activities, we stopped at a little italian eatery for some food action, oh, and of course BEER! Beer is SO CHEAP in Prague, not to mention very, very delicious! See how happy it makes me - not bad for about $2! For food, I decided to order a little calzone...for those of you who are familiar with my 2006 European Adventure, you will remember the Calzone I ate that was the size of a small dog. Of course, I finished the whole thing, but as Allison so eloquently put it, I had to be rushed back to the hostel for an emergency siesta. This calzone did not have the same effect and I was grateful! Boy was it tasty! And for those of you who don't remember, here is the ORIGIONAL Siesta Inducing Calzone I digress....After lunch we headed across the famous Charles Bridge toward the Prague Castle. I love these tiny little streets! So European! Now, for the sake of blogging, I am going to combine all of our different trips/sightseeing excursions in Prague into the rest of this blog - so I apologize to those of you hoping for a chronological play by play. In all, we spent 3 days in Prague, and did a side trip to Kutna Hora, which was so cool it will get its very OWN blog post.

Here's the Prague Castle in the background
And the same shot, except at night! Ryan brought his Tripod along with his fancy camera, so we were able to get some really cool dusk pics! Crossing the bridge - apparently you have to touch this for good luck!



















Here's a fellow begging for money....and by fellow I mean puppet!
We stopped into the Congressional Gardens. This is a art instalation/wall fortification technique that also acts as a bird sanctuary. Interesting perspective on the castle The steps up to the castle!I heard someone else's count...385! Looking back down! The front of the palace entrance. On this day the whole thing was blocked off, most likely for a visiting consulate. The Cathedral at the top of the hill! Here's the inside....I used my Student ID to get a discount...shh don't tell! Looking down on town from our perch on the hill The back of the cathedral. Who doesn't love a good "flying buttress"??? I want this knocker for my door!


















One of the afternoons we explored the old Jewish Centre. Prague was targeted by the Nazi's in WWII, and all of the Jews were rounded up and put inside this centre that was closed off to the rest of the city. Over 50% of the residents died of starvation and disease. Now, the Jews have rebuilt and reclaimed this part of the city! The old Jewish Cemetery was closed for the day, but I didn't let that stop me from catching a peek - or bouldering, if you will!
















Now, I know you didn't think I could make it all through a blog without some debauchery, so here you have it! One of the nights we decided to go on a tour inspired by Zane Lamprey from Three Sheets. Our first stop was this restaurant, where we each enjoyed 4 delicious beers and some MEAT! I had Ribs, as you can see. Ryan went straight for the Pig Knee - yes you did read that right! Cleaned it right down to the bone! After paying our larger than necessary bill (pretty sure they added an "American Gratuity" charge!) we set out to find a Budweiser Bar. You see, America STOLE Budweiser from the Czech Republic, and what they have there is completely different from our American BUd. In fact, you wont' find a bar in the whole country that sells Bud. Budweiser comes from the Budwar region and comes in two choices, light or dark. I like the dark, Ryan is a fan of the light. But to be honest, Budweiser is no better than Bud. I say stay away from both!

The last stop on our tour was the amazing Tiger Bar. You would not know this was here unless, well, you knew it was there! When we walked in the place was packed, and I'm pretty sure I was the only female in the whole place! We were just turing to leave when the bartender grabbed Ryan by the collar and motioned to a few people, who parted like the red sea for us to sit down. Then, two beers were immediately plopped in front of us. That's right, they only sell one kind of beer, the local Pilsner, and they will keep bringing you a fresh beer until you tell them to stop. They keep track of how many you've had by putting marks on a piece of paper at your table. When you are done, you simply pay for the number of drinks at the cashier. I want to open a restaurant like this in Seattle!!!

After two beers apiece, we figured it was time to stumble home!

The next morning, we were definitely dragging. But our lives were better than this guys! Check out how they tow cars in Prague!!! Well thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the update (finally!) Here are some parting thoughts on Prague.

Drink Beer! Lots of it, and always try the local stuff, becuase it is the best, and even if it isn't delish a pint will only cost a few bucks!

Be prepared to pay for bathrooms. Like most other places in Europe, bathrooms cost money to use, generally about 25 cents. But in most cities you can find free bathrooms in McDonald's and Starbucks. That is not the case here, so make sure you have small change, becuase there is NOTHING worse than having to pee and not being able to becuase you can't pay the toll!

Smoking in Prague is BAD! The worst of anywhere I've ever been. Bring fabreeze with you for clothes or something.

And finally, before we came we were warned that the locals are not very helpful. We found this to be absolutely true, at least for those people paid to work in the tourist industry. For example, everyone at the train station was less than enthused about answering our questions, even when we tried to speak in Czech. But I did encounter some very friendly HOtel Employees and people on the street seemed nice enough, so it wasn't all bad.

In general Prague was clean, cheap, and beautiful. A must see for any European Adventurer!

2 comments:

Allison said...

i love your blog!! ANd the semi-siesta causing calzone. heehee. bone church scary cool! did it smell in there? where' all the bones come from?

jbergantine said...

praha! totally jealous. was there for like 3 days 3 years ago. must return. good times.