Our European Odyssey

This blog covered our month-long trip to Eastern Europe -- specifically the countries of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Lost" is Also a Four-Letter Word

It could be worse. We could have broken bones. We could have ended up in Albania. We could have been arrested. Instead, we lost our digital camera. Actually, it was most likely stolen, but we'll never know for sure what happened. We thought we were vigilant about keeping it safe at all times, but something must have gone wrong. Fortunately, Jake has been transferring our photos to a USB thumb drive, so we're only missing photos from Warsaw. (And Andrea has been taking pictures with the non-digital camera, so we have several of those from Warsaw.)

After progressing through the stages of camera loss -- anger, denial, grief -- we reached the final stage: bargaining (meaning we bought a new camera). Having your camera stolen is a good excuse to buy a smaller, newer, more powerful model. (But we wouldn't recommend it.)

Anyway, we took an overnight train last night from Warsaw to Prague. The trip was pretty good except for the discovery of the missing camera upon arrival in Prague. After taking the tram to our hostel and checking in, we enjoyed the free breakfast offered by the hostel. It was nice because we were able to enjoy cereal after eating rolls every other morning.

We then left to acquire our new camera and see Prague's Old Town. We bought a Canon A430 (after checking its reviews at an Internet cafe). We would post a picture of it, but it is kind of difficult to post a picture of your camera with that camera.

We immediately put it to good use. We have heard nothing but good things about Prague, and so far, we haven't been disappointed. It has churces to rival Krakow, beautiful buildings to rival Budapest and Warsaw's Old Town and charm to rival Eger. We felt as if we could have sat in the main square and looked around for hours (if we weren't shivering, that is).

We enjoyed the 400-year-old astronomical clock with its parade of the 12 apostles on the hour and the view of the city from above after climbing the Old Town Hall tower.

For lunch, we enjoyed the warmth inside a restaurant in Old Town. Andrea tried the Czech version of goulash, and Jake had a Czech version of fried pork tenderloin (large enough that he wasn't hungry for dinner). He also had a pint of Budweiser. No, not that Budweiser but the original Czech Budweiser, from which the American one took its name. It cost just more than $1. Have we mentioned how cheap alcohol is here? (For dinner, we bought a $2 bottle of wine.)

This afternoon, we enjoyed a choral concert in one of the ornate Catholic churches, and we finished off the day with a trip across Charles Bridge, a 600-year-old bridge that crosses the Vltava and is famously lined with 16 statues.

We aren't sure whether we have mentioned it, but we have eaten at least one meal a day of food purchased at a market or grocery store. It is a cheap way to eat and a great way to experience local culture. Here's an example of how much we can get for so little: Tonight we bought five freshly baked rolls, a packet of sliced cheese, cream cheese, two small bags of chips, four containers of yogurt, four tomatoes, two peppers, five apples, a large bottle of water and a bottle of wine, all for $9. Pretty darm good, and it should suffice for two or three meals. We highly recommend it. Also, it can be fun if you don't understand the labels.

Tomorrow we plan to spend the day visiting Prague's Castle. We can't post pictures from here, but we have many from today and will do a picture post tomorrow when we can.


At 3:54 PM, June 01, 2006, Anonymous ginger berry said...

So sorry about your camera, but speaking from experience, a smaller camera is ten times better! Have a wonderful time in Prague. I so want to visit there sometime!

At 4:23 PM, June 01, 2006, Anonymous Millie said...

I am so sorry to hear about your camera. But as you said it could be worse. I hope the weather warms up for you so that time spent out of doors will be more tolerable. It finally cooled down here at home, as well as rained. We got about 2 1/2 inches last night. Looking forward to more pictures.

Love you both,

At 5:00 PM, June 01, 2006, Anonymous Doug and Rose said...

Sounds like you met a pick-pocket. Sherri and Bud - who are now on their way to Istanbul - had their camera stolen while boarding a train in China last year. It seems to be a popular place to work. Bud was sure the camera was secure in a pants pocket.

Hope the weather warms up for you. I was watching part of the French Open Tennis Tournament and everyone in the stands looked like they were dressed for winter.

Doug and Rose

At 7:34 PM, June 01, 2006, Anonymous Kari said...

Your previous post about few pre WWII buildings in Warsaw due to Nazi burning them reminds me of places in Norway. When we traveled up toward the North Slope near the Artic Circle some of the towns were like that also. I didn't realize the Nazis had gone that far north. The stories the guide told us about the Nazi's occupation of that area were really gripping. It made me appreciate our country even more. It's hard to imagine having your home occupied and burnt down.

We've been busy with work and the boys' activities this week. Dalton's ball team won Tuesday night. Dalton had a great hit that turned into a double. He played 3rd base and had a nice out on an attempted steal. Brit will start the Kick Ball season at the Y on Saturday. And today's Joey's 40th birthday! We're both starting to feel old!

We miss you!

Love, Kari

At 8:57 PM, June 01, 2006, Anonymous craig said...

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