The morning started off brighter and earlier than necessary, however was made immediately manageable with the reappearance of croissants in today's hotel breakfast buffet. A plane and bus ride later we were in the living post card that is Prague. After dumping our bags in the hotel we got ready for the day and debated whether ditching our layers was tempting weather to stop being beautiful. After a quick stop at the ATM, feeling rich with the 1,000 crown bills and the 23 - 1 exchange rate, we headed towards what was left over of an Easter market. Lunch was absolutely delicious and mine featured a waffle on a stick, which definitely has a real name, but was exactly as delicious as it sounds.
Fueled up on fried potatoes, we began the touring portion of our day. The first place we saw was the Pinkas Memorial Synagogue. It was one of the most breathtaking memorials I've seen here. Every Czech victim of the holocaust is painstakingly hand painted on the otherwise beautiful temple. Upstairs there were the original paintings and drawings done by children during the holocaust. This was especially haunting when seeing young kids accompanying their parents unknowingly looking at works of art by children their own age.
We visited a nearby old Jewish cemetery which was absolutely filled with grave stones. It's hard to imagine how many people are squished in the confined quarters, but it's believed to be over 100,000.
After visiting more synagogues, churches and temples, including a mass we accidentally joined, we had some free time. I was able to see the John Lennon peace wall and even got the chance to add my own graffiti to it (sorry mom.)
The highlight of my experience in Prague was absolutely the amazing jazz trio we watched. They were amazing and while it was not jazz in the traditional sense, it was very improvised and the whole room was nodding a long in a trance. Made up of a piano, customized 7 string guitar, and plethora of percussion instruments, the songs we heard were absolutely unique.
After a delicious italian dinner we settled back at our hotel ready to start again in less than 8 hours.
That's all!! Guten Prague!
Today was a rough 5:45 wake up. We left the hotel in Kraków at 6:45 for our early 9:10 flight to Prague. #Praha
We arrived to snow. Cole's luggage stayed in Warsaw. Everyone hoping for a warm April break continues to be disappointed. We arrived at the hotel and put our luggage down.
We quickly snatched a lunch in the Old Town Square of Prague. We were amazed at the scenery and the incredible architecture of Prague. What a beautiful city! Some of us over paid for lunch
After lunch we visited a synagogue that was turned into a museum dedicated to the Jewish victims of the holocaust. On the walls of inside of the building, there were names of all the known victims from Czechoslovakia on the walls. There were thousands of names, birth dates, and dates of death. It was incredible to see so many names covering over 3 entire rooms.
After lunch we had a wonderful tour through Prague by Mr. Crane. Ahoy! We walked from the Old Town Square across an amazing bridge with the most fabulous view. After a millennium of walking, we had some free time to explore Prague. Some of us visited the John Lennon wall and saw a reference to a familiar neighborhood in Boston. Prague is amazing!!!!
From there, we were escorted to a private concert. On stage we witnessed three men who have been playing together for over 30 years! They play a type of abstract interpretative jazz, that filled the room with eerie, funky vibes. They were amazing! Most of us couldn't resist dancing in our seats.
After, we went out in separate groups to go get dinner and eventually got to the hotel at 10:30. It's been a long day, but Prague was worth it.
Today was amazing!!!! The worst part was waking up at 5:30am to catch our flight to the most beautiful city I've ever seen-Prague! Our jaws dropped when our eyes were exposed to the beauty of the vibrant colors and the adorable culture of the Czech Republic! The scenery is beyond words, something a camera could never come close to capturing. Every turn you take your eyes are shocked with more colors and vivacity that you can't find in Boston!!
My absolute favorite part of the day however was our private jazz concert! Woah!! These men poured their HEARTS AND SOULS into the most uniquely improvised music I've ever listened to. Their connection on stage pulled me into a sway that felt so natural and carefree I could've stayed there all night!
Today was also one of the days where I was able to spend free time with people that I normally don't talk to in school, and they're wonderful! This trip has really brought me into contact with other amazing kids that I trust and love as a group- and after a very rough and emotional day yesterday, today was great to unwind and laugh with everyone!
Overall: amazing day in an amazing city with amazing people!
