Published: July 15th 2009July 15th 2009
So I’ve been home for almost a week now and I’m finally getting around to finishing the last few days of our blog. We didn’t do too much (again, we were worn out) so they should be quick…
Monday July 6
Today, after breakfast Viv went back into the room to go back to sleep and/or watch movies on the computer. I had decided to use this time to check out the Jewish Quarter, supposedly one of the best in Europe. So I ventured out by myself and headed to the Maisel Synagogue first. Here I bought my “museum pass” which allowed me access to the entire Jewish quarter (except for the Old-New Synagogue). The Maisel Synagogue was pretty interesting—it told the history of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia. Inside there were lots of old artifacts, documents, and coins, some as old as the 10th century. Next was the Pinkas Synagogue. This had two floors. The bottom floor contained the names and hometowns of the 80,000 Jews from Bohemia and Moravia who perished during the holocaust. It was amazing to see all the names inscribed there. The top floor was one of the most interesting things I had
seen the entire trip. There was a permanent art exhibit displaying artwork from the children in the Trezín ghetto. These kids ranged in the ages of 6-14 (I believe) and illustrated different themes from “Transport to Darkness” and “Daily Life” (in the ghetto) to “Reflections of the World Outside” and “Dreams of Returning.” It was really neat to see a child’s perspective of the entire situation. I wish I could have taken pictures in there but it wasn’t allowed. Next, I made my way over to the Old Jewish Cemetery (I had to pay 40 Kc for permission to take photos here, which was totally worth it). Before heading home I went by Ceremonial Hall and the Klausen Synagogue which told of Jewish customs and traditions. I took the long way back so I could walk along the Vltava River, this time the section north of the Charles Bridge. By the time I got back to Hotel William, Viv was ready for lunch. We found a little place down the street. I had the peasant plate, which consisted of roast pork, smoked neck of pork, roast meat hash, sauerkraut, potato and bread dumplings. Viv had potato dumplings with stuffed meat
and sauerkraut. Even though this was a ton of food which we couldn’t finish entirely, we shared a slice of honey cake for dessert (amazing). I’m so glad food is (relatively) cheap here.
After lunch we walked over to Havelska Market, an outdoor market with stalls of fruits, candy, and toys. Then we did some shopping near Wenceslas Square. Viv was missing home some more so I let her get Starbucks (it was raining again). We walked around for a long time after that, did some more window shopping (we couldn’t buy anything more, we were out of space in our luggage). For dinner we went to a restaurant affiliated with our hotel (10% off!). We shared cabbage soup with homemade sausage. Viv ordered the beef goulash (which I’ve been craving since I got home) and I had the beef filet with crème sauce and cranberry (this was one of two meals the entire time in Prague in which I didn’t have pork). One of the funniest thing the entire trip occurred here. While we were eating our soup, the waiter brought us a basket of bread and what we (or at least Viv) thought was some sort of
cheese. I was saving my appetite for our main course, but Viv was loving this “cheese.” She was piling it on with her bread—she ate a TON of it. When the waiter came to bring us our main course, I asked him what it was. He said it was their homemade specialty garlic butter. Viv basically ate a half of stick of this butter that she thought was cheese with two small pieces of bread. She was disgusted, I had a good laugh. Actually I still tease her about it. Needless to say, her stomach didn’t feel too well the rest of the night. (I guess it doesn’t sound that funny, probably had to be there to witness how much pure butter she ate).
Tuesday July 7
I was really sad that this was our second to last day in Europe. We basically had no plans for the day. The only thing I wanted to do was find a local hockey rink. Eventually, after only riding the tram for 15 minutes, I found the home of Praha Sparta, one of two professional teams in Prague. Unfortunately the rink was closed—according to the guy at the proshop, all of
the rinks are closed during summer. I did find the fanshop, which was open. We had, oddly enough, some decent Mexican food near the hotel. It wasn’t the best I ever had, but far exceeded expectations—better than the Mexican food I had in Minnesota, even better than some places here. We shared beef & chicken fajitas which, according to them, was “formerly a meal of Cowboys from Texas.” After lunch we walked around this mall just outside of the city center. We just took it easy and packed the rest of the day. For dinner, we went back to the restaurant we had our first night in Prague. I never like to go to the same place twice on the same trip, but that’s how good the food was. Again we shared the cabbage soup, I ordered the delicious potato pancake stuffed with smoked pork and sauerkraut, Viv ordered the beef goulash with a side of potatoes. Again, this restaurant didn’t disappoint—our last dinner in Europe was one of our favorites.
Wednesday July 8
Our last day of our trip ☹. We woke up early, rushed through breakfast (again), and took a cab to the airport. We arrived
with plenty of time, customs at JFK were a breeze, everything went fine.
Final Stats for Prague:
Days: 4.5 days (4 nights)
Distance walked: ~21.43 miles
Since we’ve been home, we both miss Europe a lot. The towns, the food, the people, the food, exploring, the food. I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity and I’m so thankful that everything went so smoothly. Thanks europeandestinations.com! Thanks everyone who read this.
Final Stats for entire trip:
Distance walked: ~76.98 miles
Until our next trip (maybe in four more years??)…
There are more photos below