Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Czech shopping

Prague is a gorgeous old town, and if you go, take your most comfortable shoes. Most of the streets have tiny cobblestones, which are fairly good to walk on, and they’re also in good condition. I’m told the buses, trams and subways all work very well, but the old parts of the town are really small enough to just walk in.

Main tourist point: the Charles Bridge. This was built in the 1300:s, and had a lot of very beautiful baroque statues on it. The statues are all of religious motives, and if you’re not up to date on your saints, I’m sure a tour would be lovely. If you like architecture, this is also the city to be. There are so many beautiful buildings, including the national theatre, the national musem, the old town hall and many churches.

We opted for a different kind of museum exhibit as well – as we had crossed the Charles Bridge, we saw a sign for an exhibit of medieval torture instruments. “Weird?” “Very.” “Let’s go!” Frankly, it’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve done. But it was fun, too, in some sick way. It’s amazing to see how inventive people have always been when it comes to hurting others. Truly, the talk of war crimes now is horrific, but it really doesn’t stand a chance to what took place just a hundred years ago. All in all, a disgusting little exhibit, but it is also a part of our history.

For souvenirs, there was a lot on offer. The best thing to buy is definitely crystal – there’s a lot of it, and it’s cheap. And gorgeous! I bought a crystal plate with hearts – this will be a perfect cookie plate for Christmas – and at the airport we picked up a heavy crystal vase, for nearly nothing. However, that’s about what we did buy, as well as some foodstuffs of course.

I have a hard time going abroad without going to at least one good grocery store. In this case, it was a bit hard to find a supermarket. I did find two smaller shops near our hotel, but I’m embarrassed to report that all I managed to pick up was several kinds of pasta in fun shapes, and a packet of Laughing Cow cheese with ham flavour. Ok, that wasn’t really all of it – I also bought a bunch of candy, Czech chocolates… and some packets of instant cappuccino. And before I forget, I finally found anchovy paste! In a small gourmet store in the center of Prague, that carried import stuff, nonetheless. So, I got it, and some ceasar salads will be upcoming. (I know that you should use really anchovy, but I *never* have that in the house.)

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