So I've been here just over a week, and am really looking forward to going home on Saturday.

Yesterday, I had the afternoon off and went for a three-hour walk (mainly three hours since I got lost in Old Town and wandered freely for an hour before finding myself back at the Astronomical Clock plaza - from there it is about a twenty-five minute walk back to the hotel). I saw the Astronomical Clock chime the hour twice - always a fun thing to do.

The clock is 600 years old - and I found this video of the celebration of the 600th anniversary:

Which is an extremely cool ten minutes.

Prague is an extremely walkable city and is the city I think about as being more people than cars. The cobblestone streets are more conducive to walking and folks walk in the street until they *have* to get out of the way of a car.

Also, a lot of the streets are one way, because the buildings were built so close together in the ages before automobiles.

This morning I also had off - and my co-worker and I went walking again - and did some light shopping. This time we crossed the Charles Bridge (Karlov Most) and turned and came back - since we had to be working by 12:30 to relieve a co-worker who had this afternoon off.

The week has been long, and I am tired. Tuesday's Social Event was at the Municipal House and our entertainment was the "La Putyka" show - which has video up on youtube if you're interested - but I think that it loses something in the translation - because the take-aways I got was BEER is most important, with FIGHTING and SEX as close second places in life. And I have a feeling these are well-known Czech stock characters, which kind of left a lot of us puzzled. Although, the reception was polarized, some hated it and some loved it. I appreciated it even if I didn't understand, and the athleticism of the performers was incredible. Then we went out to a "music bar" to celebrate some birthdays among the staff... and by "music bar" it was a bar that was a place for smoking and drinking with a small dance floor and it played music videos as its entertainment. It was not quite "cool" enough to be a dance club, but couldn't exactly be termed a bar, either. Sort of a weird melding of the two.

The food is good, and I am eating way too much. Can't wait to get home, though - even if there is supposed to be snow on the ground when I land. Ick.
etakyma: (Default)
( Mar. 25th, 2007 11:07 am)
Yesterday I spent the day traveling.

I went through Frankfurt, and wow. If you've flown recently back to the US from the Frankfurt airport in Germany, you know what I am talking about. I think I got more action from the security chick than I've had in years. They frisk absolutely everybody. And between the metal detector wand and her hand running where no hand but mine has been lately... I'm just sayin'. Her hand brushing a little more northward and we'd have to get married.

But the travelling thing took all day. I started out at 4:30am local (11:30pm ET) when I checked out of the hotel. And I got back to my house about 4:30pm local (ET) time. Which would have been 9:30pm in Prague. I made a couple of phone calls, ate something and collapsed into bed at 8:30pm. I then woke around 12:30am (about the time I'd been getting up in Prague - 5:30am. I went to the bathroom and went back to bed where I slept on until 7:30 this morning. 11 and a half hours of sleep, and a little something to eat, and I am feeling so much more human.


- cobbled streets and alleys, and stone work absolutely everywhere you look. Not just cobblestone, but *decorative* cobblestone.

- the food - love the game meat you can't find in the US. I had quail, duck, roedeer (a specific type of european deer, that populates like rabbits), venison... all of it delicious. I didn't get a chance to try some of the other meats on the menus I saw, like boar, rabbit and hare. And presented so beautifully.

- the restaurant's there have wonderful portion control. At every meal I cleaned my plate, did not feel overful, did not feel like I was starved, and still had room for dessert, even if I'd had an appetizer.

- looking out the windows and seeing gothic cathedrals, and baroque palaces, and architecture and sculpture from all ages - starting around the year 900. The buildting facades are so spectacular. The city is one of the few that was never bombed during WWII - so all those old buildings are untouched by that sort of damage.

- Walking across the Charles Bridge (Karluv most) and looking at all the vendor's wares.

- Ancient buildings everywhere. I know I just said that, really. But I bears repeating.

- Turning on the TV and getting CSI dubbed in French, CSI:Miami dubbed in Spanish, and South Park dubbed in German (which, as admittedly, I've never watched a whole episode of) and which sounds oddly appriate in German, and the British Discovery channel. All at the same time.

But I have to say, I am so glad to be home!!!

Aside to [ profile] krissielee, hon, I need your address. Just send it to me (I think you have my email address already?).
etakyma: (Default)
( Mar. 23rd, 2007 05:48 pm)
I am starting to pine a little for home. Today we packed everything up to ship out, and this afternoon we all took off to do whatever. M, M's husband and I went to shop - in the cold- in the rain. The one half day I had out and it fucking rains. And since Prague is a very walkable city, what did we do? We walked. From the hotel, through Old Town and over the "Karluv most" or Charles Bridge.

In the other side of the bridge we had dinner with R and R at the Kampaspark - in the terrace, which is right above the water line on the Vltava river a couple hundred feet downstream of the Charles Bridge.

