...Or, Would You Like Beer With That? (lol, kidding, but still...)
Prague was amazing, but a very surreal experience. To start with, when my plane touched down in Ruzyne Airport, the entire flight started applauding. Not really sure why, though I suppose it was fairly foggy. A smooth landing is always appreciated. I then hopped into a shuttle (tried to take the bus like a real person, but had no coins to do so) and drove into the heart of the city.
Prague is beautiful. Like Rome, (and the majority of the large cities worldwide like our own near and dear M/SP), it's built on the banks of a river. But unlike Rome, it's has a different...flavor to it I suppose. Whereas Rome seems very warm and done up in burnt reds, dusty whites, and fiery oranges, Prague is more woodsy, a deep brown feel. Which is funny, because I'm pretty sure the majority of the buildings were pastel... But it's more a feeling I got from walking around. The buildings are gorgeous, with very elaborate rooftops.
The hostel I stayed at, Hostel Emma, was great. I really liked it. My room was very cheery (a nice contrast to the sky outside), almost comically so; the walls were yellow, orange and white, my bed was orange with a yellow bedspread. When I come in, there's a lady lying on the bed across from me who tells me she's from "Aus." Only, I hear "Oz" and stare at her for a good couple of seconds before I figured it out. Anyway, she was very nice, and she and two other Australian guys went out for drinks later that night. Rani (the girl), was quite the chatterbox. Apparently, she had been traveling for almost eight years straight. We had a really good time talking, comparing the US and Australia, and our experiences in the UK. When I lost my camera briefly (it was in the restaurant that didn't open until 11 am...), she recommended I handle the situation the "Aussie Way": remain calm and trust that it will work itself out somehow. Ended up working I spose, since I found the camera again.
The rest of Thursday, after that little adventure was mostly spent in the Prague Castle, Hrad Praha, that overlooks the rest of the city up on a hill. It's a really beautiful bunch of buildings, only my being gunho about learning about Czech culture tried to read every plaque placed before my nose... my brain is still spinning ever so slightly. There are a lot of Patron Saints to keep track of. That night I went to the Old Town to see the Astronomical Clock- this huge clock that tracks the sun, moon, and stars, and at the hour does a little song and saint parade performance. Even though it was cold, I opted to eat outside, and long with the huge portion of meat and dumplings and cabbage I was given, I tried some warm wine, which was a pretty interesting and fairly tasty experience. Steam was just pouring out of my mouth as breath mixed with the cold from outside. Got pretty lost trying to find my way home– the streets of Prague make little to no sense. They twist a bunch, and will just stop abruptly where a different one cuts through it. This makes the majority of shortcuts become loops. The little narrow streets make for fun wandering though.
Friday was an exceedingly busy day, I walked from about nine am to eight that night. I will give you the basic highlights. This Japanese girl named Nami and I checked out the Jewish Museum, which was pretty cool- they have a cemetery that dates back to medieval times. On our way there, we discovered the Pissing Statue. Keep an eye out on facebook, I will try to post it soon, all I can say is it's exactly what it sounds like, and is hilarious. That afternoon I visited the Wallenstien Gardens. I was just sort of wandering through, when suddenly three peacocks came running. Peacocks run funny, incidentally. I had just gotten over my shock when I came face to face with a huge white male peacock in full plume. It was pretty surreal. And to top it off, upon leaving, I met mormons! Two guys from the States, we had a nice long chat. I later took a tram up to Zizkov and Vinohrady, more working class residential neighborhoods, just to see what the non touristy world looks like. I then walked home and basically rolled into bed.
I did a lot of walking on my trip, which I really enjoyed. It was nice to just wander around and take in a new city, making little discoveries. I now know six phrases in Czech, too, I'm quite proud of myself.