[not all entries will be this long.]
Prague Castle and the Old Town Square, Prague
Who: Deanna, RedShirt, Cliff, and myself
Where: Prague, Czech Republic
When: April 10-13, 2009
Main activities: Pub crawl, Communism Museum, Salvador Dali Exhibit, Lennon Wall, St. Vitus Cathedral, Torture Museum
Redshirt, myself, Deanna, and Cliff in the Old Town Square
Dee and I couldn't get seats on the same flight from Zurich. I flew out the day before she did;
I had an extra night in Prague and she got an extra day in Zurich with the Argentineans.
I took a train from the airport into town. It was very easy to find the Old Prague Hostel we stayed in --very nice place if you ever go. While I was by myself I toured the Old Town Square and bought some trinkets for the fam. My dad got a few painted egg shells (that were very hard to transport, imagine that.) and my sister got a Russian doll set from one of the tent-vendors you can see in the pictures. I also went to a indoor mall that was at the bottom of a building, pretty interesting set up.
-Being involved in retail now, it's fun for me remembering the different formats in these places-
Is that nerdy?
Old Town Square vendors, Prague
Deanna didn't arrive until the next day and I wasn't about to sit in the hostel all by my self all night... in Prague? lol no, never.
That night, I went with a fellow hostel resident on the Prague Pub Crawl which took us to three different local bars and one GIANT night club with 5 floors and a different atmosphere on each level. It was pretty rad. I recommend it. Especially if your there to rage.
I mean, I got drunk. What else is there to say?
Made it back okay...
When Dee arrived the next morning I was as happy as a clam :)
We explored a little bit to soak in the city.
Deanna and I in the Old Town Square
The famous Astronomical Clock Tower
She adores with The Beatles :)
During our reconnaissance of all that Prague has to offer, we came across a few attractions that sparked our interest:
The Torture Museum
Torture Museum, Prague
Torture Chair, a cage, The Iron Maiden
Three floors of medieval torture techniques and apparatuses, this place is not for the faint of heart. Each instrument contained it's own description (in English) and purpose. It was fascinating to learn some of the grotesque practices that were exercised for even the most minute of offenses. It included things such as the Iron Maiden, saws, chastity belts and the torture chair. The level of creativity in these devices was horrendous, and astonishing! Like a bad car wreck you can't not look at as you drive by.
...and people think society today is sick and twisted.
Another gem we found located near the square, our affinity for history would not let us pass this one up.
"The theme of the Museum is "Communism- the Dream, the Reality, and the Nightmare"
Ironically located above a [McDonald's] next to a casino, this museum offered artifacts, photos, and even videos that painted a picture of the city/country during the 40 years under the communist regime (1948-1989). If you decide to go, be sure to bring your reading glasses because the written descriptions carry much of the weight of information. I think it focused less on the ideologies of communism and more than the effects it had on society: I distinctly remember reading about the lingering effects Nazi propaganda had on Czech society. Our experience at this museum helped mold my views on capitalism, oppression and tyranny, and liberation.
...and people think society today is restrained from freedom.
After an afternoon of intellectual snacking, we finally went back to our comfort zone: fruity alcoholic drinks and real carb-y snacks.
We found a bar called Bed Lounge Restaurant and Bar right off the Square and relaxed.
No chairs, no couches. It was called Bed for a reason.
Fruity drinks :) Cheers!
There were a few other members of our program in Spain that we knew would be in Prague at the same time. We had a full day of exploration with them as well.
Meet Cliff and Redshirt:
On the Charles Bridge
View from Charles Bridge [+ zoom]
Cliff, Deanna, and I on the bridge
Dee, Redshirt, and I on the bridge
We had lunch at a restaurant near the bridge with a great view. I can't be sure where it was, but from what I remember it might have been this place.
[Again, more food details will come later!
The food was pretty regular in these places.
Spain definitely had some photo-worthy food
.... hence why I look 10 lbs heavier in all of these pictures!]
In search of the Lennon Wall, we stopped and grabbed some craft beers in a store down the road from where we ate.
[After much wandering around we found it]
The Lennon Wall
What began as any other boring alleyway, this wall began transforming into the public diary against communist oppression in the 1980's. The REAL wall of scrutiny for a social movement (not quite like Obama's FB campaign) has since collected Lennon-inspired quotes, murals and graffitiart that layer each other year after year. Representing the ever consistent ideas of generations.
(I just put my name on it.)
Like signing a petition
Signed it. there.
From here we went to the St. Vitus Cathedral, a glorious Roman Catholic monastery surrounded by gardens, palaces, and defense towers.
Dare you to find me a Catholic Cathedral that isn't.
View of Prague from the hill
The last major thing I remember from Prague (Dee and Cliff please add a comment if I'm forgetting anything!) is the Salvador Dali Exhibition, which I believe is a permeant showing of his work.
Of course, I couldn't take any pictures of the exhibits, but I do love Dali:
here are a few of his pieces [I think, but I can't be sure.] that we saw:
(pulled from Google. Love Google.)
Cisnes reflejando elefantes, 1937
I went to more than one Dali museum during my time in Europe. These pieces may not be at this exact museum, but for anyone that is unfamiliar with his surrealist-style, there are a few examples.
I know this entry was pretty heavily concentrated with museums and sight seeing but...
From here, we flew to Amsterdam
Oh yes, we did :)
Thanks for reading!