Thursday, August 23, 2007

We're back...

After a long hiatus, we are once again posting to our blog -- now from Edmonton, Alberta! "What?" you may be asking yourself, "How did they get to Edmonton? Weren't they just in Prague?" In the next few posts we will tell you how the rest of our summer has turned out, and how we got from Prague to Edmonton.

*** End of the Europe Trip ***

We spent much of our last day in Prague searching for gifts -- we wandered in and out of dozens of souvenir shops looking for toys, mugs with bad puns on them, and the like. Between all this shopping, we also found time to eat at a funky cafe called "Clear Head" -- which had excellent vegetarian food, and visit the Museum of Communism. This "museum" was fairly small -- it took up a few rooms in an old hotel -- but gave a vivid sense of what life in Czechoslovakia was like under Communism, as well as the tension and violence involved in the transition to democracy in 1989. That evening we caught a plane back to London.

Our last day in Europe was spent back in London, where we saw a few more sights before heading home. We started off with the British Museum, where we saw the "must-see" exhibits -- the Rosetta Stone in the Egypt room, the Elgin Marbles in the Greek room -- as well a smattering of the rest of the exhibits; the museum is huge, so we tried to restrict ourselves to a manageable chunk of it, but it was still somewhat overwhelming.

We went from there to Herrod's, where Natasha bought some tea and chocolate, and we gazed at the displays of everything from purses and jewellery to fruits and vegetables. However, the store was extremely crowded, and the omnipresent security guards were off-putting and kinda rude, so the experience as a whole was more frustrating than fun.

After spending a few minutes throwing a disc in Hyde Park, we met Natasha's friend Chris Allen and his girlfriend Lorraine for supper in Chinatown. We had a delicious, lesiurely meal, and enjoyed getting to know Lorraine.

Finally, it was time to head off to the bookstore (Waterstone's, at Ludgate Circus) to pick up our copies of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, which came out at midnight on our last night in London. Fortunately, we had wandered into this bookstore a couple of weeks earlier and were able to reserve copies of the book then; thus, we didn't have to wait in a long line, and were guaranteed to get our copies. After an hour and a half spent waiting at the front of the very loooooooong line, drinking wine, eating snacks, and solving Harry Potter-themed Sudoku puzzles, we finally got our books! And so, it was time to catch the Tube back to Chris's houseboat... except that we missed the last subway, and ended up riding buses until about 4:30am in order to get back. Let's just say that the novelty of London's double-decker buses had very much worn off by the time we got home!

Later that morning, we woke up and caught our flight back home. Aside from Dave discovering that he'd lost his driver's license somewhere in Europe, and a shrieking toddler sitting behind us on the flight, it was a smooth trip. On the positive side, it gave us tons of uninterrupted reading time -- enough for both of us to finish the book :) And so, after getting a ride back from Tanya and Carla, we were once again home in Waterloo... but for how long!?!?

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