We left Berlin in the morning and made the 3 hour drive to THE CZECH REPUBLIC! For those of you who have been following my blog since the last time we had holiday in the Czech, you might remember that we lived in a small little town an hour north of Prague called Úštěk. You can read more about Úštěk at this great website http://www.mesto-ustek.cz/English/index.html . But this time, instead of staying at the Sports Hotel we stayed at last time, we stayed at Bjarke and Solvej’s friends‘ little hotel basically across the street. And it was so amazingly cute and cozy! And the Yasantska family were so nice! The Mom doesn’t speak anything but Czech and it was just so much fun talking to her because we used Czech, German and English. And at times like that you really realize you don’t need words to express yourself. One of the daughters, Ava speaks fluent German and English so we also had fun talking to her! You can see more about our little hotel at ...... But anyway, by the time we made it to the hotel we were pretty tired so we decided to just hang out and relax and have dinner at the Sports Hotel across the street, and get some yummy Piña Coladas!
We decided to start the Czech holiday with some serious shopping! We went straight to the cheapest and best of the best, the Yellow Market! Which I learned recently is called the Yellow Market by the Czechs because of all the Asians selling things there. I bought a new dress and some nice perfumes and SCARVES, my absolute favorite and my horrible addiction. I will not mention how much I spent on scarves.. but they are just so cheap that I can’t resist! And I KNOW I will use them! We ate lunch at a yummy Italian pizzeria with some good ‘old Czech Beer! And then we went to the big shopping mall right outside of Prague called Letňany! Read more about Letnany at http://www.oc-letnany.cz/en/ . We went to a cool tea shop there and I bought a few funky teas! My latest addiction, thanks a lot Bjarke. And after some intense shopping we had dinner at this cool basement restaurant in another town and headed back to the Sports bar for more Piña Coladas and Evelyn tried a Swimming Pool. Yummmmm! Thursday 9.4.2009
Thursday we visited the Karlstein Castle! We visited this castle on our last trip to the Czech, too. It’s really so cool! I will spare you my history lesson but if you want to learn more about the castle you can look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlstein_Castle . What we love even more than the castle and it’s beautiful view, is the Castle town. It’s a little, very touristy town, as Karlstein is a popular tourist attraction. And there is tons of good shopping! (And scarves I must admit…) And it’s cool because at the bottom of the hill/mountain things are really expensive. And the further up you go, the cheaper they get! Last time we got a tour inside the Castle, but decided to skip that this time because the line was very long. On the way up to the Castle there is a guy who has the biggest kind of owl in Europe. If you pay 30 kc (Czech money) which is like 50 cents he helps you put a glove on and hold the owl for a photo op. I was pretty nervous about it! I mean, it’s a freaking HUGE owl. But she was SO sweet and didn’t care at all that I was holding her. She looked at me as she was being moved from his hand to mine but then turned her head to smile for the camera! So cool! I’m so happy I did that! (thanks Bjarke and Solvej) And Evelyn did it too! On our way home we stopped for dinner at TIME OUT and me and Evelyn got some really good salads! Solvej found love in her new favorite sandwich! And as always in the Czech, we had pomfritters (French fries) and Tartar sauce! Friday 10.4.2009
One of the cool things about the hotel we stayed in is that we were almost the only ones there! You hardly ever saw other people. It was like you were living in your own house. And every morning Mamma Yasanska had warm cacao (hot chocolate) and a special breakfast for us! Some mornings we got sunny-side-up eggs, some mornings we got Chicken Shnitzel. It was always a surprise! And some mornings we even got chocolate cake! (yeah I’m sure THAT helped me a lot..Friday we took the BIG PRAGUE TOUR! We walked so so much! But when there is so much to see you don’t think about how far you are walking. Oh! And did I mention that the entire week it was between 23 and 27 degrees Celcius (73-80 Fahrenheit)? NICE! I think I even got some color!We saw the beautiful and amazing Prague Castle Church again! I found this great website, read more at http://www.pragueholiday.cz/prague-castle.php . We walked through the Castle village and down the King’s Steps, a huge staircase leading down into Prague. We crossed the famous Charles Bridge and touched the famous stones for good luck and coming back to Prague. And we touched the star and made a wish! (BTW the Charles Bridge appears in the movies Mission: Impossible and XXX) Evelyn and I went up the Charles Bridge Tower and got an amazing view over the city! Read more about the tower at http://www.pragueexperience.com/places.asp?PlaceID=599 . We visited the Peoples’ House. The Peoples’ House is so cool because when Prague was freed and the President was elected, as a gift to the people of Prague he had this building restored. It’s really really beautiful and it’s supposed to be a fancy restaurant that average people can afford to eat in. There is also an Opera house inside. And downstairs there is an American Bar, which I thought was pretty funny! We walked through the Big Easter Market in the town Square, saw the Astronomical clock again, and went in New Yorker (and bought a lot of cheap good clothes!)And later we headed home at had a relaxing night hanging out. Evelyn and I really had so much fun talking and just hanging out and relaxing! It was SO NICE! I love her!
