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Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's cold, there's bones, and school starts

Well, it decided to get super cold in Prague these last few days. So it hasn't been quite as comfortable walking around. We went on the Prague tour on Thursday and had to stop for some hot wine at a little cafe and warm up. On Friday we went to a town called Plzen, where they have the Pilsner Urquell brewery. Pilsner is the beer of choice here in Prague. I'm not a big fan of beer, but Pilsner is pretty good. So we went on the tour and got a free tasting. We tasted the beer straight from one of the wooden barrels, which they barely use anymore. We hung around Plzen for a few more hours, but there wasn't a whole lot else to do there. All the towns are really cool towns, but during the winter a lot of things are closed because it's not really tourist season.

Saturday we went to a town called Kutna Hora. This is a really small town, but they have a "bone chapel" here calld Sedlec Ossuary. The chapel is built in the middle of a graveyard and a long, long time ago everybody wanted to be buried in this graveyard - all the wealthy people in central Europe. During the plague and the Hussite Wars there were so many people and not enough room. So they would dig up graves and soon had a huge pile of bones in this chapel. Eventually a wood carver was hired to do something with these bones and he decorated this whole chapel with human bones. It was pretty cool. It sounds a little bit creepy, but it is pretty amazing that someone could take all those bones and create this work of art. The man intended to leave a message with the work as a celebration of life. Here are some pics.

There will be more pictures on my flickr website -

Saturday night was the Czech vs. Russia hockey game in the Olympics - playing for Bronze and they were playing the game in Old Town Square on big screens. Old Town Square is really pretty and the oldest part of Prague - where the town started. They had a whole set up there with two big screens and little stands all around selling food and hot chocolate and hot wine. It was really fun. we got in there with all the rowdy Czechs and jumped up and down and cheered with all of them. There was a stage set up and at halftime they put on a little show. Some cheerleaders came out and danced and they played and sang music - most of it being American music - like "hey mickey", so it was a lot of fun. The Czechs ended up winning and we got out of the cold and found a pub nearby. we stayed there for a little bit, but wanted to get home before midnight because the subways stop running at midnight. (They keep their trams running all night long, though - so there is a way to get around).

Sunday, I went to church in Prague for the second time. Last weekend one of the girls on the trip had found an English speaking mass - So some of us k-staters gathered up and found this church. It was a beautiful church! I definitely have never gone to mass in a church like this. It was very ornate and had gold everywhere. It was built in 1220. The church is called St. Tomas. They have an organ there that is decorated beautifully - something I've never really seen at a Catholic Church at home. So we went to this church again yesterday. There is Czech mass before our mass and they also do a Spanish mass. The church isn't heated and it is absolutely freezing in there. They have these little heat pads on the back of all the pews that give out a little heat, but definitely not enough, so you have to stay bundled up the whol time. We want to go the Czech mass sometime, though - they play the organ during that mass. Straight from mass, we decided we'd head over to this shopping area that has an ikea, a Tesco (like a walmart), and a mall. At ikea, Laura and I found a really cheap rug to cover our concrete floor in our dorm room. We have a ski trip planned in two weeks and none of us brought any pants to go skiing in, so we went to the mall and found ski pants. And of course we went to tesco for some essentials. When 7 girls share one bathroom we go through toilet paper so fast and the dorm doesn't supply us with toilet paper. We were with two of our flatmates so we all stocked up on TP. All of this pretty much took all afternoon.

Today we start school! kind of, atleast. We get two weeks to go around to whatever classes we want and then we decide which classes we want to be in. So we get to check out some different studio teachers and find out about their projects before we commit to one. It's different, but kind of nice. Also, there is no school on Fridays, so I get a 3 day weekend every week.

Well, that's about it for now!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Some pics

Laura and I in Karlovy Vary having one of the 3 free shots of different types of Becherovka liquor.

