Monday, August 15, 2011


This morning we left our Prague hotel for the last time and drove to a different part of Prague for a final excursion. We walked over the famous bridge that has all the souvenir stands, visited the Prague castle, took photos by the still and silent guards and stopped by the statue of the second president, Edvard Benes, who I'd like to think is a relative but Benes is probably a common Czech name. We even got to watch the changing of the guards at the castle gate. Again I didn't understand a lot of what was said so I took photos and wandered around while they listened. We were given an hour for lunch and found a pizzeria on the river. It was pretty amazing pizza.

At 1 p.m. we boarded up and headed out, back to Ukraine. I'm almost happy to be finished with the endless whirlwind of activities. It was great but a little exhausting. At the Czech/Polish border, we stopped for gas and bathrooms. The store unfortunately didn't take Czech Koronas or Euros so I had to change Koronas to the Polish Zloto, just for some snacks. I was annoyed because no one spoke English in the shops and they were all so rude.

We traveled with 50 people. Meaning we were a huge group everywhere we went. Meaning bathroom stops took at least 30 minutes to get everyone through, and always involved a discussion on whether we'd raid the men's restroom. We usually did once the coast was clear. We also changed money so many times that at one time I had four currencies in my wallet to rifle through. Overall, I found the tour to be very well-organized. There's always going to be frustration in a group that size and I especially enjoyed evenings and the few hours of free time we got away from the group.

We journeyed all night, stopped at the border for two hours at about 4 a.m. Saturday morning, then in Lviv a couple hours later to drop some people off, then went on to Kiev and arrived there at 8 p.m. on the dot at the central train station. Oksana bought her train ticket for the next day back to Nyzhin and her aunt, Tamila, called us a taxi to pick us up from the train station and take us to her house.

And that's the end. It all went so quickly…

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