Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fulbright Thanksgiving and Prague Christmas Markets

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when normally I would be battling the crowds of Black Friday, I was actually on a train to Prague.  Czech Fulbright hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner for the US Fulbrighters in the Czech Republic.  I have to say it was nice to actually sleep in on Black Friday and not have to deal with the claustrophobic day of shoppers.  I met up with Calan and Brock and we set off to explore the city while we were waiting to check into our hotel.  The day was beautiful, with blue skies, and frost on the ground, and the sense of Christmas all around.

All the square were setting up for the Markets on Saturday.   A lot of preparation goes into the Christmas Markets.  The main squares to visit are Old Town Square and Wencelas Square.  We don't have Christmas Markets back home in Lake Stevens, so it was great to get into the Christmas Spirit.

Old Town Square, Prague

Thanksgiving Dinner from Fulbright

After Dinner Drink.  On our walk back to the hotel around 10 pm, it started to snow heavily.  It was amazing to me, that I was in was snowing so beautifully....and I was sharing it with friends.

On Saturday the markets open.  Calan and I decided to stay in Prague for the weekend so it was nice to get up when we woke up and stroll out for some shopping.  We explored the Andel Mall and I always love seeing the Christmas lights and decorations at the mall.  It reminds me of home.

That night at 5 pm they had the Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Apparently I was not to miss out on my Black Friday claustrophobia because I got to experience it on Saturday in Prague.  There were thousands of people crowding the streets of Old Town Square to watch the Christmas lights illuminate the tree. At 5ish, they did a count down and a mini light show that ended with the fully lit Christmas  Tree.  After the ceremony, thousands of people decided to go home at the same time and I ended up losing my friends in the sea of people moving in each direction.  Thank goodness for cell phones, because we were able to text and find a
meeting spot in the markets.
    After re grouping, we browsed the markets, and tasted the local Tredelnik (which is Pillsbury Dough Boy cooked with cin. and sugar on it).  Along with the sweet treat, hot wine was in order and much enjoyed since it was FRRRRREEEEZING outside.  Word for the wise...DON'T wear jeans on a night you are going to be outside in freezing temperature. Apparently, jeans freeze and then the cold sticks to your legs and it makes you EVEN colder.  Learned that lesson for next time.....

The Old Town Square was lit up wonderfully with Christmas lights and Christmas music from Carolers from all over the region.  I loved hearing traditional Czech Christmas music and there was even some English Christmas Carols mixed in too!

Old Town Square

Wencelas Square

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