Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall break: wrap-up

My last post ended right before we saw the changing of the guard at the Prague castle. We hadn't planned on going there to specifically see this, but it just so happened to be right on the hour when we arrived at the gates.

Inside the gates

St. Vitus Cathedral

Gorgeous inside

After leaving the castle area, we headed back towards the Charles Bridge. On our way, we passed some modern artwork...

And caught a nice view underneath the bridge before crossing

The day before we had seen signs for the Medieval Torture Museum, and we thought that may be something interesting and fun to see. So we made our way over there and bought our tickets. The museum is full of, well, medieval torture instruments! Next to each instrument is a description of how it was used, and there's also a painting or drawing of the instrument in use. I had such a good time at this museum, even though some of the instruments definitely made me squirm. Some of my favorites...


Double ouch

Body stretcher

After the museum we met up with my friend Deb from TCNJ who is studying in Prague this semester. She took us to a few places near her dorm that are less touristy, which was fun. She also took us to her and her friends' favorite coffee shop, The Globe. It was very American-ized, but that was a welcome change...even though I'm studying in the country that probably has the best coffee in the world, I still miss my American coffee sometimes! Italians think that it's watery, but I think it's just right :)

The Globe got an A++ in my book not only for it's cool vibe and American coffee, but also for its desserts. I got carrot cake! And it was amazing. I didn't realize how much I missed carrot cake (one of my favorite desserts) until I saw it on the menu there. I haven't seen it on any menus in Italy or anywhere else I've been, so it was pretty much a given that I was going to order it. :) After the Globe we walked around a bit more and snapped some pictures with the pretty view of the Charles bridge and Prague Castle in the background...

Me & Deb

We hung around until it got dark and then took some more pictures :)

I love the castle

Me and Deb by night :)

After taking pictures, we headed back to Old Town Square and had dinner before going to a pub with Deb to try a glass of Pilsner of the beers that Prague is apparently known for. I don't really like beer, but the Pilsner was actually very good, and tasted a lot "fresher" than American beers, if that makes any sense.

Perhaps the best part of Prague is the fact that everything is so CHEAP! Even though the Crown (Prague's currency) is soooo confusing to have to deal with because it's in way larger increments than dollars and Euros (1 Euro = 25 Crowns, which doesn't seem so bad, but the more things cost, the more confusing it becomes. If you have a dinner in Prague that costs the equivalent of 20 Euros (around 25 dollars), it would cost 510 Crowns!) Even though the Crown is confusing, it's worth it because the cost of meals and drinks in Prague is sooo large glass of Pilsner cost the equivalent of $1.25...and our large dinner on our first night in Prague cost the equivalent of about $8.

After our beers, we walked around Old Town Square for a while then called it a night because it was pretty late. The next morning, we caught our train to Vienna, then from Vienna we took an overnight train back to Rome.

Fall break was definitely awesome -- I'm glad we got to see everything we did and we had such a great time. That being said, it was so good to be back home in Rome! Traveling is awesome, but it's nice to be able to relax and not have to worry about catching trains or planning out our itinerary out. I am still *very* impressed that being the ridiculous over-packer I am, I was able to limit myself to only bringing one backpack with me for the week. And it wasn't even a traveling backpack, just a regular school backpack...I just packed it really well. :)

We had Thursday and Friday home, then on Saturday we took a day trip to Naples...which I will blog about next!