I wrote a couple entries during our travels, but lacked the time to complete them and the internets to post them. So now after a whirlwind of activity on our return from Europe I have had a chance to get them online. Here is a semi complete post I wrote on the way from Barcelona to Paris.
10/6/10, tenth month. October is the tenth month. Gotta get that through my head. For the past few months I have been writing the wrong number for the month, like all of the backup batteries throughout the entire boardwalk key scan system have the wrong month on them, I signed numerous checks, various forms and papers with the wrong month, and I also booked a flight from Barcelona to Paris with the wrong month. Good thing flights are so cheap here, it was a $20 flight and we rebooked for the same price, but seriously, how stupid. It has been a while since I updated, Kari and I have been going nonstop since she flew in last Sunday. We left the day after Kari got there so we had to cram in the munich experience as well as we could. It was basically straight from the airport to Oktoberfest, beer, went to Hofbrauhaus, beer, saw the glockenspeil, beer, delicious rotissery chicken, sleep. Great day. It really is a gross display of drunkeness at oktoberfest, as we walked down the hill before even entering the grounds we were greeted by a little brawl being broken up by cops treating the kids in ways that would make national news in the US, and after we walked by they took off right by us to stop another totally unrelated fight that started just 50 feet in front of us. Navigating the tents was the next challenge, you have to be at a table to get beer, and if you get there any time after 11am there are no tables, so after scouring 3 tents for an empty spot I devised a strategy, just look for a beer maid going down a row, stand next to a table in the row, and when she comes by just pretend you belong. "swei bier bitte". Those women are impressive, holding 4 one liter mugs with one balanced on top in each hand. 10 liters of beer at once, pretty intense. We did eventually find a table with some friendly germans and stood on the tables singing along to songs, some in english (sweet caroline, YMCA, and the like), some in german, it didnt matter, we were just having a good time.
Our next stop was Prague. The Czech Republic. It sounds so foreign. It was, of course, and loaded with history and impressive gothic relics. The biggest castle in the world, buildings from the BCs, an intricate astronomical clock. I wish I had more history on these places, we took a bike tour to learn what we could, but it turned into a pretty terrible experience. City Bike tours in Prague, what a sham. Well first of all, the Czech is not part of the European Union, so we had to get Czech Crown, which is about 20/1 with the US dollar, so when I got money out i got a single 2000 crown bill. Well the stinkin tour cost us 500 crown apiece, 5 of us followed Nikolai as he flew through the Prague streets without even a glance behind him to make sure we made it, somehow we all did, bounding over curbs, carrying our bikes up steep muddy hills, and swerving through traffic. His broken english and limited knowledge made for a pretty pathetic tour, and what he did tell us about I am fairly certain was made up on the spot. We did make it to some pretty awesome places on the journey though, it is a beautiful city. That night we experienced what FHM magazine said was one of the top 10 adventures in the world, the Prague Underground bar crawl. A young chick from louisiana started it 5 years ago, she and about 30 others met at the first bar, we drank free for 2 hours, played some foosball (or kicker as some here call it), and the rest of the night was a jumble of clubs, drinks and dancing, we met some germans, some aussies, brazilians, it was a pretty great time, though i wouldnt even give it top 10 adventures of my life, Im not sure what FHM was thinking.
It seemed kindof inapproriate to me to go to a natural history museum while on vacation, rocks being rocks and animals being animals wherever you are, but the National Museum in Prague was incredible. We walked in unaware of what we were getting into and ended up spending more than 4 hours wandering the exhibits. Thousands of specimens of rocks and minerals were enough to occupy and amaze you all day, but it led into thousands more of fossils, huge rooms full of taxidermied animals and skeletons, specemins like a stuffed giraffe and an entire whale skeleton, anthropological exhibits of the culture of prehistoric man and human evolution in the area with rooms full of artifacts and bones. I loved it, and Kari did a great job of pretending to. Just outside of the museum we had Italian food better than any I had in Rome, in Prague, weird. I am going to just have to do a whole seperate write up of the culinary experiences, that is an adventure in itself.