Friday, January 2, 2015

Bohemian Rhapsody, Part Three: Easy Come, Easy Go

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the room.... Sadie refused to sleep.

I had found an English-speaking Anglican church in Prague that I thought we could go to, but what with Sadie going to sleep late, then waking up at 2am and not going back to sleep until 5am... that didn't work out. We got up pretty late on Christmas, and I walked around to find some pastries for breakfast. Our plan for the day was to go to the castle complex, which included several different buildings.

We headed up the hill on a crowded tram and got our tickets. We first went into the St. Vitus' Cathedral, which is really pretty. There are parts of it that are quite old, although as I was trying to look at the sign that described how old the different parts were, Sadie decided she didn't want to be in there. You also aren't allowed to take pictures inside most of the buildings, so I didn't get any, but I will post this picture from Wikipedia of Mucha's stained glass window, because it's really cool and different and you can just tell it's Mucha.

We also went into the castle where we walked up lots of stairs and got a surprise--the actual window from the Defenestration of Prague! Again, I could not take a picture, but there were signs by the window that probably just meant don't get too close, but which we took to mean "don't throw people out."

There was also a sort of quaint little street with shops (which seemed to formerly be houses) that sold various upscale touristy stuff. I went into a little bookshop to buy some postcards and realized from the signage on the inside that it was a house where Kafka had once lived. Since it was outside, I could take a picture!

We got some more Trdelnik and then ate a sort of late lunch/early dinner at the place where we had wanted to go the previous night. Sadie was again pretty well behaved once she could eat.

Oh, I also took this picture of the subway station because I thought it looked cool:

So we went back the hotel and got to Skype with our families. Here is Sadie lookin' cute on Skype.

We decided to make it an early night, since the next day was our last day and we wanted to get up early so we could do a few things before heading to the airport.

So, on the last day, Friday, we wanted to see the Old New Synagogue, in the Jewish Quarter. This is where a golem was allegedly made; the building is also like a thousand years old. To go in, Hunter had to wear a yarmulke, which was provided at the entrance. It's possible to get a ticket to see all of the Jewish-museum related sites, including the Old Jewish Cemetery, but it's all kind of expensive, so we just went into the synagogue. I think I've only been in one synagogue before, and I don't really remember the layout, so I'm not sure if this was standard, but the seats were all around a sort of central area, which was interesting.

After the synagogue, we went to the medieval art museum. It was pretty cool, because even though we had seen medieval art before, a lot of the things in the museum had sort of different themes or styles. There were a lot of Saints Wenceslas, Barbara and Catherine, a lot of "Mary Expectant," and several paintings had a weird shield with a face. There were also some more familiar themes, but those were the things that stood out to me.

We didn't have much time left at that point, so we had lunch (Indian food, because we were a bit burnt out on dumplings), and made our way to the airport.

In some of the cities we've been to (I'm looking at you, Bruges), it seemed like we exhausted all of the main attractions in just a few days. But with Prague, I feel like we could go back and see lots of things we didn't see before. It's a really pretty city, with lots of intact old architecture (although you do also see the occasional grey soviet brick). I'm sure I had other observations about the city, but nothing really important I can recall now.

If anyone has any questions, though, I'd be happy to answer in a future post!

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