Welcome to Prague Saturday, August 25, 2012

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This is the first time I have travelled internationally (besides Canada, which doesn’t count since it is connected to the U.S.) and I would like to describe the differences in the hotel in Prague compared to American hotels.  The rooms are quite a bit smaller, including the bed, which is a twin size (typical American hotels have two queen or king beds), but this makes the room cooler with the air conditioning since there is much less space to cool.  The door is opened with a real metal key instead of a keycard, and to activate the lighting you have to place the metal tag key chain into a little square holder with a light.  When the light goes on the electricity is activated.  This probably saves on electricity as the outlets do not operate either without placing the key chain tag into the holder.  Also, the flush mechanism for the toilet is not on the tank itself, but on the wall behind the toilet. 

The city is almost entirely made of cobblestone sidewalks and streets, although some of the streets are smoothly paved.  Also, the buildings are all connected to one another.  In walking through the city, I  feel like I have been transported back in time to the period of the Renaissance. The architecture is very beautiful. The cable car system reminds me of San Francisco, although the Prague cable cars look more modern than those in San Francisco. 

On the first evening here, we ate at the Fleka restaurant.  It was about a 25 minute walk from the Hotel Beranek, but a very nice restaurant.  I noticed that most of the street signs are not on street posts at the corners, but rather, are posted on the sides of buildings at the intersections.  Two gentlemen played the accordion to serenade the entire group at the restaurant throughout the dinner.  All of the ACS award winners got the chance to meet and talk with one another over dinner.  I even tried a shot glass full of an interesting liquor called Becherovka, which tasted like it was made with anise and cinnamon.  I had to learn more about this interesting beverage so I googled it and found that the exact ingredients are very secretive, but it is known as an herbal liquor and two ingredients listed in it were anise and cinnamon.  It is also 70 proof so I am glad I nursed it for the entire evening since I had to walk back to the Hotel Beranek.  LOL