Today we began our day by getting up and checking out of our hotel in Warsaw and heading to the airport to go to Prague. The plane ride was roughly 2 hours. When we arrived in Prague, we got our luggage and then we got on a bus that drove us to our hotel. It was about a 45 minute ride, and the view was absolutely beautiful. When we arrived at the hotel, our rooms were not quite ready because we got there before 11am, the standard check out time. We put our bags in the lobby, and then we went out as a group to explore a little bit of Prague.
First, we went to get money out of the atms and then we proceeded to go to the remnants of what had been the Easter Market. There, we were given the opportunity to look around and get some lunch. I will admit, the initial scene and aromas were a little overwhelming, but after a little bit of an adjustment, my friends and I ended up getting foods varying from grilled cheese (which was essentially fried cheese on a piece of wheat bread), sausages, and waffles on a stick, which were incredible.
After lunch, we visited a synagogue, which was very sad, as it had the names of Czech families who were wiped out by the Holocaust, and contained original pictures drawn by children from the camp Terezin (which we will be visiting tomorrow). We then visited a cemetery and another synagogue, and saw a jazz concert before dinner.
My favorite part of the day had to be when we were exploring, especially when we were walking over the bridge, which gave an absolutely incredible view of the city, and the architecture was absolutely incredible. All of the food that I tried was delicious, and I have never seen a more beautiful city.
It is 100% true when they say Prague resembles a wedding cake. This is definitely one of the most memorable days on this trip.
Today, we arrived in the Czech Republic! We woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 AM to board a plane to the beautiful city of Prague. As soon as we arrived, we dumped our bags at the hotel and rushed out to explore Prague. Apparently, Prague is a popular favorite amongst Eastern Europe alumni and I can totally see why. The buildings are all extravagantly decorated and painted fun colors that you wouldn't typically see in Boston, like pink and yellow. We went to the old city for lunch and split up to find food at a medieval festival in the middle of the town square.
Afterwards, we went to the Jewish Quarter of Prague. We went to a synagogue that had a special memorial for the Czech people killed in the Holocaust. Throughout specific rooms of the temple, the names of the people and their dates of birth and death were hand painted in long lists. It was a moving memorial but it was personally hard for me to see the huge lists of tiny handwriting that filled more that three rooms. The temple itself was grand; there's no other word for it. We also visited the Jewish cemetery in the back of the temple, which was damaged from frequent flooding and the tombstones were pushed together because of it. Next, we explored the Jewish quarter some more and visited a small Jewish museum in another synagogue.
Afterwards, we met up with our guide/veteran teacher, Mr. Crane. He has been guiding the Eastern Europe travelers from BLS for 16 years! When we met him, we said "Ahoy, Mr. Crane!" (Apparently, that is the standard greeting for students to Mr. Crane.). He told us about the history of the square, which had been bombed in WW2. There were a couple of interesting stories he told us about two churches in the square. One church is believed to have steeples made by God and the other has a clock that doesn't work well because the architect threw a dead chicken into it. I know. I was just as surprised as I imagine you all to be.
Mr. Crane took us across the Charles bridge to another part of the city where all the artists of Prague used to live. The bridge itself was a work of art, with giant statues lining the walls and a small fence that was covered in locks with lovers' names written on them. Across it was a view so breathtaking, it's difficult for me to put it in words. The city was laid out in front of us.
The entire group seemed completely awestruck by Prague. Once we crossed the bridge, we went to a church that had a Jesus Christ doll that is famously dressed in a different outfit every single day. It has clothes from all around the world. This church is a very significant site for Christians around the world because of the doll.
We were given about an hour to explore a little bit Prague on our own. A couple of people visited a famous graffiti wall and were able to spray paint on it.
When we all met back up again, we went to a jazz club. We had a private viewing of a band that has performed for the Eastern Europe folks for a very long time. The band was made up of three men, two of whom had connections of their own to Boston. One man played piano, one man played guitar, and one man handled percussion. They played a few original songs and one inspired by Miles Davis. They were all so incredibly talented and we gave them a standing ovation for their last song.
Dinner was around the area we were in. Everyone split into groups to eat at different restaurants.
This day was more relaxed, since we spent a lot of our time getting to explore and understand the city of Prague.