February 28, 2017

A few weeks ago my friend Jenna and I went to Prague for a quick weekend! I didn't know much about Prague but I wanted to go because I heard it was beautiful and I have family from the former Czechoslovakia. It was so beautiful it honestly looked like it was right out of a storybook. This was my first time staying in a Hostel and I have to admit it wasn't bad, and it was definitely worth all the money we saved. We did very minimal planning for the trip because we had been busy with midterms right before. So basically, we really didn't have much of a plan going into the trip, all we had was a list of "Things to do in Prague" that we found on google. We spent 2 and a half days in the city just wandering around. On Friday we walked around Old Town and saw the famous Astronomical Clock Tower. Then we went to the Charles Bridge, the Prague Castle, and St. Vitus Cathedral, and the John Lennon Wall. On Saturday we went on a free walking tour of the city and saw some of the stuff we had already seen, but we also saw Wenceslas Square, the Medieval Market, and the old Jewish Quarter including one of the oldest practicing synagogues in Europe, known as the "Old-New" Synagogue. It is famous for housing the "Golem" a medieval monster and protector that is supposedly in the attic. The tour was really great because we actually had someone to tell us about what we were seeing. After that we explored the city some more. We went to the top of the astronomical clock tower and later found the cutest little vintage shop. On Sunday before we went to the airport we went to mass in the St. Vitus Cathedral and then went to the Petrin Tower for some beautiful views of the city. On the trip we had some great food too! We went to Cafe Savoy which I had read about online and it had some of the best French Toast I have ever had. We also ate these really great desserts that is called a Trdelnik and its dough covered in sugar and filled with cream or ice cream! The weekend was exhausting because we did so much in such a short period of time but it was completely worth it! 

Old Town
Our Lady before Tyn Church 
Charles Bridge 

The best french toast ever from Cafe Savoy 
View from the Prague Castle

St. Vitus Cathedral

A fun little bookshop 
Lennon Wall 
View from Charles Bridge 

"Stumble Upon Cobblestones" they have the names of people killed in the Holocaust and when you bend down to read them it is like you are bowing as a sign of respect. 
The Old Synagogue 

The Astronomical Clock Tower
View from the top of the Astronomical Clock Tower (best view in the city because its right in the center but just tall enough that you can see everything).

This really cute vintage shop. 

Petrin Tower 
Trdelnik being made. 

Trdelnik filled with Ice Cream 
Inside the Cathedral after mass. 
We made it to the Cathedral with literally 2 minutes to spare before mass, this is my genuine look of relief because I thought for sure we would be late. 


February 22, 2017

When our ISA group went to Sevilla a few weekends ago we also went to Cordoba! Sevilla and Cordoba are often visited together because they are relatively close together and both very important historically. We had yet another walking tour and also some free time to explore the city on our own. Cordoba is relatively small and also really beautiful. Our tour took us through the Jewish Quarter and to a very old Synagogue. Then we went to the Calle de las Flores which is famous for its incredible view of the tower of the Mezquita. Our tour finished with the Mezquita which used to be a mosque then after the "reconquista" (reconquest) of Spain, by the Christians, it was converted into a Church. This is one of the buildings that is most famous for its mix of both Muslim and Christian architecture and is such a good representation of the very multi-cultural history of Spain. The Mezquita is famous for its candy-cane like arches, but the main part of the modern Cathedral is one of my favorites I've ever been to because it is so beautiful. 

The Synagogue. You can see a cross if you look closely from when it was converted into a church. 

Calle de las Flores 

The Mezquita

Different builders made each of the columns and they each signed them like this! 

We tried this little restaurant famous for their "Tortilla EspaƱola" 
We explored the city a little bit and found this really cool leather shop.