Travel, Traveling, Traveler

Over the past few days my schedule has been packed. We had to get on a crammed plane and fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Once we got to Prague we had about 8 hours to sleep before we had to wake up and head to Terezin, a brutal Nazi concentration camp. We met up with Doris Groszdenovicova, an old friend from Prague, at the Park Hotel. She is a survivor of Terezin.

Doris, by Cameron Darling

So we rode the bus for hours and hours with her to Terezin and made a few college student friends on the way. When we got to the big Fortress of Terezin, it was like a small town but with huge walls all around it. I later learned this was the Terezin ghetto. We went to a very interesting museum on the fortress. It had all sorts of gadgets that the Jews made to try and escape with.

Then we went to the small fortress, which isn’t so small. It was the prison camp for all who got in the Nazi’s way, but mostly for the Jews. We walked through the fortress seeing the cells, showers, barracks, and gallows. I felt really bad for anyone who had to stay in this place.

Sleeping Cell, Each Number Is Where Someone Slept, by Cameron Darling

Life From The Inside, by Cameron Darling

Work Will Make You Free, A Skewed Perspective, by Cameron Darling

The next day we got on the bus again and headed for Telč (telch). We wandered around the small city of Telč for a while. Then Jarka (our local facilitator) brought us all to the castle. The Castle tour seemed pretty long to me cause all I could think of was how much I needed to find a water closet. When got out of the castle I ran as fast as I could to the little boys’ room.

Telc, by Cameron Darling

Once I got on the bus again we went to Slavonice, where there was a beautiful Baroque Church with a huge clock tower.  Then after that we each made a T –shirt, and painted a coffee mug. We slept at a hotel for one night in Slavonice, and went to Treboń the next day, which we spent a couple of hours in. My dad helped me take better pictures around town. We really didn’t do much in Treboń except get really good pictures.

Trebon, by Cameron Darling

 

When it was time to leave for Česky Krümlov, I was so excited my head was about to explode. I hopped on the bus and off we went on to Cêsky Krumlov. When we got there, we dragged heavy suitcases over the wobbly cobblestone streets of Cêsky Krumlov to our hotel. Right after that we went out to explore the town. We saw the castle’s first courtyard and walked around the alleys and found a really neat riverside cafe that only served authentic 16th century food. That means no fried cheese 🙁  . So I ended up having some roasted chicken pieces with potatoes. It was really good 🙂 .

Looking Down From The Castle on Cesky Krumlov, by Cameron Darling

The next day we walked up to the castle theater and took a tour there with our local friend who works as a guide there. Bryce showed us all the sound effects and how they made scene transitions. Apparently, they shot fireworks into the crowd and hoped that it didn’t hit anyone and that they would be so distracted by it so they wouldn’t see the scene change. But this was indoors, so most theaters like this one have burned down since especially since everything was wooden in there.

Cesky Krumlov Theater, by Cameron Darling

After that we went white water rafting down Vltava. It’s the same river that runs through Prague. We started out on the calm side of the river, upstream. I got pushed off the boat by one of my Dad’s students, Sam. The water was freezing but once you got use to it, it felt great. Susan and I were in the water, so we pulled the boat where we could touch and hopped back in the boat when we couldn’t. As we approached the first shoot the river started to speed up and off we went down the shoot. The waves pushed us around and bounced us up and back down. And just like that it was calm again until the next 4 shoots. It was so fun. But sadly once we got dry clothes on, it was time to leave for Prague.

The very next day I got up early to go to the Sewer Museum. That right, the Sewer Museum. In European countries sewers were a big deal because it was a big leap in technology. People used to just throw their waste out of their window and into the streets when their bucket got full. This made a bunch of people get sick all the time. Sewers helped fix that problem. So anyway when we got there we went deep under the streets and into a bad smelling sewer even though it’s no longer functioning. . It was revolting. We got to see the boilers, the engines and even saw so tour boats that you could ride on through the sewers. Weird! When it was over I was POOPED.

Prague Sewer Museum, by Cameron Darling

Prague Sewer Museum Boat Tours, by Cameron Darling

After we were done there, we went to the Prague Zoo. Its huge. It’s like a million miles long and tall. We saw all sorts of animals like the gorillas and tigers and bison. I’m just saying it took us 4 hours to do half of it.

