“Three weeks in Prague”

We had our last day of travel photography on Monday. It went really well, all we had to do was present our final PDF with all our assignments on it. This was mine:

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I then ate a lunch that I had packed the night before in the quick break between classes. Some of my other classmates got the Crocodille sandwiches and I’m pleased to report that I’m not the only one that doesn’t like them.

For our class we went to see a few buildings in Wenceslas Square before Professor Raimanová took us to the Municipal House. There was a little confusion with what exhibit we were seeing because she wanted to go to a certain exhibit but the security guard was arguing with her (in Czech of course so we had no clue what was happening). In the end, it was a funny error: she wanted to go to an exhibit that wasn’t yet open to the public.

Instead we went to a Blanka Matragi exhibit. She’s a Czech fashion designer and her dresses were interesting. Many were quite breathtaking but quite a few more were dated and very overdone.

After class we went back to K17 for a break before going souvenir shopping which is a chore in itself. I didn’t end up getting anything because I didn’t know what I wanted to get for everyone, but we did do some sightseeing and gelato eating.

We went to the public library which has a unique art installation before hitting up Creme de la Creme again.

On the way home we picked up some vegetables and spices from Billa because Jackie and I were craving vegetables/something healthy.

Okay, so maybe just Jackie was craving veggies but it kind of sounded good to me.

Anyway, I, for the first time in my life, successfully made a dinner of steamed veggies. It was delicious, for sure it’s something I’ll be making back home.

Due to the fact that I now know how to steam carrots and add packaged spice to a pot, I’d call today pretty successful.

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Hey, Hey, Hey It’s our last weekend (in Prague)

So it’s getting to the end of my time in Prague. It’s actually a bit confusing because half of us continue on with the field tour while others do not (Emileigh and Jackie). Thus, some of us are getting the sad feeling of it being our last few days traveling when we still have over a week. Thus, we are trying to do as much as we can.

After our late night at Lucerna, we spent Saturday morning sleeping in before heading to Letná Beer Garden (which I hadn’t yet been to and everyone else had). It had absolutely amazing views and I think the terms “best beer garden in Prague” were being thrown around. Well, I only got this picture while I was there:

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Whoops.

It was still a nice (and yummy; shout out to Kingswood and fried cheese) time.

Then we went to The Globe which is an English bookstore Emileigh loves here. It was karaoke night, and that’s what we specifically went for. They served some rockin’ American food that will tide me over until I get back home (aka they put a massive bottle of ketchup on the table with our fires). I also tried another type of beer, a Kozel Černý which was decent.

We sat around with some of Emileigh’s students and sang for a few hours before heading home.

Also, you better bet I slayed that ABBA.

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Sunday was spent doing homework and stuff around the apartment. Going into the last week of class means we have term papers and finals due.I also went to Vyšehrad and the Podskalí Custom House by myself. Vyšehrad is a big park with a church and graveyard. It is really pretty, I just made a mistake by going at mid-day. THe Custom House is a museum about the history of the Vltava River. It was interesting, but really heavy in terms of reading. There were a lot of pictures which I looked at, but I didn’t see/read the whole exhibit. Once I went back to K17, I did manage to finish my photography paper early though and treated my self to Trdelnik and ice cream with Emileigh.

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We went to Wenceslas Square to get them and saw a film crew setting up. Being highly interested in what was going on, we stood around for probably thirty minutes. Eventually, two British girls came up and asked us what was happening. We got to chatting with them and learned they had just arrived in Prague and were looking for somewhere to eat so we took them to Old Town Square. It was hilarious because we were all so interested in each other’s political happenings, cultures, studies, and accents.

As Emileigh said, “it was just a wholesome and pure interaction.”

See the photos from Sunday here.

I think I’m supposed to write about Thursday now…?

So, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not that great at keeping up on my blog posts. I was especially not great this week. Without further ado:

We started off going to class Thursday. Professor Raimanová took us to a gallery and pallace near the Charles Bridge. Funnily enough, it was called the Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace. The palace was under renovations, but Raimanová managed to talk the curator into letting us in. Afterwards, we saw the gallery which was full of very politically charged art which was nonetheless thought provoking. It wasn’t all political though, some of it was in response to how routine and everyday life has become and how we are even immune to the absolutely awful things (like terrorist attacks).

After spending an afternoon in K17, Megan, Brooke, Emileigh and I went to U Kroka. They, the meat eaters they are, all had delicious meals. Mine was eh, but I guess that’s what I get for ordering risotto. The dessert on the other hand was phenomenal.

It was Buttermilk cream with rhubarb, passion fruit and cinnamon crumble.

Brooke then left to go back to the apartment while the other three of us just wanted to walk around (we had heard live music playing and were following it). This ended up being a nice walk along the Vltava River which morphed into a spontaneous paddle boating adventure. We didn’t plan this (hence “spontaneous”) but we were out right at the perfect time to see sunset over the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.

It was even better because Megan and Emileigh sat in the front while I sat in the back. If you don’t know the basic layout of a paddle boat, there are only peddles in the front. I essentially got a free ride so overall it was a pretty good day.

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See the pictures from today here.

Rain Czech

What comes first, the rain or the rainy-day-attitude?

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Tuesday morning I slept in and took a long time to get up and moving. I spent most of the day in the apartment working on homework or trying to catch up on my blogging. I also made these dessert dumplings I bought (except the directions were in Czech so that was an adventure). They were really weird and I still don’t know if I liked them or not. It was the perfect rainy day!

Except there was no rain until mid-afternoon.

Eh, what can I say? Sometimes it’s nice to lay around.

