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Sunday, April 24, 2011

PRAGUE AND CZECH REPUBLIC PHOTOS CAN BE FOUND HERE.



Traveler's Tip: Walmart bags. The ones from Walmart are a bit bigger than normal plastic bags you get and fairly sturdy. Bring a few of these. They are useful for storing dirty (or clean) clothing in. Also, a few of the places I've been in do 'a bag of laundry for X amount'. This gives you extra laundry done at the same charge.



BRNO FIASCO

Tom told us that (rather than going to Brno) he was interested in doing some film/music festival in Prague instead and would not be following the original Brno plan. Film and music festivals make me want to hurt small animals rather than going to one but being that I've only got less than a week left with my traveling companions (and have already bought a ticket out of Prague) I am thinking that I must endure this rather than striking out on my own. I am so burned out on Prague...

We spent a night sitting in my favorite (and pretty expensive) bar trying to plan. It is difficult not to let my choleric nature take over when dealing with everyone else who are all phlegmatics. It still crept out several times but I did my best to try to keep it and my frustration at the situation reigned in. I'm not very good at patience. I like sticking with what seemed to be a solid plan but everyone else didn't really feel like following through with it. I suspect that this will mean more wandering around in Prague and me being tortured with 'culture'.

We had thought we had another night in the hostel we were staying in but they double booked us. This means they returned the money we'd paid and told us 'good luck'. Note that during holidays (like Easter) the rates on rooms are nearly double. When it is a major holiday, get the fuck out of big, touristy cities! Many of the only available places Pete could find were $400-$500 per night (for 2, presumably). I had thought ahead of time getting a room in Prague would be tricky but was not believed. Several of the hotel places we talked to said "Prague is overbooked." It is worse than even I had thought.

I suspect we may end up crashing for two nights in Jana's parents home. Jana assures me that they will not hear my snoring but Pete is not so sure. He believes it may set off car alarms in the area and cause expectant mothers to miscarry. And if Jana's parents hear the snoring, they may light the house on fire to get rid of the 'demons'. Personally, I'd be delighted to stay there. We could bring them some groceries or something to say thanks. Or a coocoo clock if Pete is feeling extravigant. I think staying there would accomplish three goals:

a) mollify me for not getting to go to Brno.
b) get to meet Jana's parents.
c) get to see a unique window into Czech life.

Note: There is more to this story than is here - you are getting it 'as it happens' - more in the next exciting edition.



CURRENT CAST OF CHARACTERS

Mariana - best friend of Jana. Currently working on on her masters degree and working in an internship.

Jan - Jana's brother. Age 18 - currently in high school and does strategy computer games well enough to be in national competitions. He is a really laid back individual and pretty knowledgable about Prague unlike his sister. I wanted to thank Jan for taking the time to meet up with us and do some good tour guiding around the city with us. It was also interesting to watch his interaction with beer, being that he is 18. In the USA, for 18 year olds, beer is a special thing they must consume massive quantites of (and throw up, etc) in order to prove their manhood. To him, it was just another drink. He didn't seem to take any special pleasure or displeasure in it. I am not sure if his attitude is typical of the younger crowd here with regards to drinking or if it was just his laid back personality.

Tomash - brother of Mirianna

Tomash (2) - guy from Brno who was going to take us to enjoy Brno but instead decided to stay in Prague for film/music festival. Note, due to a girl he met, this later changed again. Women can assist men in missing 'culture'! Woot! More here later.

Eva - friend of Jana. She is a medical student who gave me as solid of medical advice (or more so) than I seem to get from the VA doctors I was seeing regarding the pains in my leg. Her thoughts were it was perhaps a pinched nerve or something to do with my back. She said that the burning sensation in my leg should be monitored. It the leg was discolored or bruised looking I should seek medical help. Fortunately, it looks fine. Given my past experience with medical doctors and the feeling they are absolutely useless unless giving out pills or stopping free flowing blood, I'm going to keep going and just 'tough it out'. The current thinking is that my new exercise and such is messing with my body but hopefully the pain will decrease eventually. Compared to in the states, I am getting one hell of a work out. Daily. [For all of you who are worried, yes, I am keeping an eye on my health and will seek medical attention if it gets too bad.]



PRAGUE CASTLE

We saw 'Prague Castle' which wasn't a castle and a cathedrial there named 'Vit'. It is impressive and has a lot of nice stained glass windows. The Aethists don't go there. There were also some 'small houses' which were suppose to be very interesting near the castle. We saw a picture of them because the actual houses were closed for renovation. We also saw Tourist Bridge (Charles Bridge) which seemed to be made out of tourists and people selling tourist shit (knicknacks, charactures, etc - in other words, complete crap). There are many statues along the bridge. Local legend has it that if the city is ever in trouble, the statues will come to life and run away.

The whole 'Prague Castle' is over run with tourists and a huge tourist trap. I'd call it 'overrated' and recommend giving it a miss.



RANDOM PRICING

Some Bach concert, 490 CZK. We didn't go but I wanted to include the pricing for completeness.

In this town, I can't seem to find a proper shave but did manage to find a couple places that do shave with an electric razor. Price, 50 CZK.

Two cappuccinos and two teas,, 140 CZK.



BOOK IDEA

"Healing Through Revenge". Tell me that title alone wouldn't sell a bunch of copies to the heartbroken.



INTERNET WOES

A couple doors down from the previous hostel we were at "Accomodation 15" is a coffee shop that delights in playing overly loud music but supposedly has free wifi. Neither Pete nor my laptop worked but theirs did. They kindly lent us their laptop. Pete thinks it is something to do with their routers and both of our laptops running Windows 7 instead of Windows XP. I'm not sure but Pete is a computer expert - my guess is that he is correct. I have yet to get good internet in Prague though I am told it exists.



TIME IN PRAGUE

Time here seems to go by very quickly. I'm really not sure why that is. An hour can slip by in just a couple of minutes, subjectively. Be aware of this should you choose to travel here.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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