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Prague trip 2016

Posted on: 4th March 2016 | Category: Trips and excursions

Chatters and giggles filled Surval at 4am on the 26th of February as the girls were eager to embark on the long awaited adventure to Prague for the weekend. We were off to Geneva airport by mini bus before sunrise and the buzzing excitement soon turned to stillness as the girls slept the journey to the airport as well as the flight. Arriving in Prague, we ventured straight to the glamorous Marriott Hotel to unpack and get ready for lunch. As we walked to lunch through the old town square, the girls’ anticipation to explore the beautiful, historic city was apparent as they were all intrigued and in awe of the magnificent buildings with varying architectural styles. Lunch exceeded all expectations as the all you can eat salad buffet consisted of a variety of exotic salads, cheeses and sushi followed by chicken which staff served on large skewers. It was fair to say we were all extremely satisfied, ready to explore the National Marionette Puppet Theatre where the girls were given the opportunity to engage with the unexpectedly heavy puppets back stage whilst learning about their history. Finally, the girls were taken on a tour through one of the largest building complexes in Europe - the Klementinum. We were first taken into the Boroque library hall which holds over 20,000 volumes of foreign theological literature. The interior of the library was as if being inside a painting with a remarkable collection of geographical and astronomical globes in the centre of the library and the ceiling decorated with allegorical motifs for education. We were then taken up to the second floor known as the Meridian Hall which was historically used for determining noon by the location of the sun streaming through a small hole in the wall. Last but certainly not least, our guide took us to the top level known as the Astronomical Tower where the instruments and astronomical measurements were explained. The room was dark and chill until our guide opened up the wooden doors and windows that surrounded us, revealing the most spectacular panoramic view of the city. A very busy and successful first day in Prague much deserving of an early night sleep.

After a filling buffet breakfast at the Marriott which consisted of the much loved omelette station and variety of pastries and smoothies, the girls were ready to bring to life the story of the Terezin Concentration Camp which they had been learning about in their history lessons. As we walked to meet our tour guide it became evident that the girls were intrigued by what they had learnt in class, many girls buzzing with queries and questions, including the teachers. As we met our tour guide, he begun the story of Terezin by showing the girls an image which was an illusion as the animal on the image looked like both a rabbit and a duck. At first this seemed amusing to the girls however once the girls were taken to Terezin by train (the same train line that was used to send prisoners from Prague to Terezin) and started learning about its devastating past, our guide then begun to explain how the one image of two animals denote the two perceptions of what life was like in Terezin; as propaganda suggested life was a cultural, community environment where in reality, the men and women were living in a dehumanising environment. The tour prompted the girls to understand on an emotive level how regular people were forced into irregular circumstances through the guide talking about real people and their stories in Terezin, especially the story of Helga who was one of the only children to survive Auschwitz out of 15,000 sent there and is still alive today. We explored her famous drawings and through watching a propaganda video from the time, viewing replica rooms of where over 70 people would be crammed in, as well as visiting the cemetery, the understanding of the extreme circumstances and struggle the individuals endured was overwhelming. Towards the end of the tour our guide brought us to a small church room that was simply built, however stood as a powerful symbol of hope for those living in Terezin, all of these unique sites felt as if the past was brought back to life, a truly heartfelt, educative and engaging day.   

Our final day in Prague was adventurous and exciting to say the least as in the morning we went back into the old town to meet a new guide to take us on a walking tour to learn about the interesting history of Prague’s most famous sites and of course take lots of photos!! During the walking tour the girls were in true admiration of Prague’s romantic streets as we learnt about the Astronomical Clock, the statue of Jan Hus, the Old Town Square and walked across Charles Bridge which had a spectacular view of Prague. By request of the girls the charismatic tour guide brought us to the John Lennon Wall which since the 1980s was filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from the Beatles songs. The brightly coloured graffiti wall had the girls amazed and desperate to take fun photos in front of it, generating an abundance of laughter. Once the walking tour had concluded the girls had an hour and a half to eat lunch where the majority sounded like lunch entailed sweet and savoury crepes as well as the purchase of cosy Prague jumpers. Then came the segway tour! Despite the cold weather the girls were extremely enthusiastic and were exposed to some of the best views of the city which was soon rewarded with a hot chocolate topped with cream. As the Segway tour sadly came to an end we all went to dinner to the Hard Rock Café for the final night where the girls chose from a menu of burgers, salad and pasta and had ice cream for dessert. Fortunately the night did not end there! After finishing dinner we then walked to the Black Light Theatre show which was exceptionally entertaining where stories were transformed into a silent, skillful and unexpectedly humorous artistic puppetry. It was very inspiring for the girls to view a different type of show in an luminous form.

Visiting Prague was a majestic, intriguing, once in a life time experience. The memories all the girls shared and the beautiful, historic places we explored were definitely eye opening and unforgettable.

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