Today in Prague, I had many exciting new experiences. After waking up a bit too late (having been awake for around 30 hours prior to sleeping) and rushing through a significantly shortened shower and breakfast, our group rode the tram to Prague Castle, a beautiful complex with a fascinating history. After touring the “Golden Lane”, which in the past has been home to alchemists, artillerymen, and even Franz Kafka, we paid a visit to a charming basilica, an intriguing display of medieval armor and weaponry, and a magnificent cathedral that took my breath away. We ate lunch at a monastery turned brewery, and began to enjoy our free time when it was interrupted by a sudden torrential downpour. After a return to our hotel to recover and change out of soaked clothing, we visited the shopping district and ended the day with dinner in the basement of a pizza restaurant. We concluded our day by writing blog entries about our experience today.
In a city like Prague it’s easy to learn from your surroundings. I’ve picked up a few random words in Czech and I hope to learn more as the trip continues. I’ve learned that you never know when a hurricane might appear, and that history is everywhere if you only pay attention and read the plaques.
My favorite part of today was either the delicious Czech goulash or visiting Prague castle and learning its history.
I am in awe of the peace and quiet of Prague. Of all the cities I’ve visited, here it’s the easiest to remain sane and enjoy a few moments of relative serenity. I was also surprised that so many Czechs speak English and many signs have English translations, although I’m not complaining.
A significant cultural difference is the reduced amount of noisy automobiles and noisy people. In general society is more polite and cleanly (excluding the abundant graffiti). I can’t recall hearing anyone raise their voice or seeing anything remotely close to the amount of litter in the States. These changes are unexpected and I very much welcome them.
By far the funniest thing to happen today was the unexpected rainstorm and the ensuing hilarity. Thankfully Mr. Tallman was kind enough to lend me his umbrella. I initially underestimated the severity of the storm, until the umbrella nearly collapsed and the tent we sought shelter under failed in that regard. It was chaos as temperatures dropped, huge puddles formed, rain fell nearly sideways and our tram stopped working. Thankfully the rain subsided and we survived. Overall, I had a wonderful day and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the week.