Czech Republic - Prague

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July 12th 2007
Published: January 9th 2008
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Czech Replublic - Prague

Prague's Big ChurchPrague's Big ChurchPrague's Big Church

St. Vitus Cathedral near the palace on the hill overlooking the City
The night went surprisingly well. I was really concerned that with the couple of beers I would have a real tough night, which would result in a rough night for Ludmilla. In the end however I think we both got some sleep.

Ludmilla left for work pretty early and I still had not seen her Swedish roomate as she left early. I slept a little longer and then got going.

I went to the Jewish Synagogues in the area called Josefov. That was my main focus for the day. I went to the cemtery first and into the Pink Synagogue, where they have drawings by kids. It was a way for them to cope with the atrocities going on. Once you got into the pink synagogue they had the small round saucer caps for sale and I thought they were free and did not learn until later that they were for sale and I guess I ended up stealing them. It really was unintentional. I saw something else for sale as well that disturbed me a little. I know Jews are stereotyped for their money and I was thinking the stuff they are doing here is not going
Old Jewish Cemetery in JosefovOld Jewish Cemetery in JosefovOld Jewish Cemetery in Josefov

Prague;s famous jewish cemetry. Hitler had really opressed the jews in Prague. They had no where to bury the dead so they buried them on top of each other in this cemetery.
to help that image. The cemetery was very interesting. This area of Prague was converted to a ghetto by Hitler and his gang as a place for the Jews to live. Hitler had lots of ghettos designated for the Jews. I still have not found any good reason why Hitler and his cronies had so much anger for the jews. I hear some people say they had all the money, and the important jobs and those were supposed to be held by the Germans. I just don't understand his anger. Granted he killed a lot of other people like the Polish people, but he really desimated the Jewish race. I recently saw the memorial in Berlin and it reminded me of this cemetery. I stated that to our tour guide and he said that was an inspiration for the monument in Berlin. The other synagogues were just ok for me. I know the Jews have had a horrible past and Hitler was despicable and the Holocust was incomprehendable, but I wondered if maybe the displays in the Synagogues didn't inflate the jewish people a little. I am sympathetic for them and all and can not imagine how much anger I
Swimming Pigs?Swimming Pigs?Swimming Pigs?

I still wonder how they trained this pig to do this. I had a hard time getting a pig to get in a pen let along climb a ladder.
would have for Hitler and the Nazis had I been in their shoes and have their history. Really it is one of those things that a person will never know unless they walk in their moccassins as the saying goes. I wonder if the Jews will ever be able to move on from this atrocity are have they already. I think they have established theirself in America for sure. I have all the respect in the world for them and for anyone for that matter that works hard and is succuessful in life. Defining succuess is really quite a personal thing.

I wonder if some races like the American Indians, who the white man performed Hitler like land grabs and the African Americans, who were treated inhumanely during the era of slavery and the jews of course, will ever get past their violent and evil past. I think if you go back far enough there were atrocities performed against all peoples. I will always feel sympathetic to those people that were directly affected by these tyrants, but I will not feel bad for them and their ancestors forever. Someday you just have to move on forgiving, but not forgetting. The people that performed the atrocities are long since dead and you can not hold their ancestors responsible.

I am just pulling into Denmark and there are lots of water and lots of sailboats out on the water as we cross a bridge on a Thursday morning. We may be in Germany yet, but I sure do not think so. Lots of wind turbines are seen in the surrounding areas. From what I see so far I think I will like Denmark.

I had seen all, but one of the synagogues and really was getting a little tired reading all this material for the last 3 hours and wanted to see the clock tower at the top of the hour when some figurines (I believe the apostles) rotate through a window for viewing. As you might imagine the Japanese were out in full force for this. We always talk about the Japanese doing this kind of thing, but I find myself doing it as well. The Japanese are thorough travelers and do their homework before traveling. I like them more now than when I began this trip, but at times they do get on my nerves just a
Typing on the TrainTyping on the TrainTyping on the Train

See my Stroopwaffle cookies. They are popular in the Netherlands and I get some everytime I go there.
little with there incessant picture taking. They just do not seem to let up with the pictures. I say that as my own memory card runneth over.

I ended up having to run to the clock tower and man there were gobs of people there. I waited about 2 minutes and the caricatures danced their jig. I think the craftsmanship of this was pretty impressive and knowing that it is very old, but all in all this was a little boring. From there I walked to Wenscelas Square. This was a grand boulevard similar to what France has. I see a lot of French like Boulevards. French use to be who everyone tried to emulate. Why, because they were good at war and killing people. I am more convinced than ever the need for a strong military. I just hope the US keeps things in check and don't forget the people and social programs. The problem is people will not listen to you unless you use force with them. Sad but true. If you can push a couple buttons and blow them up they tend to listen. In Denmark I am on the train getting on a ferry. Man is that cool are what. This whole train just drove onto a ferry. They said the ride is a 45 minute ride. Wow this is cool. The only thing I have to eat or drink is the free coffee they give you on the train as they do not accept Euros. I will have to find an ATM when I get into Copenhagen. This currency changing has been frequent lately as Prague, Poland, Germany and now Denmark all have different currencies.

This is probably the biggest ferry I have ever been on.

I walked up and down Wenscelas Square and the Grand Boulevard around it. I walked the steps around the National Musuem and took a couple photos.

After a few minutes I walked towards the river Vltava and went to a musuem that was cheap and had some photographs on display. From there I walked towards Petrin Park. This was really the last thing I wanted to see as there is a miniature Eiffel Tower up there on a high spot in the park. This would provide the best view of Prague anywhere in the City.

