Prague Blog: The Bohemian Rhapsody

Czech it out!  Okay…I’m done with the cheekiness.  Or should I say Czechiness?  Ha ha, I’m so punny!

Thomas and I ventured to Prague.  It was beautiful and fun.  But first things first:

Thomas had a birthday.  Here are the “before” pictures of his 21st birthday.  Ole Martin has the “after” pictures, so I can’t post them here, but let’s just say Thomas had a few more injuries in Ole Martin’s pictures than he does in mine.

The first of many Jager shots. Hence why Thomas actually looks excited about it.

It looks like Thomas is ordering people around.

I would just like to point out that I ruled at this drinking game, probably due to the fact that I hate Jager and was the most sober person there.  Or the fact that I’m obviously genetically superior to all of humankind.  Either way.

I actually do have one “after” picture of the night.  This was after Thomas wrecked his bike, we went to the bar, and everyone went their separate ways.  George and I walked Thomas home, but Thomas really was not interested in walking home.  He much preferred to sit on the bridge of the canal and “watch the tide come in.”  It was quite funny, and I tried to document the “tide,” but was not so successful at that.

Finally we started walking back home, and Thomas took us on a little detour which was different from the normal way to get home.  I saw the road where I needed to turn to get back to my house, so I left George in charge of Thomas and went home.  The next morning I woke up to a Facebook message from George saying that he had lost Thomas on the way home and he tried calling him but he didn’t answer.  So George just went to bed.  I, being the concerned girl of the group, thought that was probably not a good thing so I spent the morning trying to find Thomas.  It turns out that he got home alright.  So all is well!  Haha.

Okay, Prague.  I have wanted to go to Prague for a while now, and it was one of the main places I knew I had to see in Europe.  The Norwegians had already gone to Prague in January and they did not want to go again, so Thomas and I went without them.  We decided to take a bus from Amsterdam to Prague because we are the cheapest people in the world, and we booked our tickets a long time ago, as you might remember from my excited blog update.  The bus ride to Prague was 14 hours each way, and I was definitely a little hesitant about it.  Thomas was excited, but Thomas is like the happiest person in the world.  So it’s no surprise that a long, uncomfortable bus ride seemed fantastic to him.  I, on the other hand, knew it was going to suck.  Thomas suggested that we should  combat the suckiness by eating space cakes right before the bus ride, and I, of course, thought this was a brilliant plan as well.

Our bus left at 10:30 pm on Friday, because it is a weird system where a bus only leaves a place like twice per week, at really random times.  Anyway, Thomas was in charge of getting the space cakes, and when we met at the bus station he told me that the girl who sold them to him told him that their space cakes were really meant for two people.  “Great!” Thomas said, “I’ll take two.”  The coffeeshop girl gave him a funny look, probably because she thought he was the most intense stoner in the world.  We ate our spacecakes and got on the bus.  About thirty minutes or an hour into the trip, I was super high.  The idea behind the space cakes was that they would make us sleep on the bus easier.  However, I could not tell if I was sleeping and dreaming or just having really awesome thoughts.  Thomas and I would fall asleep, wake up, look at each other and giggle, and fall asleep again.

The scariest part of the night, and of my life, was when Thomas woke me up out of sound sleep to tell me the German passport police were on board and I needed to get my passport out.  I gave the scary German man my passport, and I was good to go.  However, the police were questioning a man behind us and a guy about our age in front of us.  The man behind us was African I think, but he kept saying, “That’s not drugs, that’s foodstuffs!”  The guy in front of us was getting yelled at by three police officers, I think.  I could not really hear what they were saying, but I know they said, “You think that’s funny?” a lot.  The police officers took the guy off the bus for I think about ten minutes.  At this point, I did not really have any concept of time so it could have been much longer.  Or shorter.  Anyway, this whole time I am freaking out because I am high out of my mind.  I thought that the police officers were going to make Thomas and me throw up our brownies and arrest us for having drugs in our system.  I also thought our bus was going to take off and leave the confiscated guy in the middle-of-nowhere Germany with very scary police officers.  Obviously, none of that happened.  I did have an awesome thought about who invented passports, though.  It was deep.  The guy got back on the bus, we drove on, and I fell asleep again.

