Wednesday, August 12

We woke up this morning at 5:30am because we were walking to the train station and our train was supposed to leave at 7am. It was hard trying to be super quite at that time because in these small flats there are doors everywhere, it seems! In any case, I think we did a good job of being quite and we were on our way by 5:50!!
It was a nice, quite walk down to the station. It is actually quite impressive that our number of bags has remained the same throughout the entire trip. I know mine is a little bigger and I think Sophie’s weighs a little more, but overall quite good!
I had coughed and been awake most of the night because of my personal lack of oxygen, so eating wasn’t really all that appealing to me at all and I was able to sleep most of the 5 hours on the train to Prague. There were no passport checks at all, which I was kind of disappointed about, because I would have really liked another stamp. However, I know there has been something in the media (oops, I guess I should be following these things) about the lack of visas for visitors going to the Czech Republic. So, it was probably a good thing that they decided they didn’t need to check my passport – I wouldn’t want any trouble!
We arrived at about 11:30, and both Sophie and I were rather dazed because we had both slept most of the way! We wandered out of the train and finally found some information regarding how to get to the hostel that I had booked on-line. By this point, however, I realized that I had no money…so off to find a machine we went. We finally found one, and withdrew what we thought was acceptable. It is always hard to tell! Meh.
The tram worked well and we got off at the stop we wanted. However, that was the end of the directions that I received from the hostel! Thankfully, Sophie has eyes that work better than mine and she spotted a HUGE sign that indicated that the hostel was about 100 feet from the tram station! It was perfect!
The hostel is another whole experience! It is a gym that has been converted into a hostel. There are three floors – the main floor consisting of 70 bunk beds – separated by sheets in between groups of 12 beds. There are also corresponding lockers that make kind of the middle hallway between each side if the gym. Then, on the second floor are the guys showers and bathrooms and on the top floor are the girls bathrooms and showers. It is quite the arrangement, really. However, for 7E per night we also get breakfast and free internet! AND – it is in the middle of everything. One block away is the famous Charles Bridge, for example. So, you couldn’t really ask for a better price or a better location! I am really impressed with the hostels I found for this trip, to be honest! I think I did quite well overall (thank you very much 😉 ).
We spent a grand total of 2 minutes in the hostel before heading out to visit the city. We really saw everything, and I didn’t use my map as much as normal, because the city is easy to navigate with all of the bridges and large buildings, etc.. We went over the Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) and up to the castle, stopping into many of the churches and tourist shops along the way. The castle is huge and the Cathedral is gorgeous. I think I liked the views from the top more than the actual buildings, however.
We made our way back down to the river and walked across to the other side where we explored the Jewish town. I was disappointed, however, because they wanted to charge us for everything in that area – not really our style – so we didn’t actually go into the Synagogue or museum. I really wanted to go into the grave yard, because I just love graveyards, but even that was about 10E to go to…so I snuck a good picture instead!
Afterwards, we walked around the old town. We saw the Old Town Square with the clock tower and several churches. We walked past the National Theatre and got lost in the various streets with all of the shopping and tourist trap shops everywhere! I really like the feel of this city. Yes, there are tourists everywhere, but it is still so pleasant and cute. It makes me happy!!
As a bonus, the food is much cheaper than most of the other cities we have visited, so we went out for dinner instead of getting groceries. We ate pizza again – at a very cute little place in the old town. I actually drank a beer with my pizza because it was ½ the price of water or pop! Go figure, eh?! But it ended up being 6E for an entire pizza and a 50cl beer! Pretty awesome! (wow! I sound like a guy…pizza and beer!)
I was a little happier after my beer, so walking was more interesting, so say the least. At least it made Sophie laugh! I went back to this place that had nice vases to look at this one that I kind of like…but I think I won’t buy anything this time. I am starting to feel a little broke, to say the least! We then stopped into this art gallery and Sophie fell in love with this beautiful (original) painting. It is a black and white painting of St Nicholas Church with a red streetcar on the road in front. It is absolutely gorgeous. I really liked it as well – but it was listed for 19000 originally. He came down pretty fast when he saw that Sophie was a little interested. He came down to 8000 and Sophie couldn’t make up her mind. Sooo….we went away and sat on a curb so she could think about it – I knew she would buy it, however! We went back and offered 7000 and she ended up buying it for 7500, which is about 300E! I am glad she bought it, because one of us should have bought it and I sure don`t have the money –so it is better that she bought it!! Made me happy!
Now, we are back in the hostel, and it is rather odd to be in this big gym with all of these people! May be an evening for earplugs!!
Night
-Allison

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