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Jul 17, 2005 - John's Prague

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

Okay so Marc left out some of the historical stuff, which I LOVE, especially those statues, hello to fellow statue nut Scott!!

Prague was I think for both of us a highlight of Europe and one of the most beautiful and English friendly cities that we have visited.

I went for a fabulous run (hi Louise and gang) early one morning. Ran up to Prague Castle, which according to Guinness is the largest castle complex in the world, and then up to a cool lookout point which has a replica of the Eiffel Tower, couldn't go up though because it was too early, wasn't open. Then went thru a really neat area called Mala Strana(Little Quarter) that Marc and I visited the day before. Finished off this great run with a jog over The Charles Bridge, which has 30 amazing statues running along both sides!! Okay so this bridge was one of the best things we have seen in all of Europe!! Gotta love those statues, right? This bridge was built in 1357 and the statues were erected in the 18th century. There is one statue in particular of St John of Nepomuk, who was a priest that was thrown from the bridge and killed on orders of King Wenceslas, for not revealing the confessions of the Queen!! His tomb is in Prague Castle as is King Wenceslas. It was really cool running through this whole area that we visited the day before, because this time there were no tourists or vendors anywhere near the castle or the bridge. I felt like I was able to really appreciate it so much more.

We also visited the Strahov Library in this really beautiful area called Hradcany, just beside the castle. The library was gorgeous, the Theological and Philosophical areas had unbelievable frescoed ceilings and there was some really neat natural history artifacts. There is a model ship also and below this ship are 4 really long elephant trunks, at least that is what the prudish elderly librarian will tell you, they are actually whale's penis'!! The other interesting thing about the books is that the ones on Tree Growing are bound in the bark of the tree they describe! The only thing that sucked was this library charged too much to get in, there were only two rooms and a hallway. They also charge you an extra license fee to use your camera. Actually the sights in Prague were among the most expensive, if not the most expensive, that we have encountered thru out Europe and many places do not allow picture taking and if they do they charge a fee to do so !!! This is the only thing that turned us both off.

Another interesting area was the Jewish Quarter. The Jewish Museum has an interesting origin. the objects that are placed here for display were collected by the German's during WWII from hundreds of Synagogues and Jewish homes for a planned "museum of an extinct race" after there "successful" extermination program was completed.

Well that is all I have to say historical wise. See you all in Germany !

John:-)

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