Prague, The Last Days

September 29, 2006

Okay. So, now i’m in a pub having lunch and a hard cider. Free internet. The “chicken steak in beer batter” is basically a chicken breast inside a pancake. it’s really weird. I wish i had my camera to take a picture for you guys… but that got stolen with my passport.

Here’s THAT story…

Basically, we rushed off the train when we got to Prague last night. The tour that Sarah picked out for us was led by a guy who couldn’t wait to get rid of us so he could go to Hungary on holiday. He dumped us at the Brno train station with tickets back to Prague, but didn’t tell us we’d need to transfer to get back.

We ended up at the German border. What should have been only 2 hrs on the train, turned into 8.

The Aussie guy we were with was dead sure we had to get off at first prague train station. We rushed off… despite the fact that we really should have riden through to the last stop… it was closer to our hostel.

Regardless, in our rush, my purse got left behind and the train management was of little help to find it last night or this morning. They have a lost and found, but that’s really a joke…

So, I called the US embassy last night and they said I can’t leave the Czech Republic without a passport. And I probably couldn’t get one until Tuesday. So, I freaked out.

I got up at 7:30 this morning… on almost NO sleep and went to the train station to find my stuff… didn’t happen. I cried to the police. They did what they could, but they knew there was little/no hope.

They pointed me towards the embassy. I went and paid $100 for a temporary emergency passport. It will get me home tomorrow. Just really mad that I lost my camera, 24 hours in Prague, my new purse (cheap, but i liked it) and my passport. So tired.

So, that’s the story. I will leave this pub in about 45 minutes to go get my new passport. Can’t wait. Woopdeedoo.

BACKTRACKING: (I wrote this on the train from Brno to…Decin. Note my italicized [*comments])

Sorry for the lack of blogging the past couple of days. The internet at the Renaissance Hotel cost over $25/day and I didn’t have it every day. So… Let’s see. I’m currently blogging from a train. It’s going from Brno to Prague. [hahahaha…how naive I was…]

(If anyone remembers, Sarah and I did an ad at the Circus for RyanAir making fun of Brno… It basically was:

Unscramble the name of this famous European city:

Answer: Trick Question. Brno is, in fact, NOT a famous city at all. Although, it is in Europe and RyanAir flies there…blahblahblah…

Regardless, we were really excited to go to Brno. We were there for a total of about 15 minutes and then we got on the train. So, not much to report.

So, now you’re probably asking yourself “Why the hell were they 2.5 hours away from Prague in a nothing-city like Brno?” Well, we decided to take an overnight trip to the country that was suggested to Sarah by a local hostel. This Czech guy, Peter, took us in his van with Zebra interior, out of Prague and out to Kutna Hora. We went to its famous Bone Church. Basically, the skeletal remains of 40,000 people were dug up (overflow because of the Plague) and they didn’t have anywhere to put them. A monk decided to arrange them in various patterns around this church — there’s a crest, chandelier, and various huge pyramids held in cages. It was… stunning. I can’t really put it into words. But I do have pictures on my Flickr. Definitely take a look.

That night, he took us to his hostel in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful countryside, a village called Dalecin. His friend (who lives at the hostel and takes care of the place — a guy from northern Norway) made us dinner and we sat around drinking wine for a bit. We were hoping to explore the area on bike, but it was raining. [Was actually a little depressing. He didn’t seem to like the hostelling thing anymore]

The second day (today), we all got back in the van and headed out to the Punkva Caves… One of the four cave systems in the Moravian Karst. The tour guide led us and a group through narrow, underground caves… Must have been 40 degrees down there. Incredibly cold. Thank God for my fleece. The stalagmites and stalactites were really fantastic. There’s an area called the “Abyss.” Looking up from the bottom is incredible, looking down from the top is a bit scary. Apparently, some evil stepmother shoved her stepson down into the Abyss years ago. Since then, there are constantly suicide jumpers. But hey — I’d jump too if I didn’t have any vowels…

Just kidding. Anyway, if you’re even in Prague and want a day trip, I highly recommend it. Absolutely gorgeous up there. Apparently you need to make reservations way in advance… So, something to keep in mind.

We should be pulling into Prague anytime now. [hahahahahahahaha] I’m really looking forward to seeing what I’ve missed… The Communist Museum, the Mucha Museum, the National Gallery, [I see a day at the US Embassy in your future…] and I think we’re getting tickets for La Traviata at the National Theater/Opera tomorrow night. The expensive tickets are less than $40, if you can believe it… But we’ll probably just get the $10 balcony seats. I still need to buy gifts for everyone! [or a new passport! Everyone can look at it — that will be my gift to everyone…]

We had a great last day of shooting. We went out of Prague about 30 minutes to a suburb. We shot our last spot at a house that felt somewhat American. They “Americaned-it-up” with a big fridge and other props that characteristically un-European. Once we were all done (it took about 7 hours to shoot a 15-second spot), we changed quickly at the hotel and went to a bar for our wrap party. The crew and directors are all Swedish, and holy crap those people know how to drink. I’ve never seen anyone order so much alcohol at once in my life. Everytime a waiter passed by, he was immediately flagged down to bring a new drink – and make it 6. So the tables are overflowing with untouched beers, shots, and mojitos. We’re grabbing them up and sucking them down. After three enormous mojitos, I realized that I had no chance of waking up the next day on time unless I bailed… I left with the eBay clients and we hit the sack early. They had an early flight the next morning… I had an early checkout and lots to take care of before the van trip.

I’ve done a lot of wandering around the city. Before our last day, Sarah and I made sure to eat dinner in our favorite restaurant one last time (using our BBDO budget, of course…)… It’s the restaurant downstairs from the Franz Kafka museum. Oddly enough, the most memorable thing there was the bread swimming in olive oil and big chunks of sea salt. Mmmm… Getting hungry just thinking about it.

We also saw the castle, which was really just an enormous complex atop a steep hill. Definitely a bitch to climb up to, but really breathtaking once you’re there. We bought tickets for the castle and the golden lane… But never made it to the castle in time. It closed before we even got a chance to go in. Figures.

Okay. That’s enough for now. Can’t wait to come home.

The last pictures ever taken by my little Sony can be seen at this link. Sigh.


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