I did go out at six though! Miranda, Emileigh and I met Kristina and Pavla (the girls we met last Tuesday through Miranda’s local friend). They took us to Crème de la Crème which they claimed was the best gelato shop (and I believe them!).

I got Lavender and chocolate gelato:

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It had also started to sprinkle rain on our way to the gelato shop. By the time we left it was pouring. The streets were flooding and I didn’t have an umbrella so I shared with Kristina while she tried to do navigation. Kristina took Miranda and I to a cute and kind of hidden cafe where the girl scouts she’s a part of (the Czech version of girl scouts which doesn’t involve selling cookies and seems overall to be way cooler) were doing a monthly guitar concert.

It was a great experience seeing this local cafe and how everyone interacts. The best part though was getting to hear traditional Czech songs. They played some English songs as well. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door… anyone?

Also, I’ve now sent this text so I feel like I’ve turned into my mom.


Mom, sorry for all the times I was impatient at dinner and rushed you to finish your wine.

It’s a jungle out here

Sunday morning USAC had a optional activity to go to the Prague Zoo! Originally, Alzbeta was going to do a scavenger hunt, but after we all got to the zoo we opted to just roam by ourselves (mainly because her scavenger hunt was too high risk: it involved the winners getting beer).

It was a kind of cold day, which was nice because it wasn’t too hot. Except it was raining off and on. We stayed at the zoo from eleven until two or three, roaming the paths and seeing the animals, making memes out of them. It really is a cool zoo, and I could see exactly why it is the fourth best zoo in the world!

The biggest shock was just how close you could get to all the animals! Europeans are a lot more trusting of their citizens than Americans (probably for a good reason).

We started at the bottom of the zoo and walked around before riding the funicular (which was a single person ski lift) to the top and worked our way downhill through the exhibits. We also stopped for lunch at the restaurant which had indian food! It was surprisingly tasty for zoo food!

While we were eating, it started to pour rain. So we speed-walked down the hill, with Emileigh and I trying not to spill our Kingswood Ciders while holding our umbrellas, and got on the bus to go home.

I spent the rest of the day napping and working on my blog before doing my homework for photography: egg pictures.

Then, the four roommates that were home went to get ice cream sandwiches for dinner.

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Ice cream sandwiches for dinner? Wild.

See the pictures from today here.

Pasta for breakfast

My day started the way I like it: slow. I stayed in bed until it was time to head to the metro to meet Emileigh to eat.

Yep, I ended up eating pasta for breakfast.

But hey, at least it was fresh pasta! We could see them making it as we walked downstairs to our table.

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I think it has been the most expensive meal I’ve had since I got to Prague at almost 300 korunas. That’s still only $13. Not too bad.

After, we went and saw the astronomical clock since today was the last day it would be working for a while as the tower is undergoing renovations. We then walked around Old Town and got a little lost (which seems to always happen to me when I’m in old town) but we managed to see a lot of really cool things and just experience the city. Just simply walking around Prague is one of my favorite things to do.

Plus, when you et a little lost you find the best places… like this gelato shop:

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See the pictures from today here.

Getting into the Groove

I spent much of Wednesday with no set plans which was a nice change of pace and also allowed me to get some shopping done. I started late (because I slept in) and went out for breakfast. I took the metro to Národní Třída which is where the Tesco is and then walked around looking for a place to eat before shopping. I ended up at Mama’s Bakery where I ended up eating a sandwich for breakfast (happens when you eat breakfast at noon) and a key-lime tart (which is what the cashier said was her favorite). I now know how to say “Dobrý den” which means “hello” and “děkujuwhich means “thank you!”

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Then I went back to Tesco and stocked up on some things! After having felt confident in my ability to be at least a bit friendly in my conversations and ability to eventually make sense of the Czech language, I was confronted with a massive, foreign store. I at first didn’t understand that I would have to check out each time I left a floor (Tesco is six stories tall!) but luckily I saw someone else try to and set off the alarms so I was saved from that embarrassment. When I went to check out, I struggled to know what the cashiers were saying to me (I found out later they were asking if I needed a bag, you’re supposed to bring your own (which I did) and they charge you for plastic ones) but about the third time I checked out I finally understood (after the cashier made the gesture as if opening a bag and said “bag”).

I also spent way longer than any normal person should trying to kind conditioner and lotion. I found the conditioner but I’m still not 100% sure if the lotion I got is actually lotion…

I spent the rest of the day wandering around Old Town by myself. I took a lot of pictures and discovered a love for photographing street performers. I finally tried a Trdelnik with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. While it was good, I wasn’t in love with it. I’ll have to try it again just to make sure though. On my way home, I got off the metro and there was a large crowd in the station doing a Bohemian Salsa class! It was quite fun to watch and photograph!

Finally, I ended the night eating at a vegetarian restaurant around the corner from my apartment. I’m learning real fast that Czechs like to pickle everything!

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Thursday I had class at 9 am. There are seven of us in the apartment building that have class at 9 so we all went together. For our second day, we had the lovely experience of having the metro we needed be not working so we had to take a different metro and a bus instead. We made it just a tad late but I was so relieved that I was with friends and wouldn’t be the only one late!

Our professor took us to the National Gallery to see the work of Gerhard Richter which was really cool!

Jackie and I then grabbed lunch and came back to the apartment and took naps before going to dinner at a delicious pub down the road! I went to bed early after that because I wanted to get rest before the field tour on Friday.

Having these two days to kind of relax but also get to know the city more was really nice! I feel more comfortable now and I am so excited for the next weeks!