Monday, December 5, 2011

Prague Day 1: Getting Searched and Searching for Ghosts

If I knew the real way to say 'Hello' in Czech, I would, but for now you'll have to deal with my made up phonetic version: Doh-bree-e-den.  Wasn't that wonderful? It's amazing that I don't teach languages.  I'm talented.

So the only fiasco that we encountered in going to Prague was actually getting there. The original plan was to get up before dawn, get to the airport, and get basically to Prague in time for a proper breakfast. Well, that would be far too easy, so instead, we were notified that our flight was cancelled, and that we were being moved to a later flight... One that left 7 hours later. BOO. So we sucked it up and left 7 hours later instead (and I did enjoy that little bit of extra sleep).

None the less, we made it to the airport in time for the rest of the world to also want to be leaving Italy. Why does everyone want to leave? Not a clue, but basically all of Rome was in the airport in one small room. Not even kidding. It was the most hellish airport experience I've ever had. We waited in a que line for a good hour, get our passports glanced at and then literally thrown into a mosh pit of angry travelers who don't know how to prepare for security scanners. (In my personal opinion, this means that you shouldn't be traveling, but they don't let me run things. I'm not in charge.) So instead, it was the biggest pile of hot mess you've ever seen in your life. Approximately 300 people all mobbing toward 8 security scanners WITHOUT QUE LINES. What?!?!?!  What happened Italy? String would do, long pieces of tape, reconfigured spiderwebs, ANYTHING but it just turned into an anxious swarm of unhappy. And because there were no que lines, or any guiding factors really at all, the people kept pushing toward the front without regard for those in front of them, trying to sneak in to the scanners first, and generally pissing off everyone else. Then all of the people who were running late (ie erryone) were extra anxious because there were 7 people who were on time in front of them. Woof. Town. So after another hour of that, we made it to the gate, slightly bruised, and temperamental, but going to Prague!

Boring plane things, blah, PRAGUE. Now to get from the airport to the hostel there are several things you have to do. 1) Get Czech money. That's approximately 25 Krona to 1 Euro. So get something that feels like a lot. 2) Get a 24 hour pass. 3) Take the bus. 4) Take the Metro. 5) Take the Tram. 6) Walk around and get kind of lost because we don't read Czech, and it's dark. We then walked up a hill to suddenly find our hostel! Huzzah! Czech in, (there are going to be a lot of those in here, get used to them) drop off our stuff, and find some dinner.

So we wander, wander, wander, and after walking into several adorable stores (hey dad, I found one with a toy John Deere tractor. For the low low price of 1125 krona!) and eventually found food. In this tiny little restaurant, there was a lovely television screen showing pictures of what we determined were deer-kats: they looked like meerkats, but patterned like baby deer.  And if that's not enough of a draw to go to a restaurant, I don't know what you want.  (Besides maybe Gates BBQ. OH FOR THE LOVE OF GATES). At this point we decided that we wanted to go on a ghost tour. On your marks, get set, GO-we have 20 minutes to find the ghost tour listed in the brochure.

Now if you've only been in a city for a few hours and it's dark, and you haven't walked anywhere, trying to find an office on some random street is not the easiest thing to do. But with spidey senses tingling, we managed to run right into it. And lucky that we did. In order to get the 10 o'clock tour, one other couple had showed up. Unfortunately, the 10 pm tour is only supposed to happen in the summer, as in not December. Oops. Apparently, the other couple had been told that if more people showed up, that he would give the tour, SURPRISE! Here we are! Saving the day or ruining the day, depending on who you are. Oh well. So we giggle and sign up for tour.  He shoos us out of the little office while he puts on his costume. Oooo scary.

So he comes out of the office in his red cloak/hood that is intended to be the costume of the traditional Czech executioner. Fun stuff right? And we go back into the office for a quick introduction and a survey. Survey? Oh yes, how would you prefer to be executed? A) Noose. B) Axe. (the joke here was that it was the middle school boy spray, same dif) C) Sword. (my answer) D) Hammer. E) Fire. F) Water.  There were little tallies next to all of them, with the most popular being axe. So while you ponder that, just picture us going on the most hilarious ghost tour ever. I mean, I've been on several ghost tours where they tell you creepy stories, and some of them are half believable, and even frightening, but this one was just straight up joke. He tried to scare me once, I wasn't too frightened, as in I had a super delayed/faked scream. Funny, but not the reaction he was looking for. So he decided to scare Kate instead, that one worked.

After the hilarious tour, we walked around singing Harry Potter Puppet Pals (what do you mean this isn't Czech?) and wandered around the pretty much closed Christmas market. Tried a bit o grog which was disgusting, and then called it a night and went back to the hostel for some shut eye.

And I will leave you hanging on that terrifying note. Expect day 2 of Prague tomorrow.

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