I remember when I thought people in their 20’s were adults. Now all of my friends are in their 20’s and everybody is just kind of fumbling around bumping into each other, trying to figure out where the free food is……
so that’s pretty much what I’m expecting to experience for the next like 10 years.
the accuracy of this post is alarming.
Yesterday was quit a journey; one adventure after another. I had an early rainy waking up at 6:30 eating breakfast at 7 and meeting with my friends Brooke and Alec at 7:30. We decided that it would be different to rent a car and travel to the country side of the Czech Republic to see a new part of the country that we wouldn’t be able to get to with public transportation. Now, I do not know a lot about cars, but Brooke and Alec are very big into cars. We ended up renting a Mercedes that I did not drive because it was a stick shift. They said if they were going to drive round the country they wanted to feel the power of the car. I love to drive and all, but even if it was an automatic I would not have driven. We are in another country for god sakes!
After gathering forgotten belongings and buying car snacks, we headed for the country side. As soon as we got through the city the view was beautiful. The first thing we notices was yellow patches of flowers. We are still unsure of what their purpose is, but they have to be used for something because there are so many patches of these tall yellow flowers. There is probably just as much farm land as there are these yellow patches. Once we realized that these must be important to the agriculture, we had to get out of the car and take some pictures. So, we simply pulled to the side of the road, hopped over a tiny creek, and soaked in the beauty.
We decided not to plan the entire day detail for detail. The whole idea was to drive around, get a little lost, and see the beautiful sights the country side has to offer. Still, we had a destination we wanted to eventually get to. This place is called Bohemian Paradise, and is exactly how it sounds. Our professor had suggested this eleven mile hike to us because it is simply breathtaking. Let me go back a little bit, because I am getting ahead of myself. We wanted to take back roads instead of the high way because the point was to enjoy the view. Luckily, Brooke brought her iPad to use the map and navigation on it, so we did know where we were in that respect and were able to navigate to the places we wanted or needed to go. Taking the back roads was fun because we went through many different towns that probably had less than a hundred people in each. The small houses and rustic feel to the architecture was absolutely adorable. Driving through these towns we ended up finding part of Bohemian Paradise by accident. So, we got out of the car and started to walk. To give you a perspective of how small these towns are, we had to pay to use the bathroom due to the expense of flushing the toilet. Yeah we were in the middle of no where.
Like I said before, this place is eleven miles of trails, forest, rocks, stones, everything nature has thrown in there. Sure, we were hiking in a forest which you can do anywhere in the US, but there was something different about this place. The trees were skinny and ginormous! The way the sun was beating down through the leaves of the trees created such a picturesque scene. In these woods I felt like I was a part of nature. It was a very different experience compared to hiking in the US. After hiking about four miles, we decided it was time for lunch. O our way out we saw the most beautiful view of the country on the top of a mountain, so we stopped and took a bunch of pictures.
We wanted a very authentic Czech restaurant. We thought since there was very little civilization around this would be easy to find. We were right, but they spoke basically no English. I was slightly uncomfortable because I know how to say hi and thank you in Czech, but that is about it. Thankfully for technology, Brooke had a translation app on her iPad that allowed us to some what communicate to the waitress where we basically asked what she recommended and that is what we all ordered. W all got pork with sautéed onions, fresh vegetables, and French fries. It was delicious! Afterwards we walked across the street to get ice cream. They have the smallest scoops on the planet. It was one dollar for two scoops but I wish I had huge scoops because it was so delicious. I almost went back for another.
While we were hiking we saw a concrete structure in the distance that we only assumed was a castle. We knew as soon as we saw it that it had to be our next destination. So, we traveled towards this castle, which was the best decision we made all day. We drove up a winding dirt road to get towards to top of the towers. There was a small parking lot where we parked the car and began our mile hike up to the very too of the towers. We had to pay to climb the stairs to the top of this castle, but it was the equivalent of one dollar and twenty five cents. I honestly would have paid twenty dollars. We climbed a bunch of stairs until we were literally on the top of these towers that used to be part of this castle. The view was indescribable. You could look in every direction and see the farm land, the yellow flower patches, and tiny towns. you could hear sheep that were grazing in a farm a little ways in the distance. the Czech Republic is the most green place i have ever seen. It was honestly the best view we saw all day. I wanted to stay forever, but we had to head back to Prague.
On our drive back we really wanted to find some stores to do a little shopping in, and after a frustrating hunt we finally found a mall. This wasn’t just any mall. This was the biggest mall I have ever seen. Just to put it in perspective, there was a full size grocery store in the mall. Which was also the biggest grocery store I have ever seen. They do it big in Czech. We only had forty five minutes, but Brooke and I were up for the challenge to hit as many stores in as little time. We quickly learned that like everything else, they had quality clothing for cheap prices. I ended up buying a tan leather jacket, a black long sleeved shirt, and a cross body purse. It was bitter sweet returning the car and trucking back into the city of Prague.
I ended my day getting some take out pasta, that made me feel like I ordered Chinese food from the container it was in. I ate on my own and packed because I was leaving for Turkey the next day. I enjoyed the time alone to soak everything in that has been going on and get to bed early. I was dead asleep by eleven!
