Saturday, 26 August 2017

August Trip 2: Prague, Czech Republic

On the fourteenth, I flew over to Prague and stayed with my Czech friend Lukas to explore. He's a good host and showed me lots of stuff, and it's always a plus to have a host who loves their city.

We started with Prague castle, which contains the oldest buildings in Prague, on an approx 28 degree day (I died). It was pretty but crowded with tourists, so after that we went to Lukas' preferred castle, Vysehrad aka Upper Castle, which looks over the river. Vysehrad is also very old, and contains a basilica with the remains of famous people including Antonin Dvorak. I was dying of the heat still (I looked it up when I arrived in Vienna and saw that it only crosses 30 C in Ireland once or twice a decade, whereas it's normal in summer in Prague) so I was super relieved when we walked by the river and there were sprinklers along the boardwalk to cool people down.

We also saw the Vltava river, which is pretty. 

After that, we went up PetrĂ­n Hill by cable and saw the gardens before climbing the Tower and going through the Mirror Maze. It was cool but annoyed me that everything, including using the binoculars and entering churches, cost money. 

On the way up, we saw statues that Lukas told me represented the stripping away of one's personality by the Communist regime. 

Another day, we saw this Franz Kafka head. It's made up of hundreds/thousands of little cubes and is always moving, so the face is always dissolving and reassembling. It's supposed to represent the weirdness of Kafka's work.

We met up with another friend from the Youth Platform, Veronika, and saw some important squares in Prague. We saw this cool clock that has twenty four hour time, astronomical time, a bunch of other things, and on the hour there's a dance of paintings behind the clock. 

We ended up meeting another friend too, Robert, and walking around Jewish Town and seeing Saint Wenceslas square, which I'm gonna be honest and say is a rectangle and, more than that, a street, much like O' Connell Street. 

I mentioned that I'd been interested in visiting Prague since I read Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone which is set there, so Lukas brought me to some of the locations mentioned in the book including Devil's stream. He also brought me to Lennon Wall, the part of the city centre where graffiti is allowed and encouraged. 

On our last day in Prague, the 18th, we visited the zoo! It was fun but also stressful because I was in the middle of this thing with college about whether they'd let me study biology and oh boy (more on that later), but anyway it was a cool zoo. 31 degrees though, had to sit down lots, much to Lukas' amusement. 

It was a good trip! Thanks to Lukas for hosting me and showing me around. 

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