Thursday, December 8, 2011

36 hours in Prague

Two days ago we returned from a quick family trip to Prague, or Praha, as it is known here.   The Christmas festival in the city center was on the EU Christmas time bucket list; so we can check that one off.  For those of you wondering how, when or if we still are squeezing in education time, we are.  I know I owe a post or two on the progression of homeschool, but remember, everything we are doing here is education.  Just not the education most of us are used to.  More on that in the homeschool post coming soon.

So, small town boy that I am, saturated by media and uneducated to a certain degree, whenever some one said Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia, my fist thought was something like this...
Boy was I wrong.

Prague, and the portions of the Czech Republic that we saw, were beautiful, interesting and emanated a vibe of history and wisdom.  I am sure that there are the "unpretty" parts; Prague ain't one of them.

We stayed in our most interesting apartment/condo so far.  It really could've been a super nice place; it had high ceilings and smooth walls, hard wood floors and was located in Prague 1 (closest to the center of Prague.)  I felt totally comfortable there, but I may have been the only one.  The bathroom was a large room, that had no shower, only a tub with a movable head on it.  There was a bidet in the room, but I don't believe any of us were brave enough to use it.  The bedroom consisted of 5 smaller than twin beds; it was pretty comical and fun for everyone to be in close quarters I think.
Okay, some shots from the city and the Christmas market; let me first say the streets and the city buildings are very tight, there is no wasted space.
 So when you drive a medium sized american SUV, you kind of stick out...
It took about ten minutes and an 80 point turn to get wedged in there.  We get some really funny looks driving our huge american automobile into some of the places we are not supposed to drive, that our GPS doesn't really indicate when its bad form to roll into some areas.  But its a big vehicle, so I put on my golfer duff and look mean and I think everyone assumes that I am a driver/bodyguard for some VIP family of girls.  Its working out so far.

Ok some shots from in and around the city...

Grace with some interesting Praha graffiti, note the resemblance...

Yes, we met one of the local "police" when I decided driving the wring way up a  one way street would be a good decision

The Christmas festival in Praha is a real show; live music, crafts for kids, figures dressed like angels, devils and Santa's running around.  It's a great venue if you are a "people watcher" like I am.  

It was c-c-c-c-c-c-cold out, so Ry got to wear her new hat and gloves.

As always, the food is ridiculous, some of the gifts are really interesting and the people are great.  We have not had one bad experience here, overall, the people have been enormously helpful and tolerant of the language barrier.

The next morning we did some exploratory driving, trying to get to the mini-eiffel tower that overlooks the city.  As I mentioned before we just drive around wherever we want and attempt to look important.  We accidentally drove right up to the gates of the Prague castle, just in time for the changing of the gaurd.

We did find the observation tower as well!

It was a great investment of time, we are blessed to see these places and enjoy another corner of the world.  I feel so fortunate to be able to develop these memories with Brandy and the girls.

More to come!

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