Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Czech Me Out - Prague!

Hi all,
Now, I'd like to be able to claim credit for that magnificient pun...however, as it was on every other t-shirt sold in Prague, I can't bring myself to do it. However, I hope you have a swell time Czech-ing out my photos. : p

The Trains...Oh the Trains...
Going and returning from Prague was a bigger deal than I expected. First we had to randomly get off our train in some smallish town (Officially being told that it was a "one-time" deal and it was due to train trouble - although other people we ran into had the same "one-time" experience...). Of course, the trains had the most horrendous brakes I've ever heard in my entire life, but after hearing it time and time again we came to the conclusion that it was the norm. Coming back we were delayed for over an hour, making me VERY happy to be back on Deutsche Bahn!

The Palace
The Palace complex was the first place we went after we got settled into our hostels and grabbed some quick lunch. Molly was a little wary about the meat quality in packaged sandwiches, causing me to laugh when she ended up buying a "Eurohotdog". After some misdirection on my part (and a poorly made map) we finally got up to the complex. There was the palace itself (the whole complex had been ripped down at least twice and burnt once, I believe), a Cathedral, a Basilica, a museum, a torture tower and a touristy avenue. Stefana and Charlotte got tired earlier than Molly and I and skipped the last few things. Charlotte was having flu-symptoms, which turned out to be (although fortunately not until we got home) the Chicken Pox. At any rate, I have numerous pictures for your viewing pleasure.

After dinner (below), we walked across the Charles Bridge. It was still a little under construction, but we got some great sunset pictures and saw some interesting things:

video video

Dinners
The first night we'd decided to do a nice traditional dinner - until Stefana and I balked at the 18 euro a dish restaurant Molly had found in the guide book. We found another place around the corner and I for one had a very good meal. Very bad service, as they brought me first carbonated water (and everyone else the correct water) and then the wrong entree! And I hate sending food back!
The second night we struck gold at a place right across from our hostel - Stefana enjoyed a half liter of beer for the equivalent of one euro! (They're on the Czech Kroner which is roughly 25 to 1 euro.) We managed to all have food and drinks (and sometimes more than one) for under 35 euros - it was amazing. Plus the food was very good, albeit incredibly garlicky.

Kutna Hora
There is a tiny side-trip recommended in my guidebook. Molly and I set off Saturday morning (and after some more train "excitement") and went to a town about an hour out of Prague. We went to an Ossuary - a church decorated with the bones from around 40,000 Plague victims. Here's the video I shot before my camera died:
video

Wallenstein Gardens

Sunday morning Stefana and Charlotte left early, and Molly and I went to the Wallenstein Gardens and the Mucha Museum (famous for his French play-boards and used lots of female models). We got into the center a little early, so we walked along the river, saw the outside of the Kafka museum (have to go back some day for that!) and back over the Charles Bridge. We got into the gardens as soon as it opened, and had fun wandering around gawking at the statues, aviary, stage and finally...this:


Just for Niamh
Niamh happened to once make the very unfortunate comment of "Didn't Unicorns exist?", right after we'd discussed the possible sources for the myth (mainly, Narwhal tusks). So When I saw this picture opportunity, I just had to seize it:

Here, Niamh, is where all the Unicorns have gone!

Hope all is well and this didn't take FOREVER to download because of all the videos!
Steph

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