On Sunday morning, 7th April, my alarm clock went off at 4.30 am. I got to Maglie and there they were, 87 students from L. Da Vinci ready to go to… Prague!!! Our dream of going on a school trip abroad had finally come true!
We spent two tiring days in the bus – definitely the worst part of the trip – we travelled up to Lido di Jesolo where we slept in a hotel and then we travelled through Austria and the Czech Republic the morning after. We finally reached Prague later that evening. We were all exhausted! And I had a temperature of 39! The following morning everyone went off sightseeing whereas I stayed behind and tried to recoup. Fortunately, I had a guardian angel (one of the teachers) looking after me and just before lunch she and I got on a taxi and joined our group at a restaurant in the centre of Prague.
The main course was a potato soup which many fussy people did not eat ( too garlicy for them); boiled potatoes and buttered chicken breast were served as a second course, and finally we were served a delicious hot crêpe with jam on the top. Unfortunately, during the rest of the stay the food that we ate was not very varied – mashed potatoes and meat day in day out!
In the afternoon the guide showed us around Prague; we visited the church of the Infant Jesus of Prague and its small museum with its exhibition of tiny dresses. Many of them were made in different countries for the statue of the Infant Jesus and are gifts of thanksgiving. We also passed by ”John Lennon’s wall” which is full of graffiti designed by young people and symbolises ideals such as love and peace.
Prague’s architecture is spectacular as it showcases a myriad of different styles which coexist side by side. We walked on Charles Bridge, which is considered to be one of the most astonishing civic gothic-style buildings in the world.
We walked into the city’s Old Town where we saw the spectacular Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. Crowds gather in the square to watch the astronomical clock strike the hour because when the bell in the tower tolls, the windows above the clock open and mechanical apostles pop out and begin to dance.
In the evenings, while I was in bed with a high temperature, my classmates had a great time going to the sauna, gym, swimming pool, massage centre, casino and bowling hall in the hotel.
The day after we went to Terezin (about an hour’s drive from Prague) where we visited the concentration camp. I can’t describe the feeling I had while visiting the camp but it was almost nauseating because everything had been left as it was – the beds, rooms, toilets, showers, offices and the rooms where people were kept imprisoned in terrible and inhuman conditions. 144,000 Jews were taken to Terezin, of whom 33,000 died of hunger, stress and typhus; 88,000 were taken to Aushwitz and other concentration camps. At the end of the war, only 17,247 people survived.
Unfortunately, time flew very quickly and after only two days in Prague we were back on the bus homeward bound.
We arrived back in Maglie late Friday evening; we were all tired and a bit sad to be back but we have had a holiday that none of us will ever forget.