Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunsets and Pig Blood Soup

Possibly the prettiest picture I have ever taken from one of my favorite days ever. I love Europe.

This week was my first actual week of classes! I only have three actually since I already finished my Czech language course and I am doing an internship. So far my classes seem really awesome. Each of my classes is three hours and is only once a week. So I actually only have one class everyday Tuesday-Thursday. My Art and Architecture class is field trip based so we basically go somewhere else in the city every week, whether it’s a church, building, or museum. My International Management class is at the School of Economics here in Prague. In two weeks forty other international students from different European countries will also be joining our class so I am looking forward to that. My third class is Modern History of Central Europe which will definitely be interesting because I realize I have very little knowledge in that area besides like 1915-1945.

Thursday night the girls in my apartment hosted dinner for some of our friends here in K17. We made lots and lots of spaghetti and the guys brought salads, bread, and dessert. It was a delicious feast! There was great food and great friends. 

Lots of Spaghetti.

Old school Polaroid pic!

Friday we went on a field trip about an hour and a half north of Prague to the Lindava Glassworks factory. We were able to blow create our own vase and beer mug and choose the color and pattern for both. It was really neat. The factory we went is actually very well known. They currently make the glass trophies for the Tour De France race every year. I actually got to see one in person. Sadly though we won’t get out glass pieces back for at least a week or two because they take time to cool and then be transported to Prague. Also sadly, I was sick and felt pretty horrible the whole time we were there. I just wanted to be back in bed. 

Me, making my beer mug!

Tour De France trophy (as seen in picture underneath the trophy)

On our way home from the Glassworks, we stopped by this big frozen lake where we were able to walk around. It was really pretty. Our program director brought his ice skates and was skating around. I had been walking around on the ice for quite awhile and decided to get off when I saw this dumb kid jumping as hard as he could on the ice and I could actually see it bending underneath him. Not even a minute later the ice cracked and three other students fell in. It was slightly hilarious but I also felt really bad for them. I can imagine how freezing that water was. And we had another hour on the bus til we would be back in Prague. 

(sidenote. Some of my pictures kept uploading sideways even though they're not! And I'm too tired to figure it out.)

 Saturday I was lucky and was able to go south into Moravia. The Czech Republic is basically split across the middle into two halves, Bohemia and Moravia. These areas’s history goes back hundreds of years ago. Anyways, it’s Mardi Gras tomorrow as most of you know (especially my Razzoo’s friends). In a small town called Hustopecsky about two hours south of Prague there was a really tiny, local carnival. Well. It wasn’t really a carnival. It was really just a wine festival that our program directors told us was a carnival. There was a street about four hundred yards long that was full of people in costumes, food stands, and musicians all celebrating. We tried some local foods and then waited till noon when the wine cellars opened. You could buy a wine glass and then tickets for each cellar where you could pick which wine you wanted. It was great and the wines were very good. I’ve been struggling because they don’t really have normal wine names from America here. Sometimes they have Chardonnay or Pinot Noir but most of them have really weird Czech names and I didn’t even know if they were red or white. So getting to try a bunch of different kinds and learn their names was really helpful. Most of us ended up buying a bottle to take home. Except it honestly only made it till the bus ride back haha. The carnival was really cool though. Very authentic. Everyone pretty much just spoke Czech. Everyone was hanging out in the stone wine cellars singing songs and playing music and having a great time. It was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve done here so far.

Also, it was quite funny because this pig was hanging in the middle of the festival. They later started carving it and cooking it for everyone. It was strange because we realized there wasn't a drop of blood left in the pig. It was also strange because they were giving away free pig blood soup to everyone there... Didn't take us long to put that one together. (Yes, I did try the pig blood soup only because my friends make me. It was weird...)


They cut up the entire pig until only the spine was left. It was pretty crazy.


Czech sausage

Me, Kristen, and my roommate Haley

After that we went on a hike. Not sure who planned to go on a hike after a wine festival…but we still enjoyed it. Our first hike was more of a walk through this really pretty park around a few frozen lakes. We also saw some really pretty old buildings. The weather was beautiful and it was a really pretty walk.

The next hike was a little different. We started in the square of a really small town and began to hike up this giant mountain. Okay, it was more like a really big hill. But seriously. It was a hike. The problem was, we spent a little too much time at the wine festival, so we really had to book it up the hill to make it to the top before sunset. There was ice and snow and it was really slippery and steep but we finally made it and I have to say, it was one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of really cool views from the lookout point in Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands, to the top of the Empire State building, just to name two of many. But this one was special. Here I was in the middle of this tiny town in Moravia after an already amazing day and I was standing on top of this mountain watching the sunset over the rooftops, rolling hills, and vineyards. It was really just one of those moments that make you exactly how wonderful life is. I’m already having the time of my life gallivanting across Europe for a semester and that sunset was just the icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, no one’s phone would work on top of the mountain. It was weird because mine still had plenty of battery but it immediately died and wouldn’t come back on when we got close to the top. I’m thinking it was either because of the cold or the altitude because everyone else was having the same problem. I did manage to get a few pictures though. 

The picture at the very beginning was also from this hike.

We finished the day off with some Czech food. Fried cheese is a really big thing here. It’s very strange but delicious. It’s basically a giant, flattened mozzarella stick. They are a Czech staple and you kind find them everywhere. Anyways, I had fried cheese with ham in it and French fries. It was basically a perfect day.

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