I have a small obsession with Communism. You may remember I’m a big fan of old communist propaganda prints? I’ve been to this museum before, but obviously, in order to feed my obsession I didn’t mind returning! The Museum of Communism isn’t nearly as thought out or artistically designed as… say, The House of Terror in Budapest was, but it’s not as bad as some of the Trip Advisor reviews say it is. It is in desperate need of some updating (or at least a discount until it is updated?) but if you’re into history, you might enjoy it. Afterwards, wanting to make up for two bookkeeping (planning/blogging/escaping the heat) days, we joined anotherfree walking tour through Prague. We were so pleased it turned out to be sooo much better than the worst ‘free’ walking tour we took a few days ago. Our guide, David was so nice (and educated and certified!) we ended up sticking around for the second part of the tour on the other side of the river!
The Museum of Communism was just as I remembered, not fun to pay for (a bit overpriced for an exhibition space so outdated in my opinion) but fun to see nonetheless. I think one of the downsides to this trip (in a way) is that we’re exposed to so many great museums that when we come across one that isn’t up to par with some others around the world, we get a little disappointed. At least I do.
I looked the museum up just now to find out some more information and was a bit surprised to discover the founder is also responsible for Bohemia Bagel (an old favorite) and U Malého Glena (a jazz club that was right across the street from my old apartment). Bohemia Bagel was one of the few (at the time you could count on one hand) places where you could get a good internet connection and a western style breakfast or brunch. It was great. These days it’s full of backpackers on a the free walking tour associated with the restaurant or signing up the affiliated pub crawl. I’m wondering if the same owner is responsible for this… If so, I’d like to shake his hand for the good bagel sandwiches six years ago and wring his neck for putting my old favorites on the average 19 year old backpacker’s to do list today. (If you’re interested in reading more about the American born entrepreneur, you can do so here, and here.)
During the first half of the free walking tour, we covered much of the same ground (and information) as we did during the first one. Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, the Clock Tower, the stables next to and behind Tyn Church, the Jewish Quarter, and stopped short of Charles Bridge. The group was not so large, and aside from the weird American family (working for the state department abroad) it was a great group to talk to. The weird family took off early, and the guide was so sweet, we decided to stick continue on with the tour on the lesser side (Mala Strana) for the second half of the tour. Although, I really appreciated that there was a break and an option halfway through to continue on, or leave, or perhaps pick up with the tour on another day!
The tour ended within the walls of Czech Castle. We had just enough time to sneak down to the gardens for a view of the city below before it started to rain during our walk back across the river. We ran into two girls from the tour at the same restaurant our guide suggested. As they were from South Korea, they were a bit flabbergasted to find out we had lived there for so long, knew where they went to school, and could even do spot on ajjushi impersonations for them. I never think this is crazy, half of my friends are from my time in Korea. When you’re surrounded by similar people or at least doing similar things, it doesn’t seem as unique. It was my life. It just happened to be in a country not everyone would think a girl from Kentucky would pick to reside in. Chatting with these two tonight made me wonder what reactions will be when we move back to America. Are we really that unique for having lived in South Korea for so long? I don’t really think so, but I’m sure we’ll find out in a few months!
We managed to escape the torrential rain (perhaps you can tell by the gloomy sky above?) but our room, despite having all of its windows shut, did not. Neither did my backpack- full of clothes, souvenir ticket stubs, tourist pamphlets, and one of my travel journals full from this trip. But we’ll get to that tomorrow. Don’t be surprised when Day 330’s blog post is titled For SHAME, Hostel Florenc, For SHAME!