Blogs from Prague, Czech Republic, Europe - page 181


Europe » Czech Republic » Prague July 5th 2005

So my next stop was Prague which, it turns out, is the very place where Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen. I would have to agree with the rumour that Prague is a magnificent city, although there was an unbelievable number of tourists, particularly loud drunken British men who seem to travel in packs of 15-20. I managed to lose my passport in a car after I was generously offered a ride to my hostel from the train station. Fortunately, it was returned to me by Laura, who I had exchanged e-mail addresses with on the train. Thanks again Laura! I thought I was going to be stuck in the Czech Republic for a long while. I stayed in a hostel on a river island in the city centre, which is a ... read more
Laura with my passport
Renos on Prague Castle
Changing of the guard

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 26th 2005

WARNING: Longest blog ever. If you make it the end, there´s a reward. If you don´t, I don´t blame you. Hey all, So, I realize it´s been a long, long time since our last blog...many apologies. Except probably no one cares, but I´ll pretend that we have an avid readership. I think Liz left off on our first day in Krakow, but in her half-awake state, she forgot to mention that on our very first tram ride in Poland -- from the train station to the hostel -- we had an unpleasant encounter with the tram police. We each had a transit ticket, and had validated them and we were keeping an eye out for our stop when the ticket inspector gets on. We handed him the tickets and after a few seconds he started sort ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 26th 2005

The Jewish cemetery is an absolute jumble of tombstones. Just to look at it you might think, "How can they be buried so close together?" What I have read is that in centuries past a plot of land was given to the Jews living in the Jewish Quarter to be used as a cemetery. Of course as time passed, a century or two, that cemetery became full. When that happened in Prague, the city fathers refused to allow the cemetery to be expanded. So what could the people do? As people died they were buried on top of others. Soil was brought in and the ground slowly rose to new levels. The tombstones were not buried, but lifted and placed beside the new stone. Thus, the jumble that is seen now. In a way it ... read more
The Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish Cemetery.
The Jewish Cemetery.

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 22nd 2005

There is a wonderful picture in the dining room at ITBS showing the Charles Bridge and Old Town beyond. Several weeks ago I thought I'd found the spot and did get a good picture, but when I looked at the photo closely I realized that I had not found the "spot." The other morning after breakfast Nancy and I carefully looked over the photo in the dining hall and decided where it had to be located ... and sure enough we found the spot. Here it is. We are standing just upstream from the Charles Bridge on the bank of Kampa Island. The easiest way to get there is to go down the steps from the Charles Bridge to the island.... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 22nd 2005

I have finished my tour of Prauge and it is an amazing city. All you have to do is climb to the top of a hill and look over the city and it is breathtaking. Many of the buildings are done in the Baroque style, even the gothic buildings have facades over the original building. The streets are fun just to wonder. The astronomical clock is pretty neat. At each hour, a skeleton rings a bell repeately while a parade of saints pass overhead before the hour bell is rung. The cathedral in the Prague castle was amazing as well. I never understood why the gothic style of chuch was made to provoke a feeling of dread when you though about God....wait, maybe I do. However Prauge also has another benifit. That is it is very ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 20th 2005

We met Eva last June when we were in the Czech Republic on a hiking Elderhostel. She was one of our Czech guides, taking us each day to a beautiful location and hiking with us through fields and forest, hills and mountains. We learned at that time that she was finishing up her thesis for her masters degree. The thesis topic was what happened to the Jewish people, during the Nazi rule, who had lived in her home town. Besides the academic research required, she was also going to everyone she could find and creating oral histories of that era. When we knew we were coming to Prauge we thought, "Good, we can get in touch with Eva and see her again. However, as we prepared to come here she was preparing to go to the ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 19th 2005

Note: there are no actual swans in this story. First, I had to get up early to pack and schlep luggage over to the hlavní nádraží (main train station), where I left my suitcase at the luggage desk. It's attended, cheap (15 Kč/day!), and Rick says it is said to be safer than the lockers. (My bag ended up just fine, so I'm satisfied with his advice.) Next, I headed back into the Staré Město (Old Town) and attended Mše (Mass) at the Kostel paní Marie pred Týnem (Church of Our Lady of Týn). The most interesting thing about this church is that I had thought the little café buildings were built in front of the church... in fact, they are the front of the church! I discovered this on an earlier reconnaisance run, when I ... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 18th 2005

Greetings again from Praha (Prague)! Today I believe I have been successful at entertaining myself. I did, indeed, get up earlyish and catch a guided bus tour to Terezín (Theresienstadt in German), a former Nazi concentration camp and Jewish ghetto located about 60 km north of Praha. The bus tour was definitely the right way to go... because the entire town of Terezín comprises the museum, specific sights are located rather far from each other. My feet were grateful to have a shuttle between them, enough so that I think I can live with the prescribed itinerary and (reasonable) time limits at each stop. We left at 9:45 from Náměstí Republiky and the trip immediately began to pay for itself as we drove through the northern suburbs of Praha. As I mentioned yesterday, for the most ... read more
Muzeum ghetta at Terezín
Baroque/rococo trompe l'oeil ceiling

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 18th 2005

hi, not much time so this will be quick. we have decided to leave early tomorrow morning instead of staying for the day. Prague has lots of tourists and we are looking forward to seeing the castles in Germany. We will be on the train all day tomorrow. Hopefully we will get a room at a hostel, but we made no reservations so it might be an exciting night tomorrow! We are in Germany for two full days and 3 nights and then it's back to Paris. We will stay with Amy's family most of the time so it'll be nice to save on accomadation. Ok well I'm off to go do some sketches of Prague! Love, Courtney... read more

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague June 17th 2005

Prague, what a city! Amazing old buildings everywhere, some history, and it's nice to be in a place where I don't constantly go over my budget, this is a wonderfully inexpensive place to take a trip to. I arrived in Prague at about 2300, not the best time for it, but oh well. The train station in Prague is dodgy as hell, and at that hour I wasn't looking forward to navigating my way to the hostel on my own. Basically you have transients and potential muggers sitting around everywhere....watching you....thinking about targetting you.... So I looked for a fellow backpacker getting off the train, and found one, a big guy called Eric from New York, perfect, and he was a cool guy. We hit up the ATM at the station for some Czech funds since ... read more
Bone Church
Jan Hus  statue

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