Friday, January 22, 2010

Bohemian Rhapsody

As we left Germnay and traveled through the rest of Saxony the scenerey gradually became more mountainous and rugged. We even spotted what looked like an old castle or church eerily resting atop a mountain.
the Czech Republic, like Berlin, is another divided land. Except unlike East and West Berlin which were eventually reunited, Czechosolovakia was permanently split in 1992. All the tour guides glaze over the subject and they only offer vagaries when describing why the split occrued. They usually mutter something about it being highly "political." Whatever that means, but I guess I will take their word for it.
Prague seems worn out from being constantly inundated with toursits. I think it needs a vacation. If the city were a person it would be the old uncle of Europe; the one with a sordid past and a constant runny nose and couch. He always shows up to family dinners half drunk and with some new beautiful girl at his side. Nobody wants to give him a kiss because his nose is running and he smells like beer. The Czechs are infamous for their beer consumption. World champions in fact. It is a widely spewed fact that they are the biggest consumers of beer in the world.

When we went to see the Golden Alley, one of the oldest streets in Prague and golden because people would toss their pee down the street, some were amused that how small the houses were. Its quite logical with you think about it - back then people did not really have access to great nutrition and therefore did not grow as tall (or wide) and as a result built smaller houses.

The famous Charles Bridge looked as if it might collapse from all the visitors, even at 10'o'clock on a Tuesday morning! There were swarms of people everywhere. Its namesake if from King Charles IV who ruled over Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire. He seemed like a pretty decent ruler. He developed Prague quite a bit when he was in charge. He ordered the construction of what is known as the 'New Town' and he had the bridge built in order to connect the old and new town. Quite a forward thinker for a 14th century politician.
The clock was pretty nifty too, if you can swim through the sea of tourists. It can not only tell time but the date, the moon phase and the zodiac signs.
On our last night some of us ventured to a more local friendly scene where they had several Czech beers on tap for very reasonable prices - the water is too expensive might as well drink the beer.

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