Bryan, Carl, Annie, Luke, and Dan on our cold and snowy Prague tour

Czech kids are SO cute and this one was adorable. He was ahead of his mom a little ways and walking their dog, which was about as big as him. It seems like eveyone here has a dog and people are always walking their dogs. They're very cute too. Some of them wear coats.

Laura, me, Allison and Annie before the changing of the guards at Prague Castle. The guards aren't aloud to smile or move or anything here.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Snow in Prague!

It's snowing in Prague today! I think this is supposed to be a really cold week! It hasn't been too bad yet, but I knew it was coming. I do look forward to seeing the city covered in snow, so I don't mind if it just keeps on snowing today. Today, we can go on a Prague tour so I plan on doing that, but it will be very cold indeed.

Yesterday we went to Karlovy Vary - another city in the Czech Republic. It's much smaller than Prague, but it is a pretty cool town. It's a spa town and there are hot springs all over the city. People drink from them every day, because I guess it is supposed to keep you healthy. So we walked around the city - some peole stopped and tried the springs, but everybody said it was pretty gross, so I refrained.

They make a really popular liquor in this town that was started by the Becher family - it's called Becherovka. They have a little museum there and gave us a tour of where they make the liquor. We saw all these huge barrels that the liquor was in. You could definitely smell it as we walked around. Then, at the end we went to the tasting room and tried three different shots of the liquor. It wasn't too tasty, but it was a fun time. We didn't know we would be doing that, so it was a nice surprise. Then we had some lunch where I tried my first goulash here. It was really good!

It's weird going out to eat here because beer is definitely the cheapest drink to get and you get the most quantity. Usually, it's a big mug of beer or you can order a half. The half is still more than if you ordered a coke.

Hockey is a huge deal here and with the olympics going, all the Czech students are really into it. Last night we went down to the club and pub and everybody was watching the hockey game. It was Czech Republic vs. Slovakia so it was a pretty huge deal (Czechlosavakia split into Czech Republic and Slovakia). I don't know anything about hockey, but I might come back from here a hockey fan! Laura is a huge hockey fan and we might get tickets to a hockey game on her birthday. One of the Czech buddies is a huge fan and said he could get us some tickets.

And we finally have our student i.d. cards and can eat at the menza - the dining center at school. There's three different ones on the campus and they are so much cheaper than eating out every day.

Okay, better go!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


So, we finally have internet in our rooms now! But the dark computer screen is still making things difficult. I would be posting more pictures, but they're really hard for me to see on here, but I'm going to try.

They've been keeping us pretty busy this week with meetings and all kinds of things. We have had to make so many different i.d.'s. They told us to bring a bunch of passport size pictures and we've definitely needed a good amount so far. We finally got a 3 month pass for the subways, so I don't have to pay every time I use it, which is a lot.

A big thing we had to get done this week was go to the police station. When we received our visa's a while ago they told us to go the police station within 3 days of arriving in Prague and register our visa's since we are staying in Prague for a long period of time. We really had no idea what we would have to do at the police station. Most of the international students here don't have to go because they're in the European Union, but those of us not in it have to go. So yesterday around noon a group of us went with 3 czech buddies (not mine of course because he is kind of worthless). This place was packed with people! There were too many people and we were told to come back tomorrow.
Today we made our way to the police station at 6:45 in the morning because that's the only way you can do it without waiting longer than 3 hours. It's kind of a long story, but it ended up that 5 of us were at the police station without a czech buddy. We had to wait 2 hours before we could talk to anyone. We were definitely freaking out because we don't know how to speak czech and we had no idea what we were going to have to do when it was our turn and we had no idea if these people could speak any english! I don't know the last time I was that nervous. As we were waiting though, we heard an American woman talking and speaking ENGLISH! So we went to talk to her and it turns out she had her passport stolen and there was a czech student there with her to translate for her. They finished right before we went in and he came in with us to help out.

