Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prague - Days 3 & 4: The Final Installment

(Sounds like a dramatic title, eh?)

Here it is: The final installment in the trilogy that is my trip to Prague.
Thanks so much for staying with me through each written step... or, if you are just joining us, you can read the other two installments within the two entries before this one.

Day three in Prague was a good one, and had some of my favorite moments in Prague. My only complaint? It seemed to get chillier and cloudier with each day we were there. Boo. I wish there had been more sun to capture better light in pictures and just add more warmth... but it was still good. (I also wish I had brought my non-wool jacket - just a side-note there...) If that is my only complaint, I think Prague treated us pretty well. It didn't rain at all while I was there, so... there you go.

As we started the day, we decided to tackle the "nature area" or Prague and do the little hike up to the observtation tower. We caught the metro over to that side of town and somehow missed the moment we crossed the river... Ben realized we were too far from our mark and pointed to where we were on the map. I'll admit, I thought he was WAY off, until I saw the street sign. Haha! I thought I was being quite attentive, but we crossed the river at some point, and we both don't have any recollection of doing so on the metro... ever. Haha! Anyway, we got turned back around, figured it out, and got to the bass of the hillside. We must have been more tired than we thought... Hm. Haha!

So, we began the slight ascent to the top and found ourselves surrounded by the forest trees, all beginning to change color and catch the essence of Fall. Glorious. I really could bask in changing leaves year-round if there was a place that this occurred. Even here in Germany leaves are changing like crazy and I'm in love with it. Everywhere I ride my bike, I breath in Fall and visually drink in the colors... There's something about the crisp chill and jumping in a pile of leaves. I can't explain why I love it SO much, but I have been looking forward to living in Bonn during this time of year ALL year. It's sheer beauty...

Back to Prague.

So, we hiked up the mini- mountain side to a citadel (In my head, I was singing Anna Nalick's song the whole way up... "I'm sittin' on a citadel..." Classic.), walked around the "ruins" and up to a little monastery and the observation tower. We got some great shots walking around and I didn't really care about going up... so we continued on. We walked around up there, and stopped to ask where Strahov Monastery was, to which the guy replied, "Which one? There are a lot of them here!" It's true. A lot. We finally stumbled onto this Monastery that's suppose to be cool, but it was closed, so we moved on. Haha! I felt like that whole morning was a lot of, "There it is. Moving on." Haha! It wasn't a bad thing at all, but it ended up being stuff I didn't really care about or it was closed... so I went with it. We stopped about the vineyards and took some pictures and then walked down through this touristy part of that city-side.

When we got to the base, we were over in "Lesser Town," were we stopped so Ben could check email and I could write my journal notes. It was a good little break... We headed to get lunch and for the life of me, I can't recall where or what we ate, but oh well... This isn't about a menu recall... I think we got brawts that day, but I don't think I ate two of them, so I must not have eaten one the day before. It's bugging me that I can't remember! Haha... I'm getting old, I suppose... I mean, I will be 25 in a month. Hello, Quarter Century Club! Bring it on... :)

We hit up a post office to mail off our postcards (I had to wait till the next day to get some addresses) and then headed back up by the castle to see the Picture Gallery. Actually, we were heading to the National Gallery to see their art, but the Picture Gallery up there was free after 4pm and the National Gallery was pricey for having virtually no advertisement and marketing promoting it... sketchy. It was actually bizarre, but there didn't seem to be a lot of art places to go to. We asked the lady at the hot dog stand and she kept sending us to the National Museum, which is not art. Haha! It was a funny moment actually...

We headed to the Picture Gallery, but it wasn't quite 4pm (when it's free.99) so we walked up and around the castle area. It's kinda cool up there... reminds me of an old city's main-street with more pastel colors on the buildings. We also stumbled across a poster for the Museum of Communism... We didn't go, but as you can see on the side, the promotion for the museum was pretty classic. Perhaps it was a missed opportunity and we should have gone there instead? Next time, readers.

We finally made it back to the Picture Gallery and it was pretty bland and unexciting. I could recall a few paintings a saw, but they aren't anything overwhelmingly exciting. As we were discussing this in the gallery, I noticed I really like Greek Mythology and art surrounded around the myths and Gods. I noticed that I really like modern art, but not really contemporary art. I hate it when people try and do something SO different that it's disturbing or just SO out there that it's ineffective. In my eyes, those exhibits merely contribute to the artists ego or are WAY too far-reaching. I'm reminded of the two exhibits in the National Gallery in Copenhagen... Blech. They were not my thing.

I WILL place a disclaimer here, because I believe strongly in free expression, the right to do so, and that one can find worth in beauty in all art... but I don't have to like or appreciate it all.

