Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic
Taken on Christmas Eve day on the streets of Prague, December 2003. These are barrels full of fish. Where they came from I have no idea, but they were live. People were buying them for their Christmas dinner. Everyone was hustling and bustling around, trying to see which fish they wanted to buy. The guy pictured, was reaching into the water and taking the fish out to killed and packed. He is freezing, as it was one of those beautiful, yet freezing crisp days, where you can see your breath as soon as you step out the door.
I went to Prague twice because I liked it so much. It is a charming old eastern european city. It is how you would picture it, castle and cathedral on the hill, unique buildings, and old town square that can only come from this area of the world. There were Christmas markets, none to rival Germany of course but they were still fun and craft filled. They served a lesser form of the glutenwine, in plastic cups, another stark difference from Germany, but make no mistake about it, the Czech Republic is on the rise, especially with increased tourism and entrance into the European Union. They will soon change over to the Euro and prices will level off, maybe someday the dollar will be strong again, so throngs of intersted people can afford it. I was lucky enough to be there before entrance into the EU. The prices were comprable to the U.S. I still have some Krona (the old currency) left for good memories.
My favorite hostel I have ever stayed in was in Prague. I stayed there twice. Once with Laura, when we were there over Christmas and again on my own, passing through. They had just finished doing over the basement, which was a lovely old world style brick basement with little alcoves that you could feel used to be used for hiding places or something sinister. They had prepared a Christmas dinner for all staying in the hostel and it was one of my most memorable experinces while abroad. If you have to be away from home on a holiday, there was no better place. The basement was warm, cozy and a place you would just want to curl up with a book when there was a Christmas dinner going on. The second stay was just as memorable as the first. I had made friends with the Argentinian man who ran the desk at night the first time around, and we had a fascinating conversation about the U.S. and women and sexual abuse and rape in the U.S. He had met so many American woman that had either been abused or raped or both that he was writing a paper on it, sort of like a mini thesis for pleasure. He took my email address, because he wanted me to read it for errors and content. Sadly, he never sent the paper, but I will never forget that conversation, him or that hostel.