Thursday, May 16, 2013

Prague

The next stop on our trip was Prague, where we were to meet up with our friend Holly who'd flown down from England. It was certainly nice to have an extra travel buddy for a few days.

The beginnings of our time in Prague were not favorable. We rolled in on a bus from Berlin just as the sun was setting. And when I say 'setting', I don't mean that magical time of day when the soft sunlight makes a city illuminate. I mean the light was fading, and the grim skies which coated the city in grey sludge not too dissimilar to the inside of a ripped mattress on a roadside.

Luckily the hostel is pretty much attached to the bus station. As our destination came into view, I heard a cry from Pip and from the corner of my eyes I see her fall to the ground. I turn to find her leg down a hole in the pavement, and a large piece of the pavement caved in on her foot. I removed her heavy backpack and lifted the concrete slab off her foot. Scrapped and bruised we limped gingerly around the corner to the hostel.

The remainder of our time in Prague was great though. Pip still continued to have troubles. A dog dived for her at a tram stop, and she knocked a bottle of wine off the shelf at a supermarket. Oh and she fell over and hurt her ankle on the way home from our night out. But, I bet if you asked her, she'd still tell you that she had a great time in Prague.

The weather was far from perfect and it did rain on our first full day, but everything was more than enough to recommend Prague to anyone. The hostel we stayed in (Hostel Florenc) is brand-new and so it was very clean and served as a great base to see the city from. Food and drink were very inexpensive, and the first night we each ate a huge meal and with two drinks each it cost only us the equivalent of ₤16 for the three of us. This might have been because we were yet to figure out the tipping educate, and I suspect the waiter was rather annoyed at us for under tipping him.

We also ate the a place called Palanda, where we ate amazing medieval style meals before heading out for a night on the town. This would be the first night out that Pip and I have had on our trip so far. We are on a very tight budget so generally don't bother on nights out, but since Holly was over, we decided to let our hair down just for one night. We asked the waitress at the restaurant if she knew any good local spots, and she sent us a few blocks over to a cocktail lounge and music bar where we spent the remainder of the night sharing cocktail buckets, shots, and dancing. We even made a Russian friend who we found out to be only 16 years old. We all started to feel old all of a sudden and I've never felt so much like an adult in all my years.

Obviously, the next day was a bit of a write off but we did spend the first couple of days visiting all of the tourist sites in Prague. We walked the Jewish quarter, conquered Prague castle, wrestled with tourists in the old town square for a bite of Trdelnik (A traditional Czech pastry), visited the John Lennon wall, pushed our way across Charles bridge, and pretty much ticked off the top ten things you'd most likely find in a travel brochure.

We didn't get the best of Prague in the way it's marketed at us tourists, but I feel as though we had a great time anyway, and it was nice to catch up with Holly for a few rowdy gulps.

Our first meals in prague

Getting arty

The Square

Trdelnik

Holly does Prague