It felt good to finally get that out of the way! It was quite the experience, by my 'crazy czech experiences' weren't quite done yet for the day... We had to meet all the architecture students at this building on campus so we could register for classes. We arrived a little early since we came straight fromt he police station. So I took a trip to the restroom. Well, then I tried to leave the restroom, but found the door to be locked!! there was nothing to unlock either. There was a key hole and I definitely don't have the key to the door. So I just kept trying for a minute in disbelief that I was actually locked in a bathroom. Luckily, some friends were waiting on me and noticed the door handle jiggling. So they came over and tried to open the door and it still didn't work! They went in search of someone who had a key, but it's difficult to explain to people who know little english that their friend is locked in the bathroom and they need a key. But finally! they found a person with a key and I was let out. haha. I couldn't help but share the experience with everybody because it was definitely a first.

Anyways, this is really long! Other than today we did some shopping this weekend for essentials at Tesco - the closest thing to a walmart. We did a lot of exploring and found a couple of the big tourist areas of Prague that were really cool - the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock among some things. We're taking it slow on seeing all the sites. I think we're getting a Prague tour this week. There's a pub and a club in the basement of our dorm so we went there this weekend too. Last night the International Student Club rented out a club and all the international students went and had a party. So we've gotten to know a lot of the other students. Laura and I are really enjoying our flatmates who are from England. The rest of the week there are a lot of trips schedule for us! Well, I've got to end this!

Laura and I with one of the awesome Czech buddies, Thomas.

And thanks so much for leaving me some comments! :)

Friday, February 17, 2006

And We're Here!

Well, we arrived in Prague today. It's hard to believe we're actually here. I guess I'd say it's been a mixture of feelings today - excited, exhausted, nervous, relieved, excited again, and so on!

We had to wake up at about 3 am this morning in order for everyone to shower and pack and be ready for the taxi's that picked us up from our hotel in London. It was about a 5 to 10 minute taxi ride to the train station that would take us to the airport. and the cab fare was 15 pounds-which is almost 30 dollars. And we had to take 2 taxis for the 4 of us because of the amount of luggage. London is definitely an expensive place.

But everything went pretty smooth. We arrived and met our Czech buddies that the school sets us up with to help us through the semester so we're not completely lost. But my Czech buddy had told me he couldn't come because he failed an exam and had to retake it the day we arrived! So everybody had to share their buddy with me.

Anyways.. we didn't do a whole lot of exploring today because we were so tired.. but we went to a pub and had our first czech beers and meal.. so far so good but I played it pretty safe with the meal! For dinner we ended up running into a bunch of the other kstate students and walked around until we found a little pizza place. We took our time there and had dinner.

Our dorm is kind of on the edge of Prague, so it's not really in a tourist area, but both places we ate the waiters understood english and spoke some too. So that was good to see! We were trying to tap into the little language we learned in our Czech class last semester.

Anyways, we can't get internet in our dorm rooms until Tuesday, so it's a little tricky getting on the internet right now. There is wireless in the lobby area, so that's where I am right now. Also, my computer decided to have issues so it's making it all the more stressful! Whatever it is that makes the computer screen glow is broken, so the screen is super dark and I have to have a lamp directly above it to see anything.
So somehow I hope I can get that fixed!!

We have orientation next week starting on Monday, so hopefully a lot of our questions we have will be answered then!

Okay! I better go! Anybody can leave me some comments by pressing on "0 comments" below the post. I would be excited to get some!
I'll be able to better post these when I'm not in obscure places trying to leave these posts. So, sorry if they're long and boring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

3 Days and same clothes Later

Well! I'm finally here in England! It was a long 2 days, but went rather smoothly - almost.