We arrived in Prague at 12:30 in the afternoon the next day, and the bus ride made us feel totally hungover and tired.  We wandered around the bus station for a while because we could not figure out where to go.  We had a map, but we did not know which direction was north, so it was not very useful.  Finally we figured it out and made it to our hostel, and we only got lost like five times on the way.  Our hostel was called Old Prague Hostel and it was right in the city center.  I can’t really remember what we did when we first got to Prague, because I was so tired I could not even think straight.  I do know that we went foraging for food, but everything seemed so expensive.  We found this place called Bohemia Bagel, which seemed pretty sweet, especially since they had a menu in English, and we ate there.  Then we went back to our hostel and wasted the rest of our first day in Prague by taking a three-hour nap. 

We woke up and I think we went to Bohemia Bagel for dinner.  We seriously went there so many times while in Prague.  It started out as pathetic and kind of stalker-ish because it was the only place we could depend on to have normal priced food and an English menu, but then it turned into sort of a tradition.  Anyway, this particular time at Bohemia Bagel Thomas went to the bathroom and came out with a mini toothbrush.  I guess in the bathrooms there were condom dispensing-type machines, only with mini toothbrushes instead of condoms.  Here is Thomas and his toothbrush:

It came with mini toothpaste!

After dinner we went out to drink.  We went to this one bar, which was okay but I did not really like the atmosphere.  However, we asked the bartender for good places with live music and he got out this whole list of bars and circled the good ones.  It was really helpful.  We went to one he recommended called Chapeau Rouge because the description of that night’s events said it was “Old School Funky Hip Hop Night.”  Uh, hell yes.  This sounded like the epitome of all I’ve ever wanted in a bar.  Thomas was not so excited, but he is from NY/NJ so he can handle some old school hip hop now and then.  We went to Chapeau Rouge and drank huge beers for what I think was the equivalent of 1 Euro each.  The problem with that was that it made us really full, so we could not drink as much as humanly possible.  Which I think is the goal of every Prague tourist.  Anyway, I had a great time.  The music was really good and the place definitely proved that Michael Jackson brings people together.  EVERY time one of his songs came on, the whole bar cheered.  Thomas was embarrassed by me.  Also, he was embarrassed because I made us take a picture of ourselves to prove that we were in Prague.  I only took one the whole trip so he can get over it!  Here it is, the infamous Myspace pic:

The next day we went and did all the touristy stuff, which included the Prague Astronomical Clock, the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and the grounds of Prague Castle and the churches around there.  I’m linking the wikipedia pages to these things simply because we had no idea about the history behind any of it, but we went because as a tourist in Prague you are supposed to go to these sites.  So we went.  And we still have no idea the significance of any of it.

The Astronomical Clock is actually a rather funny story.  I had heard that there was a famous clock in Prague, so when Thomas and I got to Prague and talked about what to do, I said we should probably see the famous clock.  Also, Thomas and I did not prepare whatsoever for this trip.  We were just wingin’ it, hence, why we had no plan of what to see or do.  Anyway, back  to the clock.  We accidentally stumbled upon it the first time, as it is kind of hard to miss considering the crowds.  I still don’t know why it is famous, other than the fact that it is kind of a good looking clock.  But we seriously ran into that clock more than we went to Bohemia Bagel, which is saying something.  It seemed that every time we got lost or did not know where to go, we just went back to the clock.  It was like our lighthouse or something.  The whole “famous clock” thing also got more and more ridiculous the more we kept going back to it.  I kept making up stories about how this clock is the most accurate clock ever created, or  how all clocks are set to the time of this one, or how it was voted “Most Beautiful Clock” by the Clockmakers of the World Association.  It got pretty ludicrous, but I had a good time.  Here is the damn clock, in all its glory:

And here are pictures of the square where the clock is located:

Two of the main things that Prague is famous for are the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.  Thomas and I went to both of those things, and there is not much to say about either of them except that they were obviously beautiful and pretty interesting.