We took a cab back to the hotel. We did try Berkerov - an herbal distilled appertif - and oh, my. Sweet and medicinal and it burned lips, and set fire to the throat. It is a sipping drink - one I am glad I tried, but will not be bringing home, thanks. A few nights ago the other team members tried Absinth - and the bar did the whole "set fire to sugar" bit with it. It is a rather pretty icy blue color - but I wasn't tempted to try to drink that - Absinth is illegal in the US for a reason, y'know.

Now I have to pack, because I have to leave the hotel by 4:45am tomorrow to make my flight to Frankfurt. Yikes... I better get going. I will be home this time tomorrow, with a little luck!
etakyma: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2007 08:26 am)
Morning for my american flist.

Prague has turned overcast, cold and rainy/snowy. Which bothers me not at all, as I haven't stepped foot outside the hotel for almost three days. Tonight we have an event at the Zofin Palace, and that promises to be a good time, but exhausting, since my company is organizing and running it. So my day will likely go from 5:30am to midnight. I bypassed my forty hour work week this morning at 8:30am. And it is only Tuesday. Yikes!

Sadly, I am not an hourly employee, so that doesn't mean much except I am working far too much (and sleeping far too little). I love the money here, it is very pretty - and the coins go in interesting increments - half-a-crown, 1 crown, two crown, five crown, ten crown, twenty crown, and fifty crown. The bills start at 100 crown and go to 200 crown, 500 crown, 1000 crown and above (although, since I didn't get anything bigger than the 1000 crown, I can't say what they look like.

There are about 21 crowns to the US dollar, so 100 crowns is (roughly) about $5.

And since I am burbling on about nothing in particular, I think I'll stop. The staff got chocolate covered strawberries this morning, maybe I'll get myself another water, and have one... White chocolate or milk chocolate. Decisions decisions!
etakyma: (Default)
( Mar. 15th, 2007 05:01 pm)
My first full day in Prague. My co-worker Dinara and I went exploring after breakfast to find a place to change some money to Czech Crowns. There are approximately 20 crowns to an American dollar - so for example, three of us had dinner in a teensy (it could seat maybe twelve people - and thats a stretch) local pub - two had beer, I had water, and dinner for all of us was 394 crowns. Or just less than $20. Dinner was good - I had the "Smuggler Pocket" (or Paserakova Kapsa) - which consists of cheese, and some smoked meats folded over together and fried. Crispy and yummy and probably really really bad for you.

Anyway, at 1:45pm Dinara and I took a tour of the historic parts of the city - it was a driving/walking tour, and it was open to whoever wanted to go from a number of different hotels. Dinara and I were the only ones on it this afternoon, so it was us and the tour guide, which was fantastic. He was an older man who had lived through the communist history and was very proud of his city. We wandered through some of the outside bits of Prague Castle (Prazskeho) (a small city unto itself, it seems), driven around and then we walked across the Charles Bridge (Karluv most), into Old Town. The tour was just over three hours, and we saw the very basics of the city. I'd love to have more time to actually stop and go into different places. Our tour guide, Jan, told us of the laying of the cornerstone for the Charles Bridge - year, date, and time down to the minute. It was laid down on 135797531. Or: 1357.9.7.5:31. Or put yet another way (that makes a bit more sense): July 9, 1357 at 5:31am.

Just the feeling of OLD, ANCIENT is amazing. We passed the oldest chapel in Prague - it is a small round stone building built in the early 900's. The buildings are a mishmash of styles. Theres baroque next to gothic next to rococo. There is a palace that has deer antlers mortered on to the chimney, which was the architect's declaration that he had cuckolded the lord of the manor.

Definistration happened out the south windows of one of the palaces inside the castle walls. The nobles thrown out the window did not die, then, they merely ended up on the garbage heap. They were executed a few years later, though, in one of the squares, and their heads decorated the Charles Bridge.

We passed by a second story hall where the men used to joust. Inside, in the hall. The ladies of the day were up on the third or fouth floor balconies watching as their men jousted. There was a separate entrance where they rode their horses inside and up wide, shallow stairs to get into the hall.

Wild stuff. Bedtime for me now though. It is 11pm and I must be up early tomorrow.
etakyma: (Outhouse)
( Mar. 13th, 2007 09:27 am)
Later today I am off to Prague. I have an overnight flight that will take a total of seven hours to Frankfurt, two hour layover, and another 1 and a bit to Prague. So for my 11 "real" hour trip, because of the time change, "almost seventeen" hours will have elapsed. I land in prague at 9:00am Wednesday morning. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

I will be offline for much of today and probably tomorrow, but I'll be back online Thursday. At least when I travel for business, getting online is a necessity for work, so while I may respond to things at odd times, I will respond.

Off now to the bank for trvel money, and the drugstore for neccesities. Home to finish packing, and off to the airport this afternoon.

Fun fun.


etakyma: (Default)


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