The first plane ride from Wichita to Atlanta was short and sweet except I was definitely sitting next to a girl with a cat. The cat was in a little carrier, but she was obsessed with it and had it on her lap with her hand in the case, petting it. And it definitely meowed almost the entire time. But it really didn't bother me too much. My friend, Luke, is also studying in Prague this semester and is from Wichita - we actually went to high school together. So we flew together. We then met up with two other friends - Chris and Laura who are from St. Louis - in Atlanta. When we got to the Atlanta airport Luke and I had to make a huge trek from one terminal to the other one- seriously far away. We were given 45 minutes between flights, so by the time we arrived at the terminal they were boarding.

So two seconds later we were on the plane. It wasn't as long and awful as expected - although sleeping proved rather difficult. I got a little but not much.

Then we made it to London! They called Luke and I's last names and told us to talk to the person at the gate. So, of course, I knew that was bad news and assumed it was luggage issues. Sure enough - our luggage didn't make it. But it was very nice that they could tell us before we discovered it ourselves after waiting. The 'missing luggage people' were very nice. I told the guy our luggage didn't make it and he said "oh suga!" in a british accent. I couldn't really be mad about it because their accents make me laugh. Turns out it was a blessing because I then didn't have to drag that luggage around oxford, where we took a bus. So today they delivered our luggage, but not until late afternoon and we took off for the whole day this morning. So I'm still in the same clothes - hence the title - but we got to wash our clothes last night.. all good.

Luke has some friends here in England - they live about an hour outside London, close to Oxford. The husband is in the airforce. They have two small children (1 and 3) that we are enjoying very very much -adorable. And we are so blessed to be with this family. Some of the nicest people who are helping us save loads of money.

They have a friend in Oxford that goes to Oxford University. So we met him and took our luggage to his house -- well laura and chris took their luggage. Luke and I took our carryons.
Anyways, he showed us around Oxford that day. we were extremely tired but enjoyed it a lot. Later that night we were picked up by Callie, the lady Luke knows that we're staying with. We went back to her house - Lee, her husband, is out of town on an air force mission. We had dinner and crashed.

Today was exciting and we were proud of everything we accomplished! There's a girl down the street that watches the kids some. She's 18 and this week is kind of a spring break for all the kids in school here. So she's home from boarding school this week. She went with us today because there's no way we could go around by ourselves. Callie let us drive her car. Yea! Luke drove on the 'wrong side of the street' today and around all the round-a-bouts. A little confusing but he caught on relatively fast. So we checked out stonehenge in Salisbury - it was fun to see after learning about it in our History of Architecture classes. Then we made our way to Lacock - a little village that was very very cute. There is a really pretty abbey there, which was unfortunately closed but we walked around the town. They filmed part of the first Pride and Prejudice here - Colin Firth- mhmm. There was also a really pretty, very old church in the town that we checked out. Then we made our way to Bath. We got there too late to see the actual Roman Baths, but the town is really neat and pretty. After figuring out where to park and how to pay for the parking, we walked around and checked out the Avon River and the Baths Abbey.

And after that we headed "home".

Samantha, the girl the came along with us was doing the navigating (from a map - she didn't really know how to get back either) as Luke did the driving. After a little while of no directions and Luke had gone around a few roundabouts, Luke turns to Samantha and said "I'm kinda just following this car. Is that cool?"
It was hilarious at the moment cuz we could've been totally lost and we really had been following this car for a good amount of time. But it was totally cool and we found our way back.

Well my battery on my computer is going to die soon! I might not get back to this until I'm in Prague on Friday! This is really long - sorry about that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

counting down

Well, it's almost time to use this blog for the reason it was actually created! I started it last semester and kept it up a little, but once i get over to Prague I plan on keeping everyone updated with what's going on. I don't know how long it'll take to get settled and get the internet and such working in my flat in Prague.

Well, this last week has been going by a little slowly. There's not a whole lot left to do except get everything packed into my bags - which will be interesting!

I'll be keeping pictures on You can click on the "my photos" link or click on the little rectangle with pictures lower on the right sidebar.

Okay, I'm sure you'll be hearing from me soon!