After the gallery, we headed back toward our hostel and found a little cafe on the way to sit and drink cocoa and visit before Ben's plane took off that evening - I stayed an extra day. It was nice, chill.... We certainly drank our share of Czechoslovakian cocoa. One place literally gave us chocolate soup! Haha... It was good, but we couldn't drink the whole thing and wondered how it go SO thick. Ben's guess was flour. My guess was NOT flour. :)

Ben left to catch his flight and I was left with the evening and final day to myself! Now, I could have gone to try and catch a "Black Light Theater" show or a ballet performance, but in all honesty, I was exhausted. Haha! I don't know why, but I just craved the chance to read. I know... The social butterfly. The party animal. The center of every event, constantly on the go... She just wanted to READ?! Yep. I had checked out a new book from the library and wanted to get into it. So, I checked my email for the first time on the trip and emailed my family and best friends - got their addresses to send the postcards - and then headed up to take a shower and read my book... It was fabulous. I read half of the book that evening and had the room all to myself the entire night.

The next day I relived some of my favorite places in Prague. I could be really detailed, but I simply don't feel like recounting each step of the way. However, I WILL tell you some of my favorite moments... :)

- Eating some AMAZING apple strudel in Wenceslas Square and writing songs while I did so... I wrote a new song that I am SO proud of! The lyrics are inventive and the theme is creative enough for a pop/indie song... I also wrote some poetry and basked in the process. I love writing.

- Watching the Asian photo-shoot right outside of the window I sat by. There was this adorable Asian couple with a giant camera who were sitting and sipping their beers while they took photos of one another, their rings, their chairs, the birds, the buildings, their beer glasses, and the classic together snap-shots. It was just funny watching them get excited over certain shots and pull out the "bummer" face for photos that didn't quite meet the mark. I really enjoy people watching.

- Walking along St. Charles Bridge where all the little musicians were playing for coins, and this jolly, old man on a tour with his wife was dancing and singing along to "As the Saints Go Marching In..." It was SO cute! He was just bouncing along to the music and his wife was bluntly rolling her eyes at him, but this little smile was playing at the corner of her lips... I hope one day, when my husband is being a little awkward or funny, I just roll my eyes and give him a side-smile. Perfection.

- Seeing a huge Protest in Wenceslas Square where they all blew whistles and and walked through the city with the police surrounding them... a few holding sounds. It was just cool to see... I like seeing moments where people are using their freedom of speech within other countries. I like freedom, and seeing others access their own.

- Searching for 45 minutes for the John Lennon Wall and not finding it, but stumbling across other great parts of the city and water-side lookouts. Now before you say, "Linze, how did you miss it?" I used a map and asked people... It doesn't exist anymore. Okay, it does... but no one else seemed to be able to see it either.

I had to catch that train that evening right after six, so I grabbed apples and yogurt, go on board and read until I fell asleep in my compartment - I got the top bed on the train which was awesome, but my experience coming back to Koln and Bonn was actually not as pleasant as the way to Prague. The compartment was my own until right before I went to sleep and a young man from Australia joined me. He was chill and very nice... easy to share with. However, right after 1am we were joined by some others who were all ridiculously loud and rude. They turned on the main light and just were talking SO loudly... I finally asked them to be quite, but they wouldn't shut up. I just kept saying, "Be Christ-like" in my head. The guy across from me on the top was trying to help me out with asking them to be quite, but it was to no avail... Haha!

I got a few hours of sleep though and was able to catch some more Zzz's when I got back to Bonn, so it was fine. It didn't ruin my journey to Prague! It's a city I would re-visit, and plan to do so someday... Love it.

There you have it. That was my Prague experience, and next time you hear of an "exotic adventure," it will be.... The French Riviera. Yep... in one week. YES.

Sidenote: Apparently the musical we saw, Baron Prasil was a movie from 1961 made into a musical, and is REALLY quite big in Czechoslovakia! Wow - who'da thunk? Click on the title above for a video from the musical, with the people we saw!

Song of the Day: This was one of my favorite songs in fifth or sixth grade, and Glee just re-did it for an episode. I actually like the Glee version better, so... here it is - One of Us by The Glee Cast (originally, Joan Osburn). The video with Glee is below and then the whole song version is below it - you should watch the first, listen to the second. Just sayin'. Listen to the words - watch the original music video - embrace it. Enjoy!

1 comment:

C&C said...

Most of the experiences I have had with sleeper trains are bad...for some reason it's hard for me to sleep when there is only like 1 ft. between my face and the ceiling...
but they totally beat a regular train in the middle of the night! I love all of your adventures.