On Sunday we went for a stroll and eventually ended up at the Communist Museum. I really enjoyed this experience. After taking multiple 20th century history classes, I really enjoyed this refresher. Also, the information was from the Czech perspective … which as you can imagine is very different from the American perspective They even had a small exhibit on North Korea. I know practically nothing about the conditions of North Korea so I was super grateful to learn.
We continued strolling and stumbled upon a lovely Christmas Market! I had a great time shopping, and it had a lovely Christmas Tree too! I also tried some local ice cream. It was actually pretty had to find an ice cream place, they aren’t as popular here. I really enjoyed strolling around the town. Our apartment was super centrally located so we just walked everywhere!
We heard great reviews about the Jewish cemetery in Prague so we decided we’d try to go visit it. We found the exit from the cemetery and decided we’d walk around the block and try to find the entrance. After walking almost an entire circle we see where we think we can go in. We look on the fence and see a sign that indicates a visit is free. So we walk inside, through a door, and then a woman is yelling at us in Czech. The only word I know in Czech is “duquaye” which means thank you… so I had no idea what was wrong. What we gleaned was that it was not in fact free and that we were supposed to have tickets to enter the Jewish museum which was attached to the cemetery. What was “free” was to enter a Jewish place of worship which wasn’t where we were barging in. Unfortunately by this time it was too late to buy tickets so we didn’t get to go inside.
We went to a traditional Czech restaurant for dinner. This restaurant had great reviews online so we thought we’d check it out. The restaurant had all kinds of artifacts hanging such as old sundials and “machines” that made elixirs and magic potions… they gave us a history pamphlet to read about all all the artifacts while we waited for our food…. the pamphlet was pretty funny.
I tasted some of the local beer. I’m not a fan of beer but since I was in a beer-making capital of the world I had to try it. I found the girliest beer on the list and tasted a Radler Orange beer. It had an orange flavor and spice to it so it wasn’t super beer-like and I actually enjoyed it. This restaurant was one of the few traditional Czech restaurants that had vegetarian options. I had a dish with “Old Prague noodles” which looked like fettucini but I think they were made with potatoes. They were served with fresh vegetables and a blue cheese sauce. It was very heavy food and I couldn’t finish it.
Throughout the weekend we tasted as many types of chocolate bars as possible. We went to a convenient store and tasted all the exotic flavors: Chocolate and lime, chocolate and cherry cream, chocolate and eldenberry, pringle-shaped chocolate with mint flakes, pringle-shaped chocolate with caramel flakes, “happy cow” marbled white and dark chocolate, and more!!!
We left Monday afternoon. We spent the morning packing up and then we went back to the Christmas market to spend what Czech money we had left. I ended up getting two lovely scarves made with cashmere and silk for (the equivalent of) only 7.5 euros each!!
Cultural and Structural differences between Paris and Prague:
- Streets all super tiny with cobblestones and very few cars
- you can smoke in restaurants
- fewer people smoke
- escalators are super super steep
- service only included sometimes
- super walkable, whereas in Paris riding the métro is pretty necessary
- fewer homeless on the streets
- instead of verbally begging, they sit on the floor in a praying position with their head down and an upturned hat for money
- eating food on the streets is more accepted
- more christmas decorations!
- bells bells bells… always ringing