Saturday, March 01, 2014

four cities, two weeks-- prague and amsterdam, day 11

our last day in prague. (if you listen very closely, you can hear my heart breaking.) 

our flight to amsterdam (third fight of trip) wasn't until later in the day so we had lots of time to pack and sort of schmooze around. we toyed with the idea of catching a tram to castle hill but decided instead to walk to praha 5. (CASTLE HILL IS SAVED FOR THE NEXT TRIP WOO)

i still *cannot* get over this view, no matter how hard i try.

swans, um, swan around in the vltava. this was the day that i finally took a picture or two of them. (ed note:  the instagram-y photos that follow were made using my sunglasses as a filter. i keep meaning to buy another pair (blue polarizing) so that i have two handy, wearable filters when i'm out.)

why praha 5? dancing house is one reason. i mean, again, it's a gehry so who really cares. but at least this is an example of his work where he gave a tiny bit of consideration to location and not just his ego.

god, i'm so over gehry.

but i LOVE these ornate ladies.

another reason for venturing to praha 5 was to take a picture of the most legii bridge sign.

yes, yes. leff and i were both saying that this bridge was most legii, most legii to quit(ii) (hey, hey).  this does not mean that you should make this joke out loud. nor should you hammer dance across the bridge UNLESS there is a group of braying americans on a segway tour, in which case HAVE AT IT ALL BETS ARE OFF AT THAT POINT.


yet ANOTHER reason for the praha 5 adventure was to find a BWAHAHAHA TESCO. (who DOES THIS other than us and maybe some homesick brits? (people needing groceries, that is who.))

this is obviously not a picture of said tesco expres (YES ONLY ONE "S" SHUT UP PEDANTS "EXPRES" HAS ONE "S" IN THE CZECH LANGUAGE SO SUCK IT) but it was located near this very peaceful park.

people were just hanging out, catching up with their friends who were passing by, walking their dogs (czech dogs are VERY WELL BEHAVED and i love them.). since i live in a very antisocial part of the states, i DESPERATELY miss this sort of thing. in other words, this was a very good park.

also very good was this sausage-y pastry item

which i ate near some more swans. (i SWEAR this little island was where part of that inxs video was filmed. hah! (WHY are all of my prague musical references set in the 90's??))

i also had a jam donut (i don't think they offer the stale ones at cafe imperial anymore yet somehow i didn't feel like my trip was complete without a damn donut in prague.)

yes, the morning had been fantastic! BUT THEN D: leff started having kidney issues.

look, EVERYTHING IS FINE. it's just neither of us had had nearly enough water to drink and, well, you've seen how we'd been eating. SO MUCH SALT (we keep everything low sodium at the casa) thankfully, he caught the issue early enough and drank maybe three liters of water in an hour or so.

i mean, it was very nerve-racking and i wasn't much help because, i will be honest with you, my left foot was not just swollen because of dehydration. i, um, am pretty sure that i rebroke it in berlin. *coughing/scuffing non broken foot* so i was basically the bench place holder at this park while leff limped off to find water. sigh...sorry, leff.

while i was bench warming, i was approached by some lady from czech radio (her mic/mp3 recorder had a radio logo/call) wanting to ask me a question. i don't know how i managed it but i was able to say "pimento promiňte, nemluvím česky." accompanied by an apologetic smile to which she replied "oh! děkuji!" before smiling back and moving on.

sometimes, i surprise myself.

with the medical crisis was almost over, it was time for our car to vaclav havel. (there's no direct subway line or bus to the airport and, after the stress of the afternoon, i didn't have enough wits left to figure out a transfer (although, i am sure it is simple. prague is very easy to navigate on public transportation.) so we booked through our hotel.)

i would show you the suburbs of prague but none of the photos came out. it pretty much looks like any other suburb though only a lot less tacky. use your imagination (or google images).

i was CRAZY impressed by vaclav havel. SO MANY FLIGHTS leaving SO QUICKLY and it was SO SO SOOO QUIET. i could really only hear this machine buzz even though our gate was full.

our flight to amsterdam was on easy jet. HEY NOW HOLD ON I KNOW that there are horror stories about easy jet out there but i experienced no problems with this airline. if you use them MAKE SURE TO BE UNDER THE WEIGHT ON YOUR BAGGAGE AND FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES LISTED ON THEIR SITE also bring food/bev with you if you think you will need it. easy jet is all about additional add ons, yes, but there are work arounds.

plus, you know, in about an hour we were in holland. leff and i fist bumped when we landed and it cracked both us and our czech seatmate up. SERIOUSLY CZECH REPUBLIC I LOVED YOU everyone EVERYONE was so helpful and kind and just great!

but guess what SO WERE THE DUTCH PEOPLE I TALKED TO! leff and i were really exhausted when we landed and, as such, i was having a hard time switching my brain into dutch. (i was trying to translate all train signs into german. sigh....i will never be a true, proper, talented polyglot. i am just a language tourist.) but GUESS WHAT if you say to the REALLY CUTE DUTCH GUY "hallo! sorry! could you please tell me if this is the train to centraal station?" he will not only confirm for you that, yes! you are correct! BUT ALSO show you the reader board and give you a basic breakdown of how the system works. THANK YOU WONDERFUL CUTE DUTCH GUY YOU WERE TOTALLY THE BEST

not QUITE the best though was navigating to our hotel in the dark. centraal station dumps you out at dam square and, i will be honest with you, i HATE dam square. blech. it is tourist central and full of the worst stereotype of hippies that you can conjure up. DOUBLE BLECH.  also, i was trying to coordinate a bar with gareth by texting, in the dark, while walking around in a city where i had never been before. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (well, obvs, you couldn't BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN)

the bar did not happen because once we saw this

oh, honey, we were in for the night. (sebastian's has THE GREATEST BEDS which UH OH FORESHADOWING  is good for me 'cause i unfortunately spent a lot of time in mine BECAUSE I HAD A SINUS INFECTION ah man. more about that later.)

TOMORROW ON RAKKA AND LEFF SORT OF DON'T DO MUCH IN MOKUM:  WE MEET UP WITH THE BRITBOYS (LEONARRRD/GAAARETH) AND MAKE THEM DO DESIGNY THINGS hahahaha AND THEN i have to take a break because i have a fever BUT i manage to rally enough to go on a search for gezelligheid in the joordan. I DID NOT CRY OUTSIDE OF ANNE FRANK HUIS but it was very, very difficult. CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE LAST POST UPDATE OF THIS CRAZY BONKERS TRIP

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