I never would have thought that one of the places I would go in Prague is the zoo. I didn’t even know they had a zoo here. Our professor suggested if we all have time to go see it, that we should take the time to go. So, we took his advice and formed a group to go to the zoo! It took us about forty five minutes to get there, so it was a good thing we left at nine. We took the train and then a bus, which was an experience on its own. Once we got there it was sigh of relief. For some reason our group decided to put me in charge of getting there. I tried to explain to them I was directionally challenged, but I guess they wanted to challenge me. I was so proud when we got there and didn’t get lost! I was with my roommate Ruby and our friends Jess, Alex, Natalie, and Sabra. It was a smaller group, but it was better that way.
Apparently the zoo is the seventh best in the entire world. That is what the pamphlet said, and it does not surprise me Zoo Praha got that title. (Praha is what the locals call Prague. They do not refer to the city as Prague at all. Even the signs say Praha on them!) the exhibits were very well put together, the animals were well beautiful, the park was clean, and the views were breathtaking. At one point we reached the polar bears and if you looked to the right you could see the entire city of Prague. The same went for the giraffes. They had a huge area for them to roam around and in the background was Prague. No big deal. Just the entire city in the background. The animals have better views of Prague then we do at our hotel. Talk about living large. My favorite animals were the spider monkeys, the elephants, and the gorillas. It was surprising how well trained the animals were because a lot of them, obviously not the dangerous or very large animals, were blocked off by a tiny fence. I literally could have walked over the fence and played with the spider monkeys. There was a new baby gorilla and elephant that have been born this year and we got to see both! It was so cool to see them interacting with the rest of their family or pack. The gorillas were surreal. I felt bad because I noticed how human like they are. I believe in the evolution theory, and it felt like I was watching a human stuck in a cage. The way the leader of the pack would scratch his face, blink, turn his head, even yawn, was so human like I almost didn’t believe it. The coolest part of the zoo is the way to get around. So, since the zoo is so big part of the zoo is at the top of a hill and the other is at e bottom. The easiest way to get from the top to the bottom is to take what I can only describe as an individual ski lift. We were hesitant to take it at first, but it was so fun and gave us a good laugh. Overall the zoo was a really fun time, and it was well worth the trip up there.
After the zoo we were starving and just wanted to hang out. We went to a cafe we have been to before because they are that good. Their sandwiches are simply amazing and their desserts are even better. We took the food back to the hotel, changed into our Jammie’s, and ate our food. After about two hours we decided to do a little shopping. We traveled across the Charles Bridge which was built when Charles IV was in power. We found the cutest little shops and bought some souvineers. For dinner we walked past a card e called Jo’s and the smell attracted us to it. Before going in for dinner we walked around the city, which is actually a castle. Basically the entire side of the river is part of the castle that is now used for tourist and local purposes. Getting lost in the city is the best way to spend your time. You find e best places and have really great conversations.
After spending two hours in the restaurant and enjoying the best ribs and roasted potatoes I have ever had, we decided to go up to the observatory. I had read about it online and knew I had to go. For two dollars we got to enjoy the sights of the sky. The cutest boy I have seen in Prague so far was on the first room, and he showed us a few double starts and open clusters. It was so cool to see the starts up close using these huge high tech telescopes. The second room was where they were observing Saturn which was unreal. It literally looked fake. You could see Saturn’s rings and all. It was so spectacular! We spent two hours there with the cutie and the stars which was just perfect. We just hung out for the rest of the night and had a few laughs. I am really enjoying this trip with my new friends. I didn’t know anyone going on the trip, so it’s awesome we have all connected and become friends.
On Tuesday I woke up an hour before breakfast came because I was so hungry. I only got about four hours of sleep, but I was wide awake ready to start my day. As soon as there was a knock on the door I jumped up to answer it and eat breakfast! What a great start to the day. We met with our group at ten in order to tour the castle in Prague. First we had to buy our train tickets because it was about eight stops from the bridge, which was a couple of miles. The train ride was fun because it reminded me of the t in Boston, but it was all above ground. The train rides on the street with the cars, so it follows the street lights and everything. It was a very interesting ride. The train winded through the roads to the top of a hill where the castle was located. We did a brief history of the castle in a class room before we toured the place. It was a little boring to be honest. It was like a tease. We were right there by the castle, but we could not go and explore yet. Finally, it was time to tour the castle.
It was a brief tour, but it was beautiful. There is a cathedral in the center of the castle that is breathtaking. The outside has so much gold accenting the beautiful architecture. There is a clock that is the main attraction to tourists, and it makes sense because of its beauty. In order to leave we had to walk down this huge staircase that had a nice view going all the way to the bottom of the hill. On the stairs there were people playing violins, guitars, and painting different Prague scenes.
Our next stop was a tower that overlooks the entire city. The tower is a replica of the top of the Eiffel Tower. It is not nearly as big, but it is a replica of the structure. You have to take a tram up to the top of a hill where the tower sits. We walked through a huge garden that reminded me of the Public Gardens, and then we had to climb the stairs to the top of the tower. That was a definite work out, but it was worth it. You could honestly see the entire city from the tower. It was so green and the buildings were so colorful. There are no words to give the view justice, and I am so happy we got to go up there and see what Prague is all about.
It was a very scenic day filled with nothing but beauty.