Wednesday, April 21, 2010


When I came back from Prague on Sunday, I was going to meet my friend from NH! She is studying in Greece and we lived together at St. Paul's our Junior year. She is Jewish and has family in Jerusalem. We met up for lunch and then walked around the city a bit. It was so nice to see her as I hadn't seen her in three years. It was pretty neat that we were meeting up in Israel of all places. We went and got pizza, but it was potato dough I think. Not the best, the food during Passover is definitely bland to say the least. But what can you do. That evening I went to Yoel's house for dinner with Sarah and Katie. We went to the synagogue and then had a lasting meal. We left our place around 5:30 and didn't get home until 1:30! It was neat to go to the synagogue as I had never been to one, and then the meal was more than eating. Before you could eat any portion, there was the story behind it of how and why we are eating such things. There were about 14 people there, and they had the best name tags! Yoel's daughter digs at the City of David and was able to take a piece of pottery from the first temple period! They then wrote our names in ancient Hebrew! It was a lot of fun trying to figure out what you name looked like, and then, we got to have something from first temple period!

It was such a nice night as Yoel had many of his close friends from the States with him. It was such an important evening and they really went all out for it. They have little toys that they would use to explain each story. The food was delicious, I really enjoyed this one dish with apples and matzah, it was almost like warm apple sauce! Yum! I'm happy that I chose to share the evening with Yoel and his family, he explained everything we were doing in such detail for us.

On Tuesday I started to pack and I hung around with Adie for most of the day. I had a ton of laundry to do, and then we went and got falafel from French Hill Falafel! Woot woot! I think I need to ask him if he will move to the States and open a shop there for me! Haha!


March 25th-28th. This was such a whim trip as I thought Uncle Eric was going to visit, but plans fell through and Aviva and I were able to get a package to Prague. Words cannot describe how much fun we had...but I'm going to try. We left Jerusalem around 2am and a sheruit picked us up. You could describe it as a super shuttle, but awful drivers and always late. When we got to the airport, there were no lines, it was really nice. We saw a group of men walking through, they defintely were a mens basketball team, just not sure what country. The questioning was a little nerve racking, but nothing to be scared of. It wasn't until we got to security where they forced Aviva and I to go in separate lines. I was in the "special" line. The line I was in took over an hour to get through. I had to empty my entire bag, they threw away my deodorant. I had a nice conversation with the guy inspecting my things about Prague, he had been there a few times and told me where to eat. I felt bad for these two Irishmen next to me. They were in Israel with another colleague travelling for JP Morgan. They just kept getting hammered by questions and they were so flustered. You could clearly tell they weren't the terrorists, but boy I felt bad for them. Once I got through security, Aviva was already at the gate, it was such a long process. The weird thing about travelling abroad is that in the airports they don't have the little stands to get a drink and your trashy magazine. It is all duty free shops and a small foodcourt. I got McDonald's, I was so hungry. But of course, it was only a hamburger :( And to make it worse, they gave me Diet Coke instead of Coke. The flight wasn't bad, we didn't realize how far north Prague actually was. We were both pretty tired and just wanted to sleep. But we had the Israeli Golden Girls behind us who kept yapping the entire time. I thought I was going to be getting away from Hebrew for a few days! But the company we booked with is of course Israeli, and so our flight was predominately Israelis. Once we got to Prague we had to wait for a bus to take us to our hotel. Our hotel was beyond what we thought. It was a five star hotel, and when we jumped onto the beds we just sank in. I think the bed just gobbled me up every night.

That morning, we rested for a few hours and then had lunch in the hotel. We then took another quick nap, showered, and finally went downtown! We walked around for a few hours and then walked down to the river for our dinner cruise. It was traditional food, had a nice band, and we treated ourselves to a bottle of champagne. High rollers. It was really neat to see everything lit up at night, the mini Eifel Tower and the Castle. There were a lot of other boats out on the river and we had a little traffic jam when we were trying to go through the canal. After our cruise was over, we walked through the Old City and saw the astronomical clock. It is really comical as people wait for the hour to see the clock change, but it maybe moves half and inch. We kept watching hour after hour each day to try and figure out what all the fuss was about. During the day though, they had someone come out and play the trumpet for the crowd. We then found then hole in the ground (literally) and had some hot chocolate. It seriously must have been an old bunker. They had a great jazz band who played a lot of American blues music. I could just picture BB King just chilling with Aviva and I. Haha! We then took the subway home, I wrote some postcards and enjoyed my bed!

On Friday we had a delicious breakfast in the hotel. They had bacon, sausage, ham! Oh my! It was great to have some bacon with my eggs finally. We got ready and then headed down to the Old City again. So here is where we had the biggest upset. When you buy your ticket for the metro in Prague, you don't have to physically move anything to get into the actual subway. You just need to scan your ticket and walk through. There is no barrier from stopping you unlike in New York where you have to push the turn thingy to get through. So Aviva and I saw so many people just keep walking through so we decide that we didn't want to waste money and we would just not buy a ticket. Well...when we got off, these men stopped us and asked for our tickets. After a few minutes of me trying to figure out who these men were and asking for their badges, we told them we threw the ticket out. They didn't fall for it. They charged us 700 karonas, about 40 USD. What a rip off, and we were just both so upset! That was a days worth of money just down the drain. It was so infuriating for the remainder for the time to watch people just not buy their tickets. After we calmed down a bit, we headed to Mala Strata which is on the Eastern side of the river. We walked over the Charles Bridge and headed up to the castle. We saw so many beautiful churches and cathedrals. For lunch we walked back to the Old City and had lunch on top of the U Prince Hotel. It was a great view of the astronomical clock and the town square. They had an Easter celebration, and so they had a lot of the traditional food everywhere. Almost like a medieval times party. After lunch we walked around for another hour and then headed back to the hotel. Without realizing, we both passed out and slept for three hours! We couldn't believe it, we were just so tired from walking around all day. The sun was shining and it was just beautiful. We went for a quick dip in the rooftop pool and then to a nearby restaurant. I had a pork chop but it could have definitely used some Stubbs.

Saturday morning I woke up with a bad migraine. We walked down to the Jewish Quarter, but of course, all the synagogues were closed because of Shabbot! Ugh, really starting to get on my nerves. The half marathon for Prague was that day and most of the streets were closed off. It was a relaxing day as we walked around most of the side streets and saw all the local spots. We stopped and had a hot chocolate and just people watched for about an hour. We had lunch at this brewery where the beer was good but the food wasn't so great. I wasn't pleased with my dish and I told the manager and he told me I still had to pay for it. I didn't even take two bites. There is no customer service outside the United States. Even though you are paying the people to serve you, you practically have to beg them for their help. Just unbelievable. When we went back to the hotel we tried to go for a swim but they told us we needed to pay for it, which they didn't the evening before so we just went back to our room for a little bit. We then went and had a nice Italian meal next to the astronomical clock. We walked across the Charles Bridge and then went back to the hotel. I really was so excited for this place. We had music playing in our bathroom, robes, great view, and of course, the beyond comfortable beds!

Sunday we came back to Jerusalem. It was such a great trip because I really enjoyed being in Eastern Europe. The buildings were not too high, very close together, and the architecture of the cathedrals was just mind blowing. I still can't wrap my head around how they were able to build such things which the little technology they had. I really enjoyed myself in Prague!