21.02.2010 0 °C
We just spent an amazing ten days in "The Golden City"; Prague. After two months of Spanish weather, the minus temperatures were a bit of a shock, but we got used to it pretty quick. You just can't forget 18 years of Saskatchewan winter.
The weather wasn't the only thing that we realized we needed to...how should we say, re-aclimitize to. Travelling as we quickly remembered, requires a certain kind of person. A strong person, a brave person...a smart person. After a heart in your throat stommach to the floor experience with a terrifying spanish security agent we finally made it on the plane...Sort of. Our journey from our boarding check to the hostel could basically be described as a kind of blind leading the blind type of journey. Good thing the Czech people are so kind and so beyond used to assisting wayward travellers.
Arriving at the hostel with all limbs intact we started to settle back into our groove. We ate, we watched olympics and proceeded to pass out after our long day of travelling. The next morning we were greeted with the reality of Prague. This place is beautiful, it's unique, and get this; everything is cheap. It took a little while to think through the whole, crowns vs. euro vs. canadian dollar thing but everything was still so cheap. Which near the end of our lovely European adventure is not only nice but is also starting to become kind of necessary.
Once again daunted with the task of getting to know a new city we decided to consult our friends of the NEW EUROPE walking tours and got walkin! We met our new favourite walking tour leader Hu and heard a very funny story about a very brave pragueish seal. His name was Gaston, see his new childrens book. Go Gaston Go! Our walk also included a few interesting churches (One featuring a medieval shrivelled arm), the Astronomical Clock (Your old cell phone is more interesting on the hour...everyhour) and a really swell bridge. Charles Bridge it's called. Check it out.
After New Europe provided us yet again with an interesting and exciting tour we decided to let them show us another night on the town with there Clock Tower Pub Crawl. They set us up in what quickly became or favourite place to eat out; Bohemia Bagel! (Though we wouldn't reccomend the ceaser salad. Actually we would, we just don't gaurantee you will actually get it.) On the crawl we met Americans, Australians and Canadians Oh my! There were also some Brazilians and Croatians and Germans and....There were a lot of people okay! Anyway after a little bit of pure pub crawl behaviour our attention began to wane. So a few of us joined together and decided to deviate a little from the program. The free beer had run dry and we wanted out! So we approached our pub crawl leader and described to him the kind of thing we were looking for and boy did he not dissapoint. The place is called Usudu. Sounds exoctic? That's because it is. Sounds awesome? That's because it was. It was a multi-layered pub located in a cave. Good music and good conversation, not to mention the serious local feel.
Later on in the week we were joined by a few home town boys. Jesser Gordon and the illustrious Michael Robert who then escorted us to there favourite hang outs in Prague. They didn't stay very long as they were both on the last leg of their trips and needed to get to there respective countries to fly home but it was sure fun getting to hang out with Canadians again.
On a more serious note; in Prague we decided to take the opportunity to go and visit a Holocaust memorial. Terezin Concentration Camp is located about an hour outside of the city of Prague. The village of Terezin is actually located on the exact grounds of the original camp. Every bank, diner, and store has an ugly history behind it. The city seemed to be shadowed by past horrors, it made your skin crawl. Terezin was unique among the camps. It's direct purpose was for propaganda. During the war because of the high population of children in this camp they were often filmed in "classroom" settings. Children threatend with death every day had to pluck up the courage and smile for the camera to save their families and themselves. It was also used as a ploy to deceive the Red Cross upon their inspections of the camp. However our experience with the camp wasn't all bad. For we found that Irena had a unique connection to this particular camp. If any of you have been avid viewers or the Bedford Road one act plays you might recall Irena's grade nine preformance of "I Never Saw Another Butterfly". In this play Irena portrayed Raja Englanderova, an actual girl who had actual lived and escaped Terezin. Even though this connection was a pretty hard thing to feel, it effected all of us in a way we will never forget.
Now after all that depressing stuff here is a re cap!
Things We Saw in Prague
1) Largest Medieval castles in Europe (quite impressive patios)
2) Charles Bridge (We rubbed only the statue said to bring good luck and love!)
3) A local Carnival celebration (Irena got attacked by a costumed gorilla man)
4) Good art...every where.
Things We Learned
1) In Prague it is exceptable to bark at people when you would otherwise say pardon
2) The public transport works on the honour system...turns out the poor are not that honourable.
3) Eastern europe has GOOD sausage. Not to mention it's cheap. Too cheap.
4) The coffee sucks. We figure it's because most people have beer with breakfast they don't bother with coffee
Anyways, sorry the entry was so late. But hey, chastise us when you see us. And please, please send hate mail to Nikolas Sarkozy. We are not big fans of the darling french president anymore!