Welcome to the Ol' Chuck Bridge

View of Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge was under construction (what?  Europe under construction?  never!) but I don’t really think it detracted from anything.  The best part of the bridge is the view from it anyway, so who cares if the bridge itself is being worked on?  I thought this picture of ancient statues surrounded by modern construction was quite interesting.  I’m so avant garde, what can I say?

Views walking up to Prague Castle (and by up I mean up a big ass, steep hill):

Gorgeous view of Prague's beautiful skyline

Pictures of the castle and castle grounds:

Gates to the castle grounds. I suck at taking pictures.

Church right by the Castle

More churches

You couldn’t take pictures inside the castle because you have to have a special picture-taking permit.  But it’s not like you have to be a journalist or something to get it.  You just have to pay for it.  And that is a rip-off, so I protested.  By not taking pictures.  We could take pictures inside the church, though.

This was the Alphonse Mucha stained glass window in the church, which I did not realize when I took this picture.  I only found out later that night when we went to the Alphonse Mucha museum.  More on that in a bit.

This was my attempt to sneakily document the nuns that were visiting the church by pretending like I was actually taking a picture of Thomas taking a picture.  But really, I was trying to take a picture of the nuns.  I don’t know why, but I found it extremely funny that nuns would visit a Catholic church.  Like…don’t they get enough of it on a daily basis?  Since those two people got in my way, I bit the bullet and took what was probably an obvious nun-capturing picture.

This is a picture I accidentally took of my coat and purse strap.  But I saw it and thought it looked cool.  So I kept it and put it on the blog.  I do what I want.

Statue on the Castle Grounds

Thomas could not understand why I was so set on taking a picture of this strange statue.  I waited like five minutes for people to get off it so I could document this.  I mean, it’s weird, but is it really worth taking a picture?  Uh, yes.  I have to add it to my collection of giant Dark Mark statue pictures.  The first being this awesome glittering skull in the Chicago Vistitors Center:

Vacation with the Parents, Summer '07! Haha

Okay, back to Prague.  My camera batteries died soon after the skull picture, so I don’t have any more pictures of Prague.  But basically, we went to a couple of museums and drank some more.

The first museum we went to was the Alphonse Mucha Museum, which I really wanted to go to so I dragged Thomas along.  Mucha has been one of my favorite artists since high school, so I was really excited to learn that he was from the Czech Republic (before it was the Czech Republic, of course) and there was a  museum in Prague with a lot of his work in it.  Mucha was one of the biggest Art Nouveau artists, so I’m sure you all are familiar with his work, but you might not have realized it was his.  The museum was a good size–not too big so that you get tired and bored by the end, but not too small so you feel like you wasted your money.  I was actually surprised to see how amazing Mucha’s art was up close, because I figured it would look a lot like the prints that I have always seen.  But his paintings and drawings were much bigger than the prints, which allowed us to see details that get lost in reproductions.  I also learned a lot about Mucha, including how he was very proud of his Czechoslovakian nationality and devoted a lot of his art in his later life to this theme.  I would most definitely recommend the Mucha museum to anyone visiting Prague.  I would also recommend you go Wikipedia him right now and look at his art, because he is a badass.

