A Travellerspoint blog

No internet!

Still alive here so don't worry

Sam here... Sorry for the lack of posts lately but we have just not had any reliable internet connection anywhere, a free one at least :(

We are now in London and will be flying back to Miami on the 16th booooo!! After Prague we went to Cesky Krumlov a beautiful town in the Czech Republic. There were no computers in the hostel so we didn't really bother going to an internet cafe cuz we thought we would catch up in Salzburg. The hostel in Salzburg was actually a converted dorm where you think they would have good internet but it was the worst connection I've seen since modems. We just did the basic things there because it was very frustrating to wait 10 minutes for a page to load.

London is as awesome as i remember maybe even more so but our hostel again does not have computers just wifi for people that have their own. It's quite cheap though and close to all the sites so it works. Once we get back to good old Miami we will write all about these places with greater detail. We've had an awesome trip so far and it looks to continue till the end. We are sad that the trip is ending but also excited to see our family and friends. Also excited to have drinks with ice and see some sunshine since it's pretty rainy here in London as you would expect.

Take care everyone and see you soon!!! :)

Posted by stanncie 07:01 Comments (1)

Baby Jesus, The bridge and Jewish District

sunny 78 °F

To begin this beautïful Sunday day we got up leisurely and prepared some eggs for breakfast. Then we headed for the bus station to buy our bus tickets for our trip to Kutna Hora the next day as well as Cesky Krumlov for the following day. Buying the ticket was not too hard but the saleslady refused to sell us a return ticket so that was weird.

After that we hurried back to the Infant of Prague church because we had read that there was an English Mass at noon and we were excited to be able to finally understand something at mass. We made it a bit late but not too much and were surprised to see it was packed with tourists and other immigrants to this city. Mostly Asian and African. After mass we went up to finally see the collection of vestments that they have for the Infant. They have a small museum where they showcase them. We saw around 20 of them and they were all beautiful. One was a gift from Maria Therese, the empress of Austria in the 1800s.

After Mass we headed over to the famous Charles Bridge. It is probably one of the most beautiful walks you can take. Along the bridge there are saints statues and you can touch the spot where they threw a famous saint over it for defending the faith. There are also nice stalls along it where you can buy all sorts of souvenirs and jewelry.

We then headed to the old Jewish district. I call it old because there are verÿ few Jews here in Prague now. We visited two Synagogues that are now museums. We also visited an old Jewish Cemetery that is still kept up nicely. As I mentioned there are only around 1000 jews living here presently. In the different museums you can see stuff about Jewish life, religious practices and in one you can read the names of all people from Prague and around that were killed during the Nazi regime in the different work and death camps.

All in all it was a very nice day and we ended up dead tired. Off to Kutna Hora tomorrow for a day trip

Posted by stanncie 08:26 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Old Town/New Town (neither are new at all)

sunny 82 °F

It's Sam again here in beautiful Prague.

As Brenda stated Prague is beautiful and this is even more evident when you visit the City center.
We again took the trusty tram to the Old town and the first thing we saw was a bunch of people dressed in traditional outfits dancing away on a stage. It turns out we were in the middle of a folklore festival from countries all over Europe. We saw people dancing traditional dances from Germany, Norway, Poland, Spain, etc throughout the day in the different squares of the city as we walked around.

We first visited Tyn Church which was another beauty but to tell you the truth all the churches are starting to become one in my head haha. Then we were just in time to see the performance of the Astronomical Clock that is this huge structure right on the middle of Old Town. Just like the Astronomical clock in Olomoucs this clock tells time, days, weeks, saint days, lunar cycles etc. At noon there are these mechanical figures of the 12 apostles that parade by, then the time is rung and then a rooster is supposed to crow. We heard a trumpet play at the end and the rooster didn't do anything so maybe he's damaged.

After that, we ate some lunch and with renewed energy we walked to New town which is only new compared to the old one lol. The walk isn't that far actually and along the way there are shops of all kinds some very expensive ones as well as newsstands, food vendors and of course souvenirs all over. The amount of tourists here is crazy! I have only seen more tourists in places like the Colosseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower and such.

The square in New town is actually a long rectangular boulevard with the National Gallery at the end which is a very impressive building. There is also a huge statue of St Wenceslas who is the big saint here on a horse right on front.

We walked along some more and saw some more dances from the folklore festival which seemed to be everywhere. We also kind of wanted to see a performance here since they have like 8 classical concerts daily catering mostly to tourists but we decided to try something else instead. I had read about Black Light theater on a travel book. It's a form of theater unique to Prague. We saw that there was to be a performance that day and it was considerably cheaper than the classical concerts around 15 dollars or 300 Cesky Crowns. We went to a ticket office and bought some tickets despite the unhelpful sales lady who seemed about as excitable as a rock haha.

We had time to kill before the performance but didn't want to return to the hostel so we headed over to a mall we had seen and found the most delicious Mongolian fast food. It was a seafood soup that was really yummy. The food here is fine but I much prefer Hungarian or Polish food.

The performance is hard to describe. The performers either wear fabrics that shine on Black light or completely black outfits that hide them so they can assist in making it appear that objects are flying or people are levitating. The concept and technology is pretty cool and some parts were very nice visuals. The story line was a little weird though and it had nothing to do with language since there is no talking of any kind during it just music. Overall it was good for the price we paid and something very unique to this area.

