Praha!

Dobrý den!

I have been in Prague for about 36 hours now, and have done so many things in that short time frame that I am lying in bed, with a pounding headache at 9:49am as the sun streams into our apartment. My cold is back (I was fighting down a cold while in Kalisz – and winning!) and along with it the headaches. I will stop by the Lidl around the corner and try to get some vitamin C tablets to take religiously… Anyway!

Prague is absolutely breathtaking! Completely magical! The architecture of the buildings, the layout of the streets, the cobblestones, the people, the simple fact that we are here! It really is the “golden city” and the “city with a hundred spires.” History peeps out from behind everyday life here, and it’s wonderful to be surrounded by something like that.
My family told me that Warsaw used to look like Prague before it was bombed and destroyed in WWII. It was very sad thinking about that as we first walked through Prague’s streets, knowing that this could have been similar to the capitol of Poland. But Poland does have Krakow (where the next World Youth Day will be held actually!).
Now, as for the language… Czech feels like a crazy version of Polish, because I can understand some words when they are written down, and if I know what somebody is talking about I can figure out what they are saying, but other than that the similarities are few. I get by, but I can’t have a conversation with the people who do not speak English. Luckily, most people do speak English, so I don’t have to worry too much about that.
Now! For some pictures from Prague, and a little bit about our time here so far. :)
We arrived an hour late by train, because of “engine failure” or something of the sort. To be honest I was freaking out that it was my fault because just 15 minutes earlier, I accidentally hit the “SOS” button in the bathroom as I was looking for the toilet flush button. For a while I was thinking that they were saying the engine was having problems just to find the culprit, but after a brave walk out onto the platform to see what was going on, they were indeed standing around the locomotive figuring things out. Phew!
We met this young Brazilian on the train, who took the seat (his was reserved!) of the guy in our 4 seat formation. We were so lucky it wasn’t one of us, or we would have had to all move! He was traveling Europe with his friend, and telling us all about how he couldn’t stand his friend anymore, and that every conversation was a fight, and how they would go clubbing all night, and then early in the morning he would wake up and go searching for soccer jerseys (he collected soccer jerseys) so that he could have some alone time (and also because his friend was really annoyed with his hobby). It was funny talking to him, and we exchanged some stories, but never got his name! Him and his friend are also staying here for 3 days. He is probably out there scouring the streets for his jerseys right about now!

When we got to Prague, and got to our apartment, we were once again very pleased with where we are staying (in the new town or Nové Město):

First thing we did was meet up with my friend, Amável, who introduced us to his girlfriend Hana. They took the time out to show us around a little bit, taking us to a park, treating us to a beer/cider, and having a kebab/sausage dinner with us. :)
Holding mine and Grace’s kebabs!
They then took a walk with us, taking us to a breathtaking view point, and our first look at Prague from above!
Earnestine, Grace, and I with the Charles Bridge in the background.
It was really nice to hang out with them, and to hear from some locals about what to see in the city. The rest of the day we spent wandering around and taking some pictures of the beauty that is Prague.

 

 

 

 

 

The next day, we took a walking tour followed by a castle tour (busy day!) but we finally began to figure out what everything was called, which was a great way to orient ourselves with the city.
St. Nicholas Church in the Old Town Square.
Astronomical Clock. On every hour, the apostles flash through the two windows on either side of the stone statue on the very top above clock, to the crow of a rooster I believe.
Il Commendatore, a statue located by the Estates Theater in commemoration to Mozart’s opera, Don Giovanni (which had it’s grand opening at that theater on October 29th, 1787.

 

A faw away view of Wenceslas Square.

 

We did not go in but I thought this was funny. :)

 

The Powder Gate, one of the original city gates, which leads into the old town.

We had to leave our tour halfway because we realized we had almost run out of money, so we headed back to grab our atm cards and take out some money, before coming back to do the Prague Castle Tour, which was beautiful! It explored the land on the left side of the river Vltava River, called the Malá Strana (little corner, according to our guide, but I would think it translate to little side?).

Before our tour we grabbed some sandwiches and juice at this adorable cafe. :)

 

We first went to Klašterní Pivovar (the Strahov Monastic Brewery), famous for it’s beer called St. Norbert’s Amber.

 

The entrance to the Prague Castle.

 

Another view point! :)

 

Us all together. :)

 

The battle of giants above the gate to the Prague Castle.

 

St Vitus Cathedral from the front.

 

Inside St. Vitus Cathedral.

 

One of it’s beautiful stained glass windows.

 

Some beautiful gold artsmanship on a window in the St. Vitus Cathedral.

 

The Golden Lane – Zlatá Ulička.

 

 

Our tour guide Tijo with a very interesting statue by the Prague Castle…

The last picture is funny, because the statue was made during the communist occupation of Prague, meaning that the statue could not have any genitalia.After the fall of communism in Prague, they completed the statue, but by that time the original statue had turned a darker colour. People also like to rub the newest part of the statue for good luck, virility, all different kinds of things. Hm!

After the Prague Castle tour we were exhausted and took a walk through the Wallenstein Palace gardens to a cafe that Hana suggested we visit called U zavěšenýho kafe or the Hanging Cafe.
In the Wallenstein Palace gardens.

 

The sign for the cafe.

 

We all got duck thighs, cabbage, and dumplings. :) It was DELICIOUS. And very filling. We were very sleepy after!

 

Then we took a walk over the river, on the Charles Bridge, and walked through the Old Town Square at dusk! :)
The Charles Bridge up close.

 

A little farther away!

 

Me, stealing Earnestine’s adorable pose by sitting on the little bridge wall.

 

Old Town Square at night was absolutely beautiful!

And then we headed home, and for good measure I took one more picture of Czech money, which is crazy. The currency is the Czech crown, or the koruna. There are about 19 Czech crowns to a dollar, making it hard to figure out how much money we were spending, but once we got the hang of it we were fine.

Off to explore more of this beautiful city now! :)
Agata
Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s