My health was definitely much better as I had a lot more stamina than days prior, but I was still not 100% so I did not rush myself at any point. I made it to the top of the hill and decided to climb to the top. It was about 3 dollars to do so as determined by converting their currency to dollars. The query (a word you hear all the time in Europe when waiting in line. It obviously is derived from que) was short and the steps plentiful. Part way up some of the people took breaks. I suspect they had health conditions or were just out of shape. Not sure. From the top the view was indeed grand. I took a few photos and headed down. There were several people heading up the down steps as there are two directions of one-way steps. I was getting a little frustrated with these people and just thinking, "come on people this is not that hard to figure out" each time you met a person you had to turn sideways. After making it down the Tower I headed down towards just below the castle where the doors on the houses were numbered in an old fashion that was once banished by a local ruler. When the ruler was removed from power they went back to the old ways. Tourist like that kind of thing.

As I was walking down the hill I received a text message from Ludmila stating to meet her at an Italian restaurant to have supper with the Canadian guys. I tried about 3 times to reply, but with no luck. I was concerned that I had no way to let her know I got the message. She mentioned her Swedish roomate may come as well so I thought maybe I can catch her at Ludmila's and she could let Ludmila know I got the message. I just did not want Ludmila to be wondering what was going on. After a few tries I finally made it back to her apartment. I had a really hard time finding the subway below the castle as it is not well marked. I just did not have enough energy nor the time to walk all the way back.

At the apartment her roomate was there getting ready so we decided to go together. Her roomate wanted to take a taxi, but I really did not
The Original BuweiserThe Original BuweiserThe Original Buweiser

Budvar is the beer Budweiser got it's recipe from. Yep Budweiser was found in the Czech Republic.
because of the extra expense, but what could I do. I ended up not paying for it as I was out of the local currency again. It seemed like I never had enough money in prague. I just didn't think I would be spending this much money in Prague as this City was supposed to be cheap.

We met up with the two Canadians and Ludmilla at the Italian Restaurant. On the wall were pictures of movie stars who had eaten there including the likes of Sean Connery. I told the Canadians that I will eat pretty much anything as they wanted to order several courses and just divide the bill up at the end. This seemed ok with me at first, but as they ordered I realized this could get out of hand as they ordered wine as well, which could be who knows how much, as I was in Prague and I was drinking beer which is good and very cheap. The meal was fun and good but at the end the cost was not fun. It cost me over $50. Well what are you going to do? The one Canadian did ask me if this was
Pague's GrottoPague's GrottoPague's Grotto

This is a park in Prague with an uniquely designed wall. If you looked closely at the all you could find small sculpted animals embedded.
going to be too much and I said no that's fine I can afford to splurge once in awhile. Anyway what are you going to do? I was thinking the next day that man I could have bought my train ticket to Krakow for that. Oh well it is only money. That is not going to make or break my trip. Look at all the money I am spending on this trip. I just would like to spend my money on lodging and travel expenses rather than food, which I can find cheap.

Ludmilla suggested we go out dancing which sounded like fun to me. Hey I am in Prague you have to get crazy at least one night. They played 70's dance music and we all danced until about 3 in the morning.
It was a pretty wild night as it was so hot in their, everyone was sweating and the room was smoke filled what more could you want? Don't answer that. All the song's videos were played on the screen. It was fun. I tried to talk to several people, but they were all Czech Republic and did not speak hardly any English. It was dissapointing not being able to communicate with the locals. About 2 in the morning a fight broke out. No punches were really landed and I have no idea who the people were that were fighting. It is pretty obvious the most violent people are the English, Irish and the Americans. I also have heard of some of the Russians getting violent as well, but have not seen that. I felt myself as well feeling that way a little after a couple beers. I have never minded being rough in sports and actually craved a little pain after a game as I felt like I played hard and gave it my all. That was a good feeling for me. I guess I have my violent tendencies as well even though most people would find that hard to believe.

Well Ludmilla decided to walk the Canadians to where they were staying and then we took a taxi from there. Ludmilla was really entertained by these Canadian guys not sure if that was on a personal basis or a professional basis or both. Anyway we finally made it back to her place and got things organized and ready for bed. I packed all
Barbie MusuemBarbie MusuemBarbie Musuem

Prague has a Barbie Musuem. That is why I went there. Barbie evidently has underwent some plastic surgery and got some enhancements and reductions through the year.
my stuff as I had a train the next morning to catch bound for Krakow. I was only going to get about 3 hours of sleep as the light was already beginning to come up. I thought well I will just sleep on the train. I had everything ready to roll and was finally ready to see through the backs of my eyelids for a couple hours. It would be interesting to see how my cold responded to this night. Maybe I had sweat it out. I have heard of this working before. I did feel like I was getting better maybe this craziness would not effect the cold. Good night from Prague.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Playing Classical Musuem Playing Classical Musuem
Playing Classical Musuem

This free concert was going on in this park while I was there. Prague is geared for the finer (so-called) arts.
The place where the Stalin Statue use to be.The place where the Stalin Statue use to be.
The place where the Stalin Statue use to be.

After communism they tore the statue down and now skateboarders skate there. I wish they would have left the statue as it would have been great for tourism.
Prague's Clock TowerPrague's Clock Tower
Prague's Clock Tower

On the top of the hour the clock tower rings and several caricatures like the one shown rotates and appear in these windows.
Does this remind you of anybody?Does this remind you of anybody?
Does this remind you of anybody?

Looks a lot like Gaudy's work, but I do not think it is.
I like this MonumentI like this Monument
I like this Monument

I assume this is a statue comemorating the Jews. For me it says they were a people that were oppressed and kept fighting back and eventually they overcame.

11th February 2008

I'm madly trying to catch up!
I'm so far behind in my reading - the email today from CHINA!! I guess it was just the kick in the pants I needed.

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