Carolyn Fales University of Westminster, England


November 17, 2014

Prague wasn't originally on my list of places to go to when I decided to study abroad. However I had heard of so many people visiting there and my friend Allie, from home, and I decided to meet up there for a long weekend. Allie is studying in Greece for the semester.

We met at the airport and went figured out our way to the hostel. It was dark so we couldn't really see a lot but it didn't seem so special where we were and there were barely any places open for dinner.

The next day we ventured to old town square and were in awe of what was around us. The buildings are so old and ornately colored and decorated. We saw the famous astronomical clock and the masses of people that come to watch the pieces of the clock move on each hour.  We took a guided tour of the Jewish town and saw many synagogues. The first, the Pinkas Synagogue, had all of the names of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust from Bohemia and Moravia written on the inside walls, it was breath taking. We also got to go into a cemetery which they call 'the house of life'. It was astonishing. In that time they didn't have enough room to bury people. There are ten layers of bodies there and the tombstones all stick up jaggedly from the ground because of this. The tombstones have Hebrew as well as pictures on them to get across what the person did for a living.

After this we walked around for a while and got to know our way around. We decided to go to a Czech restaurant and get the traditional meal of goulash and dumplings for dinner. Goulash is like beef stew and the dumplings were like pieces of bread. This was definitely a comfort food and while it was good it definitely wasn't my favorite. We did a pub-crawl that night which was a lot of fun. I was surprised at how little English the people spoke. Visiting places where the majority of the people can speak pretty good English has spoiled me. I suppose we learned just how much you could get across by pointing and making numbers with your fingers.

A weird thing about our hostel was the free breakfast they have. Breakfast consisted of cucumbers, lunchmeat, cheese, toast and various spreads. Very different from both an American and English breakfast. After eating several pieces of toast the next day we walked into Old Town then across the Charles Bridge to the John Lennon Wall. Since the 1980s the wall has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles' songs, in 1988 young Czechs would write their grievances with the government on the wall. It is constantly changing, every day someone is adding a new quote, picture, or just signing their name. I could have read all of the little snippets on the wall all day. It was like living history in vibrant color. After that we had some delicious Italian food for dinner, dare I say better than what I had in Venice. We went out again that night which was fun.

On our last day we took our longest walk across the river to the Prague castle. We thought we were lost and then all of a sudden happened upon this magnificent structure. It was incredibly detailed and grand. We went inside to the cathedral, which had beautiful stain glass windows. We also stopped to try some Trdelnik. It’s kind of like fried dough but in a cylindrical shape, it was really yummy. One of the great things about Prague is how cheap it is. For example one hundred Czech Korunas is five American dollars. Allie and I were able to get dinner and beer on our last night for only one hundred crowns each. The beer especially is known for being cheap. It's cheaper than water at most places, usually only converting to about $1.50.

Allie and I really enjoyed Prague because of its beautiful architecture and interesting history, especially because we knew little about it before we came. We want to go back with our other best friends Taylor and Hanna because we definitely missed them there!


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