Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prague..Friday the 26

Woke up to the sound of girls chattering in the hallway. It was only 8...went back to sleep. Finally woke up enough to pull on the clothes (un- twisting the passport and money pouch around my waist from the night curled around it). In the common area all sorts of people were clustered for the breakfast provided. I took it as an encouraging sign when i there were older guests at this hostel as well.
Jill and I staked out a small round table, chair, and edge of couch. over coffee (with sugar cubes!) some sort of sweet bread and corn flakes(non sweetened)..we got some (english!) maps and charted out our day!
checked out, took our bags (oof!) and headed into Old Town. After a great deal of wandering, a couple circles. and some serious oohs and ahhs.....
Towers from hundreds of years apart are built right next to each other. The architecture was not italian. nor was it German. It wasnt french. it was all of it in a hoge-poge of design.
freaking awesome.

For lunch: stumbled upon (when one of us pointed to a narrow(er) side street and wandered down it) a teeny place, with an attractive patio space with wicker furniture. Well. It twas a bit too chilly to eat outdoors. however, with a table by a small window..and the heater beneath it (guess who hugged the wall the ENTIRE meal!?)
speaking of meals. What a break from pasta!
Jill got a panini and Goulash soup (beef, vegetables..delicious)
moi...mi...potato dumplings and sourkraut (which i normally don't like, but were somehow better and slightly less pickley) in the potato dumplings (which were soft and goood) where chunks of ham and vegetables.

following that we hunted down an ATM...then off to Old Prague Hostel. Very clean and white walled. similar set up..dorm style rooms. locked door to that room. girls and guys bathrooms seperate..but shared through the hallway. ditto with showers.

Meandered much this evening. First to find the museum of art nouveau..which once discovered..the entrance fee was more than i cared to look at the art though. would it be beautiful? undoubtably! worth like $10ish dollars? not really...

After wandering to. and fro on a couple roads, finally found what we were looking for and meandered to the entrance of the museum of communism. Just 21 years ago prague was communist. hard to believe! being there was like somewhat dunking my head in cold water shouting "communism isnt in the history books you dolt, it's in the world! you can see the effects, and it's still around in some places"
the museum was pretty cool. with a brief historical overview (written in really hard to follow english) with some pictures. then through an exhibit sort of thing with posters, pictures, outfits, objects and such with captions of explanations. There was also a short clip on the revolutions, protests, and such. Significant to note: Velvet Revolution in 1989...velvet because it went so smoothly with peaceful protests. the result was the government they have today ? maybe? (i..think??)

Following that we were heading towards the river, took a turn and found ourselves outside an affordable restaurant with the strains of piano music floating out to us on the street...
all of two seconds later we were seated inside the softly lit room while the pianist played popular songs as well as the "well known" classics.
the food (which, rather ironically, we both got a form of pasta) was absolutely great. I got gnocci...like potato pasta with broccoli and cheese! (so much better then the stuff i have been buying at the store. ) *sigh of happiness and bliss* we split a cake for dessert. called Carpathian cake..that was layered with whip cream.

afterwards (night time), continued to the river while heading back to the hostel. Mamma Mia!!! Passed the National Theater. We hardly noticed we arrived at the river because had us walking so slowly, with our heads stretched back to see the paintings, designs, and on the roof, the sculptures of winged horses and people.
Then all of a sudden, there was Charles Bridge, and above that what was actually a gothic church..but with the lights making each steeple into a shadowy tower and the size of it, the only focal point on the hill high above Prague..we deemed it a castle! (it is AT the castle of prague. but the castle is really modern and well..not as cool as the cathedral..in my biased opinion).
it was one of the more awesome moments of the trip...walking along the river with Prague's lights reflecting on the river. walking for the very first time on Charles bridge! under the gate's high arch, with the saints lingering in the shadows on either side of the wide bridge. the whole time we were walking, the castle cathedral glinted on the hill above us.

After we went in search of a place for Jazz music. Despite my intentions for dancing, the allure of some jazz was much stronger then a crowded, smelly bar with incompetent men.
Most places had(high priced) cover fees. Finally at one, the person selling tickets at the door said we could go into the other room and have a drink, and still be able to hear the music. So we went into this basement..with a high ceiling of thick arches and music filling the extra space created.
we didnt stay long...talking quietly along with the other few people there. We realized how very tired we were..
made it back to the hostel, curled up and zonked by just a little after midnight. (only two in our dorm).

thoughts: Prague is big! but not so big that it can't be crossed several times in a day from different angles.
also, In europe, it is expensive to have a small bladder!!!!! Il Bagno (the toilet) costs money to use! if you find random side building/museum's one..it is usually cheaper then "main location" ones. dehydration is rather debatable....



Wensceslace square at night. the astronomical clock!!! (24 hour clock with sunrise and moonrise, each name for day of the year, and horoscope signs. (etc) also On the hour a crowd watches as the rooster crows and while the bells toll, the twelve apostles "parade" past the two little doors that open above the clock face. folllowed by a random trumpet player from on top of the tower.

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