Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Life in the 420

Side note: 420 is the country code of the Czech Republic and the first digits of every Czech phone number.

Had a busy and fun weekend here in Prague. Started off on Thursday night when two of my roommates and I went to see Ed Sheeran!! Obsessed doesn’t even cover it at this point and the concert just made it worse.  You can just imagine what’s been blasting throughout the apartment for the last week. We were actually super lucky to get tickets. It was sold out a long time ago, but they moved the concert to a bigger venue and put up more tickets for sale. We were really lucky and snagged some before they were sold out again. Also, we were fortunate because we got there a little early and had amazing seats!! It was a dream come true. Haha.

Anyways, Saturday we went on a hike in the northern part of the Czech Republic in the volcanic mountain range. My roommates loved (read hated) me in the beginning because I basically made them go with me. In the description it said it was a five mile hike….. what they didn’t say was that it was five miles there and then we still had to hike back…. I really just love hiking though and it’s been some of my favorite things I’ve done so far. There’s just something about walking and climbing through the forest that makes me happy. This hike was great too because the scenery felt a lot like being back home in East Texas. If I hadn’t known better I would have said it was. There were woods on one side of the trail and a pasture on the other with pine trees in between. It felt like home and made me happy. The first two miles were pretty rough though because we basically had to walk from one village to another just to begin the hike. Once we got into the forest and started hiking uphill though it was a lot better for some reason, not quite sure why because it was a lot more difficult physically. By the time we got to the top of the volcano we were pretty exhausted. At the top there was actually the ruin of a castle that was built in 1372. It was crazy because the castle was right at the top and it was a really steep climb to actually reach it. You can’t see much besides the castle until you get literally right next to it. So basically you climb over this edge and all of the sudden you can see miles and miles around in every direction. It was insane!! And kind of nauseating because it’s very unexpected and you suddenly feel like you’re about to topple down a mountain. I’m also not sure whose idea it was to build their house that high up. I think I’d just rather die instead of having to hike up and down that all the time. We were able to walk inside the ruins and climb up onto the walls even to get a better view of the sprawling fields and the surrounding towns. It was amazing. 

Saw this cute lamb on our hike and the owners let us pet it. It was adorable. Then our guide spoke in Czech with the lady for a minute and later informed us that they were going to be eating it soon..... we plotted going back to rescue it but I wasn't sure if lambs are allowed on the metro's like dogs.... so sad.

This is what the volcano looked like from the town where our hike ended. If you look closely you can see the castle on the very top of the volcano behind the buildings. It's funny actually because when we began our hike in the other town we couldn't even see the volcano because we were so far away on the other side.... we did a lot of hiking.....

The hike down was through tons of mud since some snow had recently melted so that was no fun, except it kind of was because it made all of our boots super heavy and we were pretty delirious at this point so we couldn’t stop cracking up. We eventually ended up in a small town where we had lunch and bought candy and waited for a bus to take us back to the town we started in to catch the train back to Prague. We had a super fun day and laughed a ridiculous amount. And no one slipped on the ice this time so it was a pretty great hike overall.

Sunday we went to the ballet!!! It was at the Narodni Divadlo (National Theatre) here in Prague which is of course beautiful and historic and completely amazing. We ended up getting pretty cheap tickets because students get half price. We were practically at the very top though because it was almost sold out when we bought the tickets a few days in advance. The ballet was Sleeping Beauty. I really liked it! Ballet is kind of interesting because it’s so many types of entertainment combined into one. It’s like an orchestra crossed with a play that’s crossed with dancing. It’s really busy. The costumes were so pretty and the ballerinas were amazing. I definitely hope to go to more while I’m here. It’s also funny though because I really have no experience with ballets or musicals. Apparently they close the curtain and then open it and bow like literally ten times over the course of twenty minutes and do like three encore dances. I couldn’t figure out when it was actually over.

Okay I didn't take this picture. But honestly none of my pictures could do it any justice so this gives you a better idea of how amazing it was.

Also hilarious, Haley literally got stuck by the worst people at both the Ed Sheeran concert and the ballet. At the concert she ended up sitting next to a thirteen year old who insisted on singing horribly at the top of her lungs. It was really bad. Then at the ballet she also ended up next to a middle aged woman who was apparently in a clapping contest to be the loudest and last clapper in the entire theatre. Like every. Single. Time. Then she started waving this scarf in her face. It was great. Needless to say Haley gets to sit in the middle of the group on the next few outings.

Last night was the Mardi Gras Parade here in Prague. They do things kind of differently and have all of these weird and kind of scary figures and people are dressed up in creepy costumes. There was lots of music though and everyone literally paraded through the streets. Instead of staying in one place and watching the parade go by, everyone walks with the parade in one giant mob all through the streets. It was definitely interesting. 

See. Creepy and scary parade people.

Everything else here in Prague is wonderful. It’s one great day after the next of living in an insanely beautiful city and getting to experience so many new things. My classes are actually going really well too. My two classes through Charles University are field trip based so pretty much every class we discuss something and then go somewhere. It’s great because I get into all the museums for free and get to see some really important artwork and pieces of history. Then I can wander around as much as I want and look at the exhibits. I’m pretty sure by the end of this semester all of the museum entrance tickets will probably equal the cost of my entire tuition. It’s working out quite well.  In my class through the School of Economics in Prague, we finally had class with all of the other students today. There were people from Russia, France, Germany, Brazil, Austria, and tons of other places. I’m really glad I’m getting the opportunity to interact with so many people from other countries. Also, I think I’m going to really enjoy my International Management class altogether. All of the topics we are going to discuss actually interest me. Management in general just makes sense for me and then mixing it with different countries and cultures and histories all across the world makes it really interesting.  It’s probably my favorite subject I've ever studied so far.

I'm also really enjoying being able to do some of my favorite things again, like read books, watch movies, run, and workout. Back home I'm so busy with school and work that I just literally don't have time for those things. So being here is just like a win-win. Life seriously just gets better everyday. Haley and I found this awesome running trail really close to our apartment that runs right along the main river in Prague, the Vltava. It's perfect for a nice jog.

Tomorrow I’m actually heading to Krakow, Poland with some friends for the weekend. We are going to check out the city and also go to Auschwitz, which is something I've always really wanted to do. I can’t really say it will be fun because that’s not the right word for it, but it will definitely be eye opening and a really important experience.

It’s crazy because everywhere I go they speak a different language and have a different currency. It’s frustrating and cool all at the same time. I’m just so comfortable when I’m here in Prague that the idea of going somewhere else and having to deal with an entirely new language barrier just makes me want to lay on the ground and eat peanut butter because it’s just such a hassle. But I know it will be okay… I’ve never actually heard someone speak Polish… guess there’s a first time for everything!

1 comment:

  1. lol at your friends concert and ballet experience, that would happen to me. miss you, glad you're having fun.


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