We got back to the hostel at around 10 p.m. we kinda wanted to check out this pub nearby that is supposed to be pretty cool but were way too tired. Maybe tomorrow....

Posted by stanncie 12:39 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (1)

More Castles and Fun with Public Transportation

semi-overcast 78 °F
View Eastern Europe on wetabixkid's travel map.

Hi everyone! Almost catching up!

As I mentioned before, our hostel here in Prague is far from the center of town. You HAVE to take public transportation to get anywhere unless you want to walk around forever before even getting to the sights. The hostel is aware of this and sells public transportation tickets. They even have monthly tickets that they rent out to you for however long you want. So Sam and I got a couple of these and can now ride the tram, metro, or bus without any problem!

We got up fairly early to try to avoid the crowds at Prague Castle. According to everything we'd read and what everyone had told us, this place gets jam packed with tourists groups, so we wanted to go as early as possible to avoid them. After breakfast, which you have to pay for at this hostel, we took the tram. It left us right at the top of the hill, so we didn't even have to climb anything.

We got there a little later than we would have liked so there were plenty of tourists and huge tourist groups around, but we tried our best to avoid them. You can buy a ticket for a long tour or a short tour. We chose the long tour and bought the audio guide as well.

First up was St. Vitus Cathedral. It is huge. An immense Gothic monster. Really intimidating from the outside and breathtaking from the inside. I can't even guess at how high those Gothic ceilings and arches reach. But it's amazing. And thanks to our audio guides we were able to learn about all the crypts and altars and paintings and decorations inside. Lots of local saints and kings are buried there, including St. Wenceslas and St. Ludmilla, who I now know everything about. The audio guide was really informative, if a bit overwhelming at times.

After the cathedral, which was chock full of Spanish, Japanese, Italian, etc. tourists, we climbed the bell tower. The view of the Old Town is great and we took nice pictures there. We climbed back down and headed over to the Old Royal Palace where we saw nice Gothic rooms where everything from coronations to markets were held. We also saw the Basilica of St. George, a Romanesque church, and a very nice collection of 19th century art in Bohemia. I really liked the collection they had. Some of those paintings were incredible. Finally, we quickly saw an exhibit about the History of Prague Castle. Sadly, by that time we were completely exhausted, so we rushed through it.

As we left the castle, we popped into a section of the Royal Gardens. Then, we headed off to lunch. We went to a very nice place that one of the hostel workers had recommended to us. Of course, we had traditional Czech food. And, if you're in the Czech Republic, then you have to do like the locals and enjoy some fine pivo (beer). Yum!.... although, I did like the Hungarian dumplings better.

After lunch, we were feeling a bit refreshed and walked over to a very nice park. Along the way, we did a bit of wandering through the lovely streets of Prague. I have to say, the city is beautiful. It's got great architecture and nice little streets where you can lose yourself. The people are another story. They're not as friendly as in other cities. And they just give a general impression that is not welcoming.

The park itself is up on a hill, so we had to climb a bit. It was nice and relaxing up there, but walking all over that castle complex and wandering the streets had made us very, very tired. So, we called it a day and took the tram back to the hostel.

This is an edit done by Sam...

Brenda forgot to mention that after the castle we walked around an area of Prague called Little Town. Believe it or not Prague was once actually all different cities that have now been put together. There's the castle town, little town, old town and new town (not very new actually) . Well in little town we passed by The Church of Infant of Prague (this part is entirely for you Aileen) we did not get to see the garments collection because it was quite late and it was closed by the time we noticed it. We did get to talk to a Carmelite Priest who even blessed us, so that was cool. He was from India but actually spoke English and Spanish very well.
We did see the Infant of Prague dressed in a very nice outfit and lots of pilgrims who came to pay him a visit. (for all my friends from San Juan Bosco please tell Jose that I couldn't buy him the rosary of divine mercy because i couldn't find it but i bought him one of the Infant of Prague)

Well that was my edit, stay tuned for more on Prague or Praha as it's called here.

Posted by wetabixkid 11:32 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Praha here we come!

Good-bye Mel

semi-overcast 75 °F
View Eastern Europe on wetabixkid's travel map.

On our last day in Olomouc, we woke up late and packed up our stuff. It's really annoying jamming everything into the backpack again, especially when you keep adding items of clothing to your inventory. Earlier on in the trip, we had to buy shorts and tank tops because it was so hot. In Olomouc, we had to buy a light sweater because the weather is crazy and it started to get chilly.

Once we got to the train station, we found the train pretty easily and boarded. The ride was kind of boring. I mostly read a new book (since I finished that horse one) called "Temple." It involves Incans, ancient statues, guns, and evil Nazis. lol.

Once we got to Prague, we found the hostel fairly easily. I tell you, we're getting better at this whole navigating thing. The hostel, Sir Toby's, is very different from all the ones we've stayed in so far. Whereas all the other ones were small and everyone (except in the first hostel Cheers) was friendly, this hostel is huge. It literally occupies a whole building. 5 stories... well 6 or 7 (I'm not sure) if you count the ground floor and the basement. It has a pub, which is sadly pretty dead all the time.

We didn't really do anything that day except eat at a nearby restaurant. The hostel is not near the center of town, so you have to take the tram to the center and we were too tired to do anything about it. We had a yummy dinner and then did some laundry before heading to bed.

Boring day, but you need those every once in a while when you're travelling for so long.

Posted by wetabixkid 11:02 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

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