Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sights of the city!

This view pretty much sums up the last few days for me here in Prague. I can't describe or put into words how much I love this city and how completely amazing it is. I'm become more comfortable here and falling more and more in love with my adopted city everyday. (By the way it was twenty eight degrees today)

Wednesday night a bunch of us went to a dance klub (pronounced cloob here) called Retro Music Dance Hell. We all had a blast. The music was great and the klub was packed. Haley and I finally left at around 3 a.m. and had to take a cab home. The metros, buses, and trams all stop at like midnight except for a few night trams, but we had no idea where a tram stop even was so we just took the easier route and caught a cab. Everyone had to be in class the next morning at 9 a.m..... so you can imagine how well that went. Pictured below, two of my friends, Shaina and Tate.

Last night was fun as well.We walked around Old Town a little and stopped and had hot apple cider. It was delicious!! Probably one of my favorite drinks I've ever had. Then we went to a pizza place down the street that we've already eaten at like three times. The pizza here in Prague is absolutely amazing!! And it's like four dollars for a giant pizza.

This morning (Saturday), we finally had a day off from our language class so we were able to sleep in, which was heavenly. We then decided to be super touristy and go sightseeing. First stop though was breakfast. We went to a cafe` called Paul. It's a pretty popular chain of cafes here. It too was delicious. Overall I've been really impressed with the food I have eaten. Everything is just well made here with really fresh ingredients. 

Grocery shopping here is a completely different story. It's very complicated. I have no idea what anything is and there are very very few recognizable brands. Like basically none. The language class has been helping though and I've gotten a lot better at knowing the names of different foods. Also, the yogurt here is so good!! Tonight I actually made some mac n' cheese for myself. I used cheddar and gouda cheese and it turned out pretty good. It was nice to have something semi-familiar. At Paul, below, I had strawberry yogurt, hot chocolate, and a chocolate croissant which was all really really good. Note the random castle in the picture of the outside of the cafe'. Super pretty!

Next we took the Metro and crossed the Vltava River and went to Old Town. Below are the gates to the Royal Garden. The President here lives in Prague Castle. There were tons of castle guards everywhere which was really cool. Also, on most of the statues and for example the gates below, they incorporate lots of gold. It's really neat looking and it's all over the city.

 Czech out the castle gaurds.

This is the area outside of the St. Vitus Cathedral. It was gorgeous. There was a big fountain and statues of different saints, like Peter and Paul.

This is St. Vitus Cathedral. It's so massive it's impossible to even get a good picture of it. It's unbelievable ornate and completely breathtaking. I loved it. 

Below are a few pictures from inside the cathedral. It's really just pointless for me to even try to describe everything. All I can say is that it's unbelievable. I can't believe places like this exist. These pictures just can't even do these places justice. It's just something you have to see with your own eyes to see how breathtaking and amazing it really is. I really loved the bright colors of the stained glass and how it contrasted with all of the gold and the concrete walls. The ceiling was also so beautiful. 

This is the outside of Prague Castle, which is actually connected to St. Vitus Cathedral. The castle is infamous and you can see all the spires from almost anywhere in the city with a clear view.

 So pretty and massive and just too amazing for words.

Just outside of the courtyard area and castle/cathedral walls is this amazing view of the city all the way back across the river. For as far as you can see are tons of beautiful domes, and spires, and beautiful roofs that are all hundreds and hundreds of years old. It's really eye opening to be in such an old and historical city. It makes me and my tiny existence feel quite unsubstantial.

Right across from the John Lennon Wall was the French Embassy. As everyone knows, there was a terrorist attack in Muslim and there have consequantlly been having a massive movement calling for peace (Je suis Charlie). Below is a memorial where people lit candles and left mementos and signs in front of the embassy. It was really neat to see and be involved in different and historical affairs in other parts of the world. It reminds me of being in the riots in Time Square in New York this past December, which was pretty crazy.

This sign was outside of the embassy. (Rusky means Russian by the way)

Next stop was the Lennon Wall! It was actually really neat and way cooler than I thought it would be. Back in the 1980's young people suppressed under communism regime would paint their grievance on the wall for everyone to see. This eventually led to a movement called "Lennonism", inspired by the peace that John Lennon wrote about in his songs. Now people paint messages about peace and acceptance. People from all nationalities and religions are able to come together in one spot to create a really cool piece of living art. I love it.There are usually musicians around the wall as well. Today there was a man playing John Lennon songs on an acoustic guitar. The street and area itself were really cool. It was in Mala Strana, a really pretty and colorful area of Prague, tucked away on a backstreet. Also, graffiti is everywhere in Prague, but instead of painting over it, they kind of embody it and it's really become a part of the city.  I haven't seen anything dirty or anything painted on walls so far (but I mean it could be just in another language). For the most part it's all just art. 

A few months ago, a group of art  students painted over the entire wall with white paint on the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. The only words left on the wall said "the wall is over". Obviously since then people have repainted and continued the tradition, changing the words to now say "the waR is over". I definitely plan on finding some spray paint and coming back to leave my mark. 

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