Today was the last day Doug and I would be traveling together before I head to Milan and continue another grueling two weeks seeing 7 more planes and 3 more trains and he heads to London before a night of heading back home.
This trip originally started when Doug and I had another crazy idea of Europe traveling (last year we went up Italy; Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan) and knew we had 10 days for his schedule and planned out a June 7-17 trip...I just extended mine by going to Spain beforehand and adding all the crazy stuff afterwards. The trip thus far has been great and he is a blast to travel with. Aimee also joined me for June 3-13 and left for OKC on the second day of Berlin...her addition was sorta last minute which added some already strong fuel to the weeks leading up to this enormous trip. Thanks go out to both of you, Aimee Freyman (http://www.flickr.com/photos/30796964@N02/3630646330/) and Doug Vrooman (http://www.flickr.com/photos/30796964@N02/3630647036/), for making the first half of the trip a very memorable one.
Ok, the day in Prague started out with another long train ride (just over four hours) but ended up being ok because I spent most of that time labeling photos and videos...to date I have over 170 videos of this trip ranging from 7 sec to 3 min. Arriving in Prague felt like second nature to us because this was the 8th different city I've visited so far and the 6th different language...so by second nature I mean that it was a completely new environment, new map, new streets, new language, new food and new landmarks.
Prague was actually the only hotel booked for the entire trip. We only have 24 hours in Prague and we didn't want to spend many hours out searching for our couchsurfers house and chatting it up with so little time to be in the city.
So, checked into hotel and off through the "old" city, Prague -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague. In Prague's city center is one of their most treasured attractions, a 700 year old astronomical clock. Pretty intriguing to see in person and something I definitely want to look up more info on later.
From there we trekked on through the biggest tourist area with shops I've ever been to. Every shop had the same souveniors and took forever to get through...because of the constant bobbing and weaving we had to do to avoid all the lost and bedazzled tourists (http://www.flickr.com/photos/30796964@N02/3630543516/in/set-72157619793719922/).
We finally got through the swamp of tour buses and loads of people to reach the Charles Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_bridge) that leads over the Vitus River on up to the Prague Castle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_Castle).
We got lost. We first realized it whenever we looked around and realized that the only people around were ourselves and a Czech man that had to be 7' tall. Ok, re-group and grab a Coca Cola Light and find a sign to the castle. Coca Cola Light...accomplished (http://www.flickr.com/photos/30796964@N02/3629716235/in/set-72157619793719922/). Find a sign...accomplished. Only thing missing? We don't speak Czech and there are seven signs pointing in 3 different directions in a language so undecipherable that we try to narrow it down to two signs we believe it could be and go with option one...should have gone with option two.
30 min later...hooray the castle!! How we missed the enormous structure is incomprehensible but nonetheless we had arrived.
The most miraculous thing about the castle grounds was the St. Vitus Cathedral (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Vitus_Cathedral). Wow, it was pretty miraculous (nearly 700 years old). I took my video camera inside and filmed around a little then we left and walked around the castle grounds. The castle has a huge "Royal Garden" that goes all around the cathedral in a big valley with concrete old walls up on both sides...felt like being in a forrest in the middle of nowhere.
There was a stream and small bridges with ducks and birds all over the place. Pretty cool just to have something that beautiful just up a hill and free of charge to walk around whenever any Prague citizen feels.
That was pretty much the extent of our adventures in Prague (besides jumping on a random bus that led around the city and then jumping off at a random metro spot to head for some dinner and much needed rest.
Time to change my Crowns into Euros and head on down to Italy. See you tomorrow OKC.