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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

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These pictures were taken in the cemetery of a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) of Prague. The Jewish quarter is an interesting area to visit, there are 6 synagogues that you can visit, and a Jewish Museum. The area has a really interesting history too; it was sort of the center of Jewish living in Prague, starting around the 13th century. The area has a really mixed history, in my mind this district stands as a testament to the survival of the Jewish culture in the face of adversity. I really like that this area has maintained its cultural identity through time as well, and you can really see the layers of different eras here. The graveyard is really cool, but if you are visiting this area (as with any other place you visit) remember to be respectful of the rules here: make sure if you are visiting synagogues that you cover your shoulders, and yarmulkes are provided for men to cover their heads while visiting the religious sites. Also, just a heads up, if you want to take pictures in this cemetery you have to pay, but it’s not expensive at all, and i’m pretty sure the proceeds go towards maintaining this historical site. Also when you are here, if you can, try to find a good restaurant! The place we went to was overpriced (we didn’t have a lot of options, most places were closed on the day we went) but you can get a killer bowl of matzo ball soup here!

Also, in case anyone was curious, placing stones on the headstone is a Jewish tradition. Apparently the exact origin of this tradition isn’t know but it’s thought that the act is symbolic to show the presence of a loved one visiting the grave site, and that the deceased individual has not been forgotten. And I think the candle is a Yahrzeit Candle, which is burned in memory of a deceased person.

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This picture was taken on Museum Island in Berlin, Germany. This island (not an island exactly, its surrounded by a little water way, which seems more like a moat) houses a few of the (many) amazing museums that Berlin has to offer. The island is great because it has a lot of places to visit in very close proximity to each other. Because this area is pretty highly touristed there are also lots of restaurants, cafes, and places to shop around for the typical tourist stuff like Berlin teeshirts and Ampleman merchandise. We also found a little craft fair area not to far from here, so the area really has a lot to offer.

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This photo was taken in Paris, France. We spent a large part of the day just hanging out on the large grassy lawns in front of the Eiffel Tower. The tower is absolutely beautiful, and it’s never something you get tired of seeing. The area around the tower has a lot of little tourist shops and Crepe and soda Kiosks. It’s a really nice place to just hang out and spend a relaxing afternoon.

 

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This is the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. While it was in use it would have been able to hold up to 50,000 spectators who would have been watching the games that were held here. The colosseum is most well known for housing gladiator games, the flat space in the center of the Colosseum would have had a stage covered in sand. Now there is only a small section that has a stage, even without it though, you can totally picture what the Colosseo must have looked like when it was in use. It’s a little expensive to visit, (discounts are available, especially if you are a student from the EU, but you need proof of this with ID) but it’s totally worth it! It’s a really cool site and a fantastically preserved piece of the Roman Empire that really allows the visitor a glimpse of the past, and all of the history that has built up to the current city of Rome.

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This picture was taken in the tiny underground chapel in the Wieliczka Salt Mine just outside of Krakow, Poland. The mine is really cool, and this is only a tiny chapel, which, while still beautiful, is not quite as impressive as the larger one which has lots of statues carved from salt in the mines. This chapel, like the other, has a lovely chandelier made from salt crystals! The mines are cool, and are absolutely worth a visit!

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This is a little marketplace we found in Krakow, Poland. Food wasn’t super expensive in Poland, which was a really nice contrast to some of the other place we had stayed. We went to this market right when we got to Krakow, we were actually looking for a museum, but it was closed, and we happened to find this little market instead. We bought a ton of fresh fruit and sat in a nearby park and ate it and just watched the locals walk around. It was really nice, and it was really cool to see how they sell sunflower seeds there, still attached to the actual flower. We took our time in Poland a little slow, we didn’t go to too many tourist attractions, but we had a really great experience there, and the food was seriously amazing. If you are visiting Krakow keep an eye out for a 24 hour Perogi restaurant, the perogis were good (and super cheap) and it’s wonderful to have a 24 hour place! We went and got perogis right before we left and took them with us on our seriously early morning train. Poland is a great place to visit, but i’d definitely recommend doing some research before you go, just so you have a better idea of what you’ll want to see when you’re there.

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This picture was taken in a little alley in a smaller neighborhood of Rome, a little bit outside the main city. We went over here to just wander around we found some cool places to shop, and there were a bunch of cute little cafes around. We also visited a ¬†really pretty little church. Rome is a great place, and the city has a lot to offer, but it’s worth while to wander around the back streets. Really get a feel for the city, the parts outside of the more heavily touristed areas. We took the bus here, and to a few other smaller neighborhoods, we definitely enjoyed seeing the slower, more local side of Rome. So if you have some extra time, take a detour! Just a mini-adveture to get a better idea of more than one aspect of the city, it’s worth it!

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