The next day, we were scheduled to get on the bus to Amsterdam at 5 PM, so we spent the day at Bohemia Bagel (surprise, surprise!) and at Prague’s Natural History Museum.  The museum was a little too big for my taste.  As in, they had four rooms dedicated to rocks and minerals.  The first thousand rocks or so were fine, but after that, one tends to lose his or her desire to look at geodes.  The best part of the museum, in my opinion, were the descriptions in English.  They had a big exhibit about artifacts found in the region that dated from prehistoric times.  First of all, a lot of their “artifacts” looked like random rocks and dirt clods, even though one pile was labeled “toys for children” and one was labeled “tools” or something.  I’m so cynical about prehistory.  Anyway, the funniest part of the exhibit was a pile of rocks sharpened to be knives.  The actual knives were not funny, but the English description read “Hoard of Blades.”  It is very odd to see something other than killer bees or vandals called a “hoard,” let alone an innocent pile of Neanderthal knives.  I decided that Thomas and I should start a heavy metal band called Hoard of Blades, and our logo could be a picture from the museum exhibit.

We rode back to Amsterdam, and the passport police got on board three times.  But it was not scary at all because we had no space cakes this time.  All in all, Prague was gorgeous and I had a great time.

You know what is not a fun time?  Updating this blog.  It takes like two weeks for me to make a substantial update because I talk too much and uploading pictures takes soooooooo long.  It is a waste of my life.  So I am going to change the format.  I am going to upload all the pictures to Facebook and then only put a select few good ones on here.  Also, I am tired of writing posts like, “I did this.  And then I walked here and did this.  Then I slept.  Then I woke up.”  Because that is boring to me, so I am sure you guys are bored senseless reading it.  I want to transition this blog into a more readable one, meaning that I want to write things like “Top 10” lists or brief musings rather than my life story every single post.  I also want to spend less time describing what I am doing and spend more time writing about what I am thinking about or what I want to talk about.  For example, I am in classes where we talk about the Netherlands’ problems with immigration and integration and I would like to write about my thoughts on the subject and see what you guys think about it, but I can’t because I am too busy telling you what I ate for lunch and how long I slept last night.  I am worse than Twitter.  So anyway, this blog should change a little bit but I hope you will still read it.

In other news, I get my American hair and beauty products in less than a week!  Oh, and my mom and aunt are coming to bring them.  Just kidding, girls!  I am super excited to kick it with them.  I have missed my family a lot so it will be good to see them.  <3

Since coming to Europe, I have become a picture taker.  Back home, I hardly knew where my camera was, let alone actually using it to take pictures.  Now I am that annoying person who always has the camera out, documenting things.  But hey, I am the only girl in the group.  The boys are not going to take pictures of our random activities, and somebody has to do it.  Anyway, usually I am all about the candid pics, but for this one I actually made the boys pose and smile after one of our Thursday dinner nights.  From left to right (as if you all don’t know my friends already): Thomas, Magnus, Ole Martin, and Oystein.

Okay, bye.

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3 responses to “Prague Blog: The Bohemian Rhapsody

  1. leeanne dollins

    don’t stop blogging…we love reading about your adventures and you throw in enough random musings so we know what’s on your mind. I had been meaning to ask you what a space cake was, now i know, and in the immortal words of Tim Gunn: “This worries me” You should be in total control when traveling 14 hours on a bus in a foreign country! Save the space cake for familiar territory! The pictures of Prague are gorgeous!

  2. Mary,

    I must admit, I did not know what a space cake was and I had to google it. Stay away from the space cakes chica! Anyhoo, love the pics and the blog–please don’t stop writing. The stained glass is beautiful! Enjoy the time with your mom and Aunt Kelly. Miss you!

    Becky

  3. Don’t stop blogging, please…. It is one of my greatest joys in life. I knew what a space cake was, and your mom is right, you do need to be in control when traveling. It would have probably been better after your busride, but then you would have been even more paranoid. What are the passport police looking for, do people try to sneak around over there, or what? Are the space cakes only legal in Amsterdam? The clock was beautiful, as were the other photos. I’m glad you’re a picture taker now, sorry they take so long to load! Have you started teaching english yet? I would love to read your thoughts about your studys and things, you always make it interesting, never boring. Hope you have fun with you Mom and Aunt Kelly. I can’t wait to hear about Easter from there!

    Love and kisses and hugs!
    Your favorite aunt (behind Kelly) Linda

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