Friday, March 19, 2010

Last night's view. Hey big kids - forget Disney world, come to Prague.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Czech has gotten decent enough that I managed to do our post office errands. Most used phrases: "excuse me, where is the post office," "I understand very little Czech," "do you speak English" (the answer, a little), thank you, and I'm sorry.

If you're ever looking for a powerful, poignant historical monument, it's the Pinkas Synagogue and, beside it, the Old Jewish Cemetery, part of the network of monuments and exhibitions that make up the Jewish Museum in Prague. Many people may not realize the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia, since split from Slovakia) has such a rich history; in this case, its history includes a concentration camp which the Nazis used as a model for how "well" they treated Jews there, though the propaganda was obviously false. The walls of the synagogue were inscribed with the names of over 80,000 Jews from that camp who died. It was overwhelming. Then, the cemetery followed, where because the cemetery ages before had been confined to the ghetto it was layered rather than expanded, making the ground level far higher than its surroundings. No pictures were allowed, out of respect for the pious nature of the site.

The highest atm in the city.
Uploaded all our pictures and videos to Jason (the laptop) so we can post all our back-dated video entries once we have internet. Meanwhile, I've been very gastronomically adventurous these past two days - yesterday was lard sausage, elk goulash, and the few sips I could manage of grog. About half an hour later we tried to clean up the palette with dessert and mulled wine at a fancy outdoor cafe. Well, fancy didn't make the food taste better - if you're ever looking for mulled wine, I recommend finding it at one of the street or window vendors that sell pretzels and bread snacks. Also, never drink it after even w few sips of grog. I don't know if it's the food or drink that has me feeling a little ill, but that experiment with rabbit may have to wait until dinner. Right now, I'm very ready for something very plain and familiar.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Up at the crack of one am home-time. The "adventure" never ends, or as mom put it, "at your age it's adventure, at my age it's scary." The hotel is a charming little period renovation...down an alleyish side street across from what looks to be some kind of girly show. Apparently what we wanted was not city centre (New Town) but Old Town Square. This is a little like what I imagine Times Square was like once. Well, headed to shower and then down three flights - true to period form, there are no elevators, which we found out the hard way with our luggage in tow. Adventure! (Can be a little less adventerous now.)

Plane. On it.