From the messy desk of a procrastinating med student

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Czech beer, fairytales and a little nudity


old town square
Originally uploaded by Euro 2006.

We are logging on here from Norway where it costs the equivalent of $AUD400 to blink, so will have to post this quickly before I have to take out a second mortgage to pay for the internet bills!

We arrived in Prague on Wednesday after 36 hours' travel, including shuffling, bleary eyed through various airports and train stations in Darwin, Singapore, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Prague to me felt like a fairytale. We stayed in a tower in an eighteenth century hotel in the old part of town, and I was captivated by the endless cobbled streets, the castle on the hill, busking peasants and quaint little pickpockets trying to steal your purse. There is a gorgeous fourteenth century clock in the old town square which tells astrological, lunar and solar time, the time by the hour, and lets you know which Saint you should be paying your respects to.

Cam was taken with all the historic styles of building: renaissance, gothic, baroque and romanesque, mixed in with the odd 1960s eyesore. It has been great to be able to see the real life examples. After being dragged about on an architectural tour for what seened like 13km and half a day, I decided that my favourite building was the 'dancing building' by Frank Gehry, inspired by the grace of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

dancing building
Originally uploaded by Euro 2006.



Beers in Prague were extremely tasty and extremely big and extremely cheap. A deadly combination. We found lots of fabulous little Czech bars tucked away on steep streets overlooking the city and lots of opportunities to sample the many different Czech beers (pivo) and frightening array of stodgy, fatty, vegetable-less meals. I am still struggling to do up the top button of my jeans after putting away a 2kg roasted pork knee with associated crackling, dumplings and potatoes. Who ever knew pigs had such big knees?

Prauge A+C 101
Originally uploaded by Euro 2006.



From Prague we flew across the Baltic Sea to Oslo and met up with my parents. Oslo was absolutely rocking. The entire 500,000 strong town seemed to be out on the streets, due to what seemed to be a combination of a local music festivals and much-missed sunshine. Spring has hit Norway, and it seems that the locals want to soak up all of the 20-odd hours of sunlight each day, to make up for the months of darkness. We have found it extremely difficult to sleep when it is still broad daylight at 11pm, and light again at 3am. It is 11:30pm at the time of writing and the sun is still streaming through the window.

Difficulty sleeping was not aided by an insane Vietnamese man who somehow broke into our room in Oslo at midnight, shouting and claiming to be the police. He seemed to be in cahoots with the man at the front desk, and we're not sure if he was planning to rob us. He first came in claiming to be in the wrong room, then walked right up to the bed showing us the fakest looking laminated police ID. He got a shock when all of Cam's 105kgs lunged out of bed at him in all his half-asleep nakedness. Too bad he didn't have my pork knee to crack him over the head with.

If you ever go to Oslo, don't stay at the Thon Hotel.

From Norway we rode what is one of the world's most spectacular train journeys from Oslo to Bergen. Bergen has been world-heritage listed for its stunning wharf area with 300-500 year old painted timber buildings.

Tomorrow we're heading into the Fjords for a few days. If we can afford the internet, we'll update!

Ciao

xx
A+C