Friday, August 5, 2011

What I did this summer (Part 3)

The rest of my Prague trip
(although, I am well aware that most people
just want to read about my trip to the States...
I'm writing this first.
Because I can..

All day Wednesday and the morning of Thursday I was at PQ, marveling at the exhibits and simply loving being surrounded by theatre. Thursday afternoon, I spent some time seeing Prague itself. I wandered over to Old Town Square for a free walking tour. This was the second free walking tour (first was in Berlin) I've been on in Europe and I HIGHLY recommend both of them! Because I was early for the tour, I walked around the square a bit looking at various booths set up for a cultural fair.
Langos - not just a Hungarian thing

Woven towels, bags, hats, etc...
And the woman who was making them

Look... it's a kovach! (well, at least someone working with metal)

That is one Massive pan of potatoes!

A grilled-cheese sandwich ... different from a grilled cheese sandwich (the cheese itself was grilled not the sandwich)
It's a nice sentiment... perhaps people do need extra luck... personally, I would prefer my luck lead me to a real bathroom but in a pinch I'll take what I can get)

The tour was great... lead by a local college kid, it covered a lot of basic landmarks of Prague.
Church of Our Lady before Tyn - various stories about why one tower is bigger than the other - Adam protecting Eve, someone screwed up the measurements, materials were stolen

Another church at Old Town Square... this one kept changing back and forth between Catholic and something else (can't remember what... it wasn't common). It's not Catholic now

The famous clock... we weren't there at the hour so we didn't see it in motion but it was still neat

Our guide told us all of the different things the clock tells - some of them are: the time, the phases of the moon, astrological sign, the date, if it's day or night

Statue used to determine which generation kids identify with... this is either Emperor Palpantine or a Dementor. In actuality, it's the ghost of Don Giovanni's father. The building is the only theatre Mozart's work was premiered in which is still in use.

Wenceslas Square... important site in the Prague Spring (1968) ... our guide told the story of how his father was almost shot while removing street signs as the Communists re-invaded the city

The Church of St. James ... with a dark secret

The mummified remains of a thief's arm after he was seized by a statue of the Virgin Mary while trying to steal her necklace.

Forgot your toothbrush? Never fear! You can get one in the bathroom of the bagel shop where we stopped.

Kafka.. at the start of the:
Jewish Quarter

Jewish cemetery - see how high the gravestones are compared to street level? Because they had no more land, the Jewish community had to add more feet of dirt and continue burying people over top of old graves.

The home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Funny story about the composer statues on the roof - one of the top Nazis got angry that Mendelssohn was featured because he was a Jew. This figure requested that the statue be removed but did not tell the workmen which statue was Mendelssohn's. They nearly removed that of Wagner by mistake!

After the tour, I wandered down to the Charles Bridge
The man himself, King Charles the 4th (I'm pretty impressed... I remembered that he was the 4th before I looked it up to double check)

From the bridge

All sorts of things for sale on the bridge

I remembered some advice I had read/heard about who to ask to take your picture: Look for someone with a nice camera -- chance are, they will actually get the picture you want (you AND the background)

Went to Mass in this church which seems to function as the Newman Center for a university.

I didn't go in, but the idea of Absinth ice cream intrigued me

The castle from the Charles Bridge before I headed back to the bus station.

I guess this means I need to figure out how to write Part 4 ... at least now I actually want to write about it, that's an improvement (more on that when I write it)

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