Charles Bridge at Sunset, by Cameron Darling

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Cramming It All Into One Week

by Sir Cameron Darling

This week we’ve gone to a lot of places in the Czech Republic, and to start things off I’m going to tell you about Lidice. It is a demolished town that the Nazi’s destroyed to show there power after the assassination of Hitler’s right hand man. The wanted to make a point: if they say they’re going to destroy a town they mean it. They killed all the men over 15 years old on the spot, then they sent all the children to camps where some were killed or died, put all the woman in concentration camps ,blew up every building and rooted up every tree. How much hate do you have to have to do that?

Lidice Children's Monument

We also went to The Modern Art Museum. I wish I were as good at art as some of these artist. Luckily we live right across the street from the museum. So anywhoooo it has a lot of really cool sculptures, paintings, guns from the period of the paintings around it and furniture too. Some of the sculptures, photographs and paintings were of people without clothes. This done a lot in central Europe. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since in Prague kids my age like to swim naked in the fountains at the parks. Weird.

UT Students and I Marvel At The Modern Art Museum

 

Two Critics See Picasso In A New LIght At The Modern Art Museum

 

Deformed Cameron in Mirror Art

We  also went on a really long bus ride to Cesky Krumlov, but we made some pit stops on the way, like to Zatec (pronounced zha•tets) where we went to the museum of hops. This town is world famous for its hops.Which is in beer. Our other pit stop we made was Plzen where they made and invented the beer Pilsner Urquell (pronounced or•kwell). We went to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. I also got to sample some beer. I wouldn’t say its my favorite drink, but at least its better than coffee. Over all it was a really good museum/Brewery. At the end I got a hat to prove to my friends that I’ve been to a real beer, or pivo as they call it here, brewery.

Viewing Film At Pilsner Urquell Brewery

 

In The Cellars At The Brewery

When we finally made it to Cesky Krumlov, I wanted to go straight to white water rafting. But that had to wait till the next day. We checked into our hotel and we got this really nice apartment, but we couldn’t stay for long because it was time for dinner with all of dad’s students. The next day we went to the Cesky Krumlov Castle and toured about 25 rooms out of the 300 the castle has. We went all through it and even went to the old Baroque style theatre which is the best preserved in the world if I don’t mind saying so myself. Plus it’s the truth.

Cesky Krumlov at Night Outside Our Guest House

Finally, it was time to go rafting. Yeah! We did this last year, but this year had some funny things. This really drunk Czech guy jumped into the water and got up on a boat with some of my Dad’s students. He stood on the front of the boat directing them to bring him back to his boat. But then this other drunk Czech guy leaped from his boat onto one of the students named Jake and started tackling him. It was crazy. Finally the students pushed them out of their boat , mom didnt want him getting on our boat so we started paddling away as fast as we could.

Once we got back to Prague we went on a tour through the Jewish quarters of Prague. It was cool and fun especially because our guide gave me and Carson points each time we answered a question right. The question were about the things she told us on the tour about Jewish history. And if we got to 5000 points at the end, guess what? Mom and Dad ended up getting us really good ice cream at the end of the tour. Yummmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!

In the last week I’ve been going out with my Dad to photograph in the evenings. He says the lights good then.The “Magic Hour” as my Dad would say. Here’s some of the results.

Tram In Front Of Charles Bridge On A Rainy Night

 

Dancing Marionette

 

The Executioner

 

Caught By The Executioner

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Cameron’s Parade Blog from Prague

by Sir Cameron Darling

Yesterday we went to the king’s parade.I had a blast , it was so much fun. I took pictures of knights and jesters. I think I learned a thing or two about photography. I also took some accidental videos. I accidentally pushed the record button. Well, here’s some of what I got. The photos are taken with an Olympus E-PL2 (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_slr.asp?section=pen).

Hope you enjoy the parade.



Double click to watch my accidental video. This gives a new meaning to Prague by foot.

Two forms of transportation from totally different periods. I learned a new word that describes this picture perfectly, anachronistic. It something that doesn’t belong together in terms of time.

 

 

Crazy Jester II

 

 

Very energetic jester!!!!!

 

 

Little Night Boys Knife

Little Night Boys Knife

 

 

A Little Boy Knight

 

 

This is a knight’s chain mail and protective glove.

 

 

This is St. Vitus. It took 1000 years to build.

 

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