Thursday, December 22, 2011


Since we were in the neighborhood we thought it might be nice to stop in Prague for a couple of days. Our friend Paul lived here for 10 years and recently moved to Porto declaring Prague "was over." True. We rented an apartment below the castle and near Strahov Monastic Brewery (talk about happy accidents). Below is our story.

Thank to the monks The Strahov Monastic Brewery brewed a nice English style IPA and served up some mouthwatering chow. This would be our mess hall while in town.
Tower at Staro Mesto at the end of the Charles Bridge.
Saint Vitus Cathedral 
Space Invader street art
The machine that will change your life forever. 
The view outside our apartment.
Tower at the Mala Strana end of Charles Bridge (opposite end). Below is information regarding the bridge.
A famous historical bridge crossing the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. It's construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished on the beginning of 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river in Prague, Charles Bridge used to be the most important connection between the Old Town, Prague Castle and adjacent areas till 1841. The bridge is 516 metres long and nearly 10m wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, erected around 1700.
Several tourists kissed and prayed to the religious statues.
Prague Castle
Pre-bacon outing.
Medieval Astronomical clock (circa 1410)
Old town square with Goltz-Kinsky Palace and Tyn Cathedral.
More old town.
You might have seen our image from Ossuary in Kutna Hora.
Plate of kangaroo
Old Jewish was costly to enter so we found a hole in the door large enough to snap a photo.
St. Vitus close up.
The owner of our apartment told us to visit the castle area in the evening as it would be empty. 
Image on St. Vitus
I didn't find the hots spots for street art during our visit, but here you go.
Human wookie
View of Prague form the Castle
XXL says it all
Baby sculpture by David Cherny outside the Kampa Museum
Strelecky Island

Bomb slippers
Nacho failure Prague style.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I had uploaded these and other photos almost a month ago with the intentions of posting them. This time I won't blame my absence from Camels and Taco on laziness. Ana and I have been preparing for our trip to Bangkok, more specifically for a job-recruiting fair. This translates to spending any and all free time dedicated to researching schools all over the globe and establishing correspondence with headmasters where there are potential openings. 

During the Eid break in early November we had a chance to visit Budapest and Prague with our friend Carrie. It was cold, we saw some interesting bands, ate various versions of pork fat, sampled beer, drank chunky wine, walked-a lot, took in new sights, had history lessons and everything else in-between. This is our evidence.     

Your favorite new metal band. You're never too old to rock and roll.
A view from Buda
The object that looks like a partial cartwheel is concentrated bacon-each little sliver is a package of bacon exploding in your mouth.
Night view of the Danube from the Margaret Bridge 
Morning view of the above.
Your favorite new coffee stand.
I like signs, what can I say.
Ana wondering how many more stairs to climb to the Buda Castle

Fisherman's Bastion
Matthias Church
We rented an apartment in the city and the owner not only told us the sights to see but also places to eat.  The cherry tart had me doing stage dives off the table. 
Hungarian National Archives building.
Is it a mailbox or a droid? 
Ana's first real experience with fall and leaves. She collected quite a few. The colors and variety were pretty amazing.
The troll awaits.
Not the chain bridge.
At the bottom of Gellert Hill
The Central Market is a haven for everything good and bad-produce, meats, cheese, paprika, handicrafts, food, and beverages.   
We met up with one of Carrie's friend and went to a rock concert. ZZ Top played in this room. 
The band, the guitarist on the left is wearing WWI aviation goggles because he can.
There are many walls of fame in the club.
House of Terror. First run by the Nazi's then by the Communist.
A stroll down Andrassy Street
Outside the House of Terror.
The museum is a memorial to the victims of the Nazi and Communists.
The next couple of photos are a bit sloppy due to the no camera policy-they wanted you to buy the book, which we did. Photos of the victims profiles stretching three stories.
Torture chambers.
The basement is where the suspected members of the political opposition were beaten, tortured and murdered.

Frida delivers tacos y mas.
Statement of the year.
Spanish guide for Hungarians.
Every rock band needs a megaphone and a stuffed pigeon.
Does your favorite rock club have a Jurassic park room? Didn't think so.
The guy holding the beer became my instant friend when I walked into the club. We started chatting away about music. His voice reminded me of Barney from the Simpson. My job was to buy him beers as he was out of money. He did ask me to go "pick up chicks" with him, I told him I was already married. I ran into him later trying to pick up another guy's girlfriend (see photo above) 
A band dressed in drag from France also played making the headlining band (from the USA) a bit mad.
Carrie enjoying a bowl of goulash. 
If you're a fan of meat and potatoes, Budapest is your calling. What's better than a meat dish? Additional meat with it. 
Punk rock!
I bet you want a job at the airport climbing on the glass ceiling.

Gellert-Pricy, fancy, not unisex,
Kiraly-had live festive music and dancing, a maze, inexpensive, unisex, got massage aka beatdown
Rudas (pictured above)-Our favorite, inexpensive, unisex (weekends), hot-hot water, cold-cold water, very local, and some PDA (public display of affection).    

Finally there was the tram and the police. A great scam if I don't say so myself. The key ingredient is to find a place to purchase a ticket. We are stupid Americans and didn't know we couldn't buy tickets on the tram. There was a group of 10 controllers and police waiting to board next to us. We got on and they asked for our tickets as we were trying to buy some as the doors closed. You see where this is going. We get kicked off at the next stop followed by a group of uniformed officers and asked to each pay a 60 EURO fine (180 total) or we would go to jail. They made us read the confession card that said we were in violation of the law etc. I told the controller to call the police because we didn't have that sort of money on us. One of them said that they were the police. Then I asked call the US Embassy (I was pulling all the stops). I opened my wallet (as my money was hidden on my body) and produced about what amounted to a EURO. After 10 minutes of this routine they yelled at us to go home. Talk about dodging a bullet.