i am back at my nest and wow, was that a jam-packed, intense, fantastic, amazing, and exhausting trip! i seem to forget that i have trouble sitting still when in new places and even when we decided to have 'quiet' days, it was nearly impossible for us to just sit back, relax, and watch the world go by. no, there was too much to see, too much to do, and in some cases, too much to eat and drink. my legs are exhausted, my calves are more toned than ever, my lower back aches from the many mattresses, my cholesterol levels are probably skyrocketing, and my liver probably needs its own vacation, but man alive, was that all worth it.
highlights include (and i hope to be able to collate these into some not-so-steady streams of consciousness in the near future, but i seem to suck at writing about things in the past):
- the marathon walking tour with terry brewer that ended 12 hours after it started when we bid adieu to our favourite tour guide at an east berlin pub where the beer doesn't get any cheaper, the decor hasn't changed since communism was all the rage, and the sausages are served with toasted white bread and pickles
- the german history museum. i now understand a hell of a lot more about the reformation and how that carved out our modern world. seeing the documents that led to the greatest chasm in the christian religion was pretty damn cool.
- a new pair of birkenstocks
- the best chocolate shop with the cutest little chocolate hearts, thank you soldier
- seeing history that i actually lived through (even if i was 7)
- staying at a hotel with the best buffet breakfast ever (caprese salad at 8am is always welcome)
- walking, a lot of walking. like more than a lot.
- more pretzels. pretzels are great.
- tourists, lots of tourists. mostly those who just stepped off their ryanair flight from northern england and sport their bikini tops in the centre of prague...
- the views of the castle (which were probably better than the actual castle, including the entry fee)
- the fancy blue outfits at the changing of the guard at the prague castle (even if the soldier was totally unimpressed with the wrinkled uniforms, the lack of unison, and the non chalant attitude of some of the czech soldiers - geez, critical)
- ice cream for dinner
- beer, delicious, delicious beer
- garlic soup that makes you breath garlic fire for 12 hours afterwards. delicious!
- reminding the soldier that there is no 'oslovakia' on the end of czech anymore
- pilgrimages to plzen and ceske budejovice to visit the homes of pilsen and budvar (pilsen being the home of pilsener beer and budvar being the original budweiser that can no longer call itself budweiser thanks to american anhauser busch...)
- you heard it here first, budvar is the best beer in the world. hands down.
- watching the opening ceremonies and turning to the soldier and saying, 'holy shiza'
- meeting the ever-friendly canadians decked out in roots gear at an irish pub to collectively cheer for the canadian, kenyan, british, and south african olympic teams coming into the olympic stadium
- street meat
- a little underground pub devoted to the rolling stones and too much beer (which led to nasty hangovers and day-long train journeys whilst hung over, blech)
- the museum of communism and its groovy t shirts. they really have a fantastic graphic designer who has done their posters and paraphernelia. which is the epitome of irony, really. clever and ironic.
- experiencing post-soviet influenced communist rule for the fist time. fascinating. absolutely fascinating. i must learn more about what it was like.
- a language where every language seems to end in -ska or -ky
- another country that loves hockey as much as canada. eh!?
ok that is all i can muster in one post, stay tuned for more highlights.