So sorry this has taken a while to write. This past Thursday, I spent the morning in Florence and then met up with my friend Francesca (Fran) Lamberti who is in ChiO at Indiana and is studying in Florence and her friend Steph. We walked over to the train station and caught a train to Rome. From the Rome Termini station, we took another train to the airport (FCO). We got to the airport and got on our flight to Prague. The flight was pretty quick, we landed at 10:00PM-ish. We landed and got on a city bus to a metro stop where my friends Roni Grant and Jamie Fischer (both in AEPhi at IU) met us. It was so good to see them. Fran, Steph, and I all bought 3-day metro passes and Fran and Steph went with Jamie because Jamie’s apartment is right next to the hostel that Fran and Steph were staying at and I went with Roni back to her dorm, which is where I stayed. Roni and I just hung out and caught up and chilled for the night and went to sleep.
On Friday, Roni and I woke up, and got the free breakfast that is included in her dorm room at this little cafe down her street. While we were at breakfast, Roni introduced me to a friend of hers that goes to Boston College. She was with her friends who were visiting her that also go to BC. I asked if they knew my friend Margaux L’Herbette (one of my best friends from home) and one of the girls said that she was her roommate in Paris! Such a small world.
After breakfast, we walked around the area where Roni lives, Vyshrad. We saw the view from the fortress, a beautiful cemetery, a church, and Roni’s school. We also walked through this statue garden that is supposed to have “good vibes” and healing abilities.
After the walk around Vyshrad, we took a tram to meet up with Jamie, Fran, and Steph. We walked to Old Town with them and saw the astronomical clock, which is one of the oldest astronomical clocks in the world. We walked around Old Town Square and then walked to the Jewish Quarter. Fran, Steph, and I did the Jewish Quarter while Roni and Jamie just hung out. They didn’t want to do it because they’ve done it so many times. So the three of us went to the Maisel Synagoge, The Pinkas Synagogue, The Old Jewish Cemetery, Ceremonial Hall, The Klausen Synagogue, walked by the Old-New Synagoge, and lastly went to the Spanish Synagogue which was definitely my favorite. It was so different and so gorgeous inside. After the Jewish Quarter, Roni and Jamie scoped out this Indian restaurant where we ended up having lunch, called Indian Jewel off of Old Town Square, which was pretty good! After lunch, we walked across the Charles Bridge, but it was cloudy, so I told Jamie and Roni (my Prague tour guides) that I wanted to go back the next day since it was supposed to be nice the next day. After the bridge, Jamie, Roni, and I split up from Fran and Steph.
Jamie, Roni, and I met up with Russell Goldberg at Perrin. Russell is Casey Goldberg’s (my freshman year roommates and one of my best friends at IU) brother. Russell is studying in grad school in Prague for the semester. The four of us climbed up Petrin Hill halfway, but then had to take the tram for the second half because the hill is so steep and we couldn’t handle it. When we got to the top, it of course started to rain. There is an “Eiffel Tower” on the top of the hill that we took a photo of. When we got back down the hill, we got Trdelniks (that’s the correct spelling!) and hot mulled wine. Trdelniks are these traditional rolled sweet breads from Eastern Europe. We definitely got ripped off and over paid for the hot wine…
After our little snack, we went back to Roni’s apartment and got ready for dinner. Roni made a reservation at this traditional Czech restaurant for a big group of us, called U Knihovny. We were meeting up with some of my other Indiana friends. A lot of DZ’s were visiting for the weekend, and Joe Calhoun (who is studying in Prague) came with his roommates too. We met them at the restaurant at 8:30PM.
So the whole point of going to the restaurant was to eat traditional Czech food. I guess people in Prague eat dinner on the earlier side, and they ran out of Czech food by the time we had dinner reservations…so that was a huge bummer. The food and the beer was super cheap. Welcome back to Eastern Europe I guess.
After we were done with dinner, Roni, Jamie, and I went back to Jamie’s apartment to meet up with Allyson Roseman (our other friend who is studying in Prague and is in AEPhi) and her cousin who was visiting, Elizabeth. We went to U Sudu, this really cool underground bar, where we met up with Matt Sherman and Brian Meyer (IU friends studying in Prague). We went out after U Sudu to this club called Lucerna. It was “80’s and 90’s Music Video Night”, NOT JOKING. It was so fun. They were playing such good throw backs. Music was great. I saw my friend Mark Catanzaro (IU friend studying in Rome), whose nickname is Big Cat, at Lucerna which was awesome. After Lucerna, Jamie, Roni, and Jamie’s roommate Sophie, walked to Wenceslas Square and New Town Center and then we went home.
On Saturday morning, Roni and I met up with Jamie and Sophie at Bohemian Bagel, this bagel/breakfast place. We then walked across the Charles Bridge, took some good pics, and then went to the Lennon Wall. When I first came abroad, I expected the Lennon Wall to be huge, with all this graffiti. Everyone said that the Lennon Wall is so over rated and that it’s actually so much smaller than you expect it to be. Since I’ve heard this so many times, I thought it would be tiny, but then when I saw it, since I was prepared for it to be so much smaller than I thought, I was actually very satisfied with the size and not underwhelmed at all. Took a bunch of photos there and then walked over to these babies sculptures. The artist of the baby sculptures is David Cerney.
Then we took a tram up to the big castle and walked around there for a while. After the castle, we went and had lunch/dinner at a Thai restaurant called Noi. We stopped by the communist memorial statues on the way back home. On our walk back home, we ran into Russell Goldberg and he walked with us for a little bit. That night, Jamie, Roni, and I, met up with Allyson and Elizabeth for dinner at this Cuban restaurant. Since we ate Thai food so late though, we weren’t hungry at all, and just ordered an appetizer. After dinner, we walked around Old Town again, and then chilled at Jamie’s and didn’t end up going out.
On Sunday, Roni kindly took Fran, Steph, and I on the metro to the bus stop where we caught the bus to the airport. We were flyig from Prague to Rome and then taking the train from Rome back to Florence. Prague was definitely my favorite Eastern European country thus far. The architecture was amazing and it’s a really cool city in general! There were a bunch of familiar faces on our flight. So last Wednesday, my friend Dylan Sklare (studying in Rome), had a horrible accident and fell five stories down his apartment stairs. He broke his cheek bone, collar bone, arm, and tore a ligament in his leg. So he is in the hospital in Rome. Coincidently, Big Cat was on my flight, who is in Phi Psi with Sklare, and since we were flying to Rome, Big Cat and I decided that we’d go visit Sklare in the hospital. So I called Dylan’s friends and we met up with them and they took us to the hospital and we went to see Sklare for a few hours. He is doing a lot better now. We are so happy that he is alive. It was such a bad accident. After the hospital, I went to Roma Termini, the train station, and caught a fast train back to Florence.