Saturday I woke up feeling pretty sick. I caught whatever it was Evelyn had. I had a headache and I could hardly swallow anything. Actually it lasted until Monday or so, but I just drank heaps of water and took some medicine cough drops and a headache pill and by Monday I was up and running again!
But Easter Sunday we went to the Easter Market in Úštěk! And it was so nice! So big really! And people selling handmade things and having fun! It was just such a cool environment! Evelyn and I looked around with Bjarke and Solvej, and then walked down to the lake and made friends with the Swans by feeding them our left over pastries! We lounged around and headed back to the hotel and took a nap. Just a relaxing awesome day! And the nap did me some good! We also visited the Strekov Castle! Last time we tried to visit it was closed because it was winter season, but this time we got to see the whole thing! And the amazing view from the tower! The Strekov Castle is actually very famous because it was here that the famous composer Richard Wagner drew up the plan for the opera Tannhäuser in 1842. You can read more about the famous Strekov Castle at http://www.bicycle-tours.cz/czech-republic/chateaus-and-castles-in-czech-republic/strekov-castle-/ .
While we were in the Czech we met up with some of Bjarke’s friends, Charlie and Henrietta. They were going to visit the very famous Terezin Concentration Camp. And as Bjarke and Solvej had already been there, Charlie and Henrietta said they could take me and Evelyn along! There is WAY too much to write about Terezin on my blog, but the story and the history of this concentration camp is in my opinion very very important. Even more important than many of the other famous concentration camps. If you are interested, and I hope you are, please read http://philip.greenspun.com/bp/terezin .
After visiting Terezin, Charlie and Henrietta brought me and Evelyn to Litoměřice, a very very cool town that we visit a lot when we’re in the Czech, for their Easter Market, where we met up with Bjarke and Solvej. You can see more about Litoměřice at http://www.litomerice.cz/eng/ . We walked around a bit and ate some chinese noodles and just enjoyed the sunshine!
EASTER MONDAY! We woke up to a fabulous breakfast with died eggs! The breakfast was just so beautiful! And the sun was shining! In the Czech Republic, the tradition is that on Easter men whip (ok.. tap!) women on the legs and butt with pussy willow twigs colored with braided strings which is supposed to bring youth. Kids run the streets hitting doors and people give them chocolates and eggs. I have to say, later when we were in Prague in the 200 SHOPS mall I was whipped by a passer-by! Haha.. too funny!
At one of the Easter Markets in Prague we saw this old lady who was making the cutest little things! She was just so adorable… working so hard making these little 3D flower portraits out of clay and basically.. things you don’t need. But I just HAD to buy something from her because she was SO nice and cute… I bought this little pig with a mushroom in his mouth! She was so happy when we asked if I could take my picture with her and she pulled me down to sit next to her enthusiastically and requested a couple more pictures! She was SO sweet! And I’m so happy I payed the $3 for the little pig.. This was our last day in Prague and it was so nice! Shopping, sitting in the sun with a cold Czech beer and talking! Just so relaxing.. and so wonderful. Tuesday 14.4.2009
Tuesday we did our last bits of shopping in Litoměřice where I bought more yummy tea! And a got some good deals on a skirt and some shorts! And we went back to Letnany and the Yellow Market to get the last few things! And for dinner we went to the Sports Hotel for some really good steak! And.... Piña Coladas! Wednesday 15.4.2009
Wednesday we packed the car (the very HEAVY car I might add!) and headed home! It was a long and really wonderful holiday! But we all agreed it was good to leave while we were still having fun. I’m an unbelievably lucky girl to be able to go to the Czech Republic twice! And Berlin! And to take my friend! And just to have the World’s Best Host Parents: Bjarke and Solvej! You guys are just awesome! And thank you Mom and Dad for funding my trip! Really thank you for a fabulous holiday!
And thank you guys for reading! Keep it up!