Friday, October 8, 2010

Prague - Day Two in Czechoslovakia!

In the mood for Jewish Synagogues, old cathedral grounds, city-line views, natural history museums, and the best crepes ever? Oh, then you're ready for my "Day Two: A Journey Through Prague" adventure. You didn't even know it was called that, huh? Yep. That's cause I just named it that. Boo-yah.

First, let me remind the readers that if you did not watch the video of my "song of the day" on the last entry, that contains pictures from Day One in Prague.

Sunday morning we woke up, felt a bit religious, and decided to revel in the Jewish Quarter for the morning. I had read online that this was the best thing to see in all of Prague. It's an area with five famous, Jewish synagogues and an incredible graveyard. If I'm being completely honest, my experience there was not at all what I thought it would be. I was expecting to see and read things more on the educational side, dealing with WWII or the Holocaust. However, this was more of Jewish stuff and basics to how their religion worked. I already know a lot of what I read in each place, but some of it was cool to see. It simply became a bit overwhelming part way through, and I wondered if sometimes that's how people who visit Utah and are not LDS feel when they see so many Mormon sights.

Growing up in Phillie, we learned a lot about the Jewish culture in school. In order to sing Christmas songs, we had to also sing Hanukkah songs - Example, "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel." I thought it was interesting that when I asked Ben (grew up in Idaho) if he had to do the same thing, he said no. I wonder what places and states in the country teach things regarding other holidays outside of Christianity... Interesting thought.

The coolest parts of the entire area were the Spanish Synagogue (because it was SO beautiful!) and the cemetery. The cemetery was established in the 15th century, burying over 12,000 bodies there. They say OVER 12,000 because that's how many tombstones are present, but there were many more buried there. Over time they built new layers of earth on top of the old one and buried people over the other grave sights. There was no evidence of a bone yard somewhere else either. Thus, there are a TON of bodies buried there, and sidewalk through the area is like two to three feet below certain points of the cemetery's burial grounds. It's just a really cool thing to see... Plus, I am weird and I really like cemeteries. I could spend hours in Arlington's cemetery, and when I was a kid in Phillie I use to hang out with my friend Janelle at the graveyard by her house every other day. I know, weird, but it is what it is.

After having our fill of Jewish culture and rituals, we headed off to find the metro and head to Vysehrad. There, we walked around the park, went through another cemetery (we found a Christus there!) and the cloisters, saw St. Martin's Rotundra, peaked into St. Paul & Peter's church (which was closed), and headed back into town via the "New Town" area. Let me just say, New Town was my least favorite part of Prague. Haha! That will be all on that. The park around Vysehrad was actually really chill and nice, but the view from the castle the previous day was far more impressive... so we left feeling slightly lackluster. However, we did get to see some random guy shooting a music video and singing sexually awkward songs for an audience of three - his taping crew.

Sidenote: On the way back into the main parts of Prague, we saw an apple tree and thought, "Those look good." So, I hoisted Ben up, and we knocked down a good apple. However, we had to go up a bit to get the good ones... It reminded me of this quote:

"Girls are like apples. The best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree...”

Just sayin'... :)

After we got into New Town area was made our way back toward Wenceslas Square to find a little coffee shop and get some hot cocoa. First, however, Ben was kind enough to notice my feet were in dire need of different shoes. See, I had taken flats with me that I thought would be fine, but were only a week old. They ended up cutting into my pinkie toes after all the walking the day before, and I was taking them off and walking in socks most of the morning. I kept saying, "Yea, they hurt a bit, but they'll be okay." Ben made me buy new shoes. Okay... my stupid decision to bring those flats led me to it, but yea... We found some shopping places open in that area and I found some fairly inexpensive, cheap, checkered kicks that felt great. We also stopped and picked up band-aids, so I was in great shape after that!

We found a little cafe on the corner of Wenceslas Square, got some hot cocoa, and wrote our postcards while listening to the Top 40 Dance Jams on Czechoslovakian MTV. Classic. It was relaxing and refreshing... The perfect break.

We headed out to grab some real food - disgustingly greasy, but good brawts from a street-vendor in the middle of the square. Then, we headed to the National Museum to look at Natural History stuff - aka: animals, fossils, bones, statues, and lots rocks. It was HUGE! The building had a lot to see on the top floor, but I'm not sure what the other floors really hold because we took forever getting around the top floor and part of the second before it was time to go. It seemed like other museums I have been too and a little out-dated, but it was fine. I saw some cool things, learned a few now things, and moved on. Haha!

After walking around for a bit more, we planned out our evening by deciding to find somewhere nice for dinner... We stumbled across a few different options, but settled on "The Meating Point," a restaurant attatched to a hotel. We sat, visited, and had the most AMAZING spinach and chicken crepes of my life. I'm not even huge into spinach... It has to be cooked the right way, but it sounded good... So, I got it. Man, did I make the right decision or what? I made the right decision.

I must also add that as we talked over dinner, I found myself re-evaluating myself in many ways. It sounds weird, but when I have good conversation and get to know someone, I often think about the things that they have accomplished and the things I have... and like to think about where I can improve. I decided that I don't spend enough time doing the things I've always wanted to learn to do outside of my occupational area. For example, I have always wanted to take a photography class and work on my camera skills. I have never done it... but it's a skill I could gain if I added in a class once or twice a week after work. When I get back to that states, that's going to happen. There are other things I could work on more too. I've always wanted to play the piano better and learn guitar, so I'm determined to tackle those. I'm consigned to the fact that I will never be an visual artist (like painting or drawing), but I think trying out pottery would be cool. I don't do enough to cultivate myself aside from music, film, and events... I wanna do more to help me grow in different areas.

After dinner, we headed back to the hostel to shower and get ready for bed... It was a good day. I felt a bit like our plans didn't go "as planned" because things ended up being different than what was expected, but I was chill about it all.

Day Three and Four? Expect a post tomorrow! :)

Song of the Day: I listened to this song about 12 times this evening... It just kept grabbing me. What can I say? I'm in the mood to move and shake today... everyday. Here is Stephen Jerzak feat. Leighton Meester singing, She Said. Classic. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Totoro said...

Sounds like a great trip! Wish I could have been there...oh wait. Good summary, I felt like I was reliving it. And since the trip was AwESomE that makes for one good read.