Prague was amazing. It is exactly what you think Europe looks like before you go to Europe. In reality Europe looks like New York, Chicago, or Montana (depending on where you are). Prague however looks as though someone put a cap over it in the 1500s and said "oh no, you´re not going anywhere." The city is divided into parts, old town, new town, lesser town. In the center of old town is the town square, complete with working glockenspiel (that´s clocktower for the uninitiated). The roofs of the buildings surround the square soar skyward with towers and horse drawn carriages cross back and forth across the cobble stones. It´s here that I met up with Beth and Jocelyn from the program and Jocelyn´s friend Becky. The girls took me on a tour of town beginning in the old town. We walked down "Paris Street" which is where all the designer stores are and the Czech celebrities live. Then we crossed over the People´s bridge into the lesser town. We walked along the river and had a view of the castle which the girls informed me was disappointing since the castle merely consists of a wall surrounding a cathedral. Still neither Paris nor Barcelona has a castle dating from the 1500s overlooking the town...it´s VERY European. I mean America has no castles except the one Hearst built and really if royalty doesn´t live there can it really be called a castle? After dinner we crossed back over on the Charles Bridge which is the most famous bridge in Prague. It´s lined with statues and artists. There was even a Bohemian Band playing on the bridge arch (I don´t know the real word for that thing). I had reserved tickets to see Don Giovanni (an opera written by Mozart in Prague for the Czech since he had renounced his citizenship and decided to become Czech) performed by marionettes (Prague has the oldest marionette theatre in the world). But when I went to pick up my tickets, the box office I had ordered from was closed so I didn´t get to see that which was a little disappointing. Instead I went to the girls hotel and we all got ready to go out. We went to a bar first and met Batman. Okay so he probably wasn´t really Batman, but he was in the batsuit. He was the Welsch guy who´s getting married in 2 weeks and him and all his friends were in Prague for his stag party. After we went to this 5 story dance club which was fun but hoootttt and there were all these weird people there. There was a group of teenage guys who were dancing with each other topless on a platform. There was this other guy who couldn´t seem to keep his pants on to save his life - every time we turned around he was in his briefs, and he kept pulling those down too.
The next morning I was on my own so I went to the Jewish quarter. It was amazing!!!! There are these synagogues that date from the 1500s and they´ve turned 5 of them into the Jewish museum which tells the history of the Jews in Bohemia. It was so meaningful to me to be in these buildings because I´d been going in and out of cathedrals this entire trip and had never been in a European Synagogue. My favorite was the Spanish Synagogue which was domed and covered in tile mosaic. There was another that was dedicated to all the Jews in Bohemia who were deported to concentration camps and the synagogue walls were just covered in names from ceiling to floor. Except one room which was dedicated to the art work of the children who had died in the Terezin camp. There was even a Jewish cemetary dating back to the 1400s. It wasn´t a beautiful as the Salzburg cemetary, but it had a lot more significance to me. I spent the rest of the day picking up gifts for people(Crystal and Amber are the big things here and everything was soooo gorgeous). I met up with Becky at the clock tower and was able to witness something VERY special. A window fell out of the tower! Metal and glass and everything. We don´t know what happened, but its sure to be a story for tour guides. We went to the Natural History Museum of Prague and learned all about Taiwan...... I´m an expert. We thought it was going to be the history of Prague, and I guess it was in a way....but it was like a small creepy version of the Smithsonian. They had skeletons that were curled up in boxes with dirt all over the place and rocks and minerals and stuffed animals which I guess is the history of Prague....but not really the history we were looking for. Overall it was wonderful there. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had to get back.