PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
If you have never considered going to Prague in your life, buy a plane ticket, pack your bags and go RIGHT NOW! The only way I can fully describe how Prague looked was Medieval Times meets Disney World. So gothic yet perfect and clean. The main streets of the old town look like there plucked right out of a storybook. I remember walking through the streets being like “is this place for real?” I got the idea to start looking into Prague when I heard a friend say she went there. I have this obsession to sit and bed and research countries for fun, so when I saw photos of how magical this place was, I needed to find a way to get here any way I could. I had 2 free days in my itinerary before my cruise so I was going to squeeze as much of Prague into that time as I possibly could.
We took an over night train from Budapest to Prague. It left around 8pm and we got in the next morning at the ungodly hour of 630am. What does one do when they arrive hours earlier then they can check into their hotel? Well of course they go to McDonalds where there is free Wi-Fi and an endless supply of coffee available. I found it interesting that every country I’ve been to, both the McDonalds and Starbucks carry different food, catering to each countries tradition. (I loved the food especially in Paris- call me crazy but they can make a damn good frappe) We took some time, collected ourselves and tried to forget the madness that was that overnight train. When we finally got our bearings, we started towards our hotel with the hopes they would let us check in early.
We got to our hotel, which was in Praha 2-the different areas of Prague (Praha) are zoned. We stayed at Hotel Trevi, which was nice and modern, had a cute balcony but no AC and it was actually like 40 degrees Celsius and we were dying already. We got cleaned up from our night on the train and headed out to explore. We got to the main area and crossed the famous Charles Bridge, which has been filmed in many movies. We toured Hradcany (The district surrounding the Prague castle) did a tour of the castle and the preserved houses beside it (Golden Lane) showing what it was like to live there hundreds of years back. If you have minimal time in Prague, I would definitely suggest seeing this, I felt like I was in a time warp. Then we toured St. Vitus Cathedral which was unreal, I felt mini standing beside it. After we were jam-packed with culture (me, not being one to museum-hop) we decided to take a break from learning to take in the shopping and food, two of my favorite things. One thing you will see a lot of when shopping here is crystal. You can get cheaper crystal or very expensive crystal. I ended up with 10 pairs of earrings, which I generously gave to my family and friends. (And I may have kept a few for myself) It’s a nice gift to bring back for people, without breaking the bank.
We took a walk back through the lesser town, which also seems to be out of a storybook. I’ve never been anywhere more adorable. We took some photos in front of the large Lesser town Bridge Tower and hung out on the bridge for a while listening to street performers and watching painters creating portraits for tourists.
Even though I don’t use public transportation at home (I’m more of a car kind of gal) the subway system here was unreal. You feel like your going miles underground via escalator and when you get down to where the subways run, it is so modern and clean, you forget where you are. The pattern along the walls reminds me of the Nespresso Coffee displays in stores. When it was eating time we had dinner in the old town at LaScala Pizzeria. I got this massive Pork Knuckle, which isn’t really feminine of me, but it reminded of something I would eat at medieval times, and I found it very fitting. The food and ambiance was great. After dinner we were pretty wiped, considering we were negative sleep from the night before. We stayed up and wandered the lit up streets as long as we could, to avoid feeling like grandparents then hit the hay at the early hour of 10pm.
Day 2 arrives and it is another day of site seeing, we started back at the old town and Charles Bridge because I couldn’t get enough of it the day before. I found a “Paul” here, which was one of my go-to places for breakfast and coffee in Europe so far. (The coffee sizes were up to my caffeine- addicted standards) In the distance we saw this large red structure swinging back and forth. On the map it said it was a point of interest, so we engaged in a long hike up this hill, to realize it wasn’t overly interesting, but the views of the city from up here were incredible, and made it worth the trek.
We headed back for lunch on a patio in The Old town, with views of the Astronomical clock, which is mounted on the old city hall. People crowd around this clock to see it spring to life every hour. Here we indulged in some adult beverages and people-watched.
After our well-deserved break we decided to hit the shops. There are lots of shops through out this area, both high end stores and chain stores. This is where I got to treat myself to a beautiful designer hand- bag. We then strapped on some huge winter jackets and marched our way into the Prague Ice bar. It was a unique experience. Everything was made of ice, including the glasses we drank out of, chairs and DJ table. Thank god there was a 20 minute time limit because I felt like I was in Canada at winter time and it was bringing back some unwelcome memories.
I decided that this was the day of treating myself, because my feet were DYING from the cobblestones. I saw signs for Thai Massages all over and I couldn’t help myself-It was the best money I spent the entire trip. LESSON: Do not wear thin-soled shoes or sandals through the streets of Prague because they will become sand paper and you may cry from the pain. Another note: Don’t wear heels unless you feel like tripping and embarrassing yourself. Wedges are your best friends.
After our pampering, we ended up back at LaScala for dinner again this evening because we enjoyed the meal so much the night before. I guarded my new bag with my life, since it cost more money then my monthly rent did. It was another early night since we had a 6am flight out to Venice the next morning and needed to find a way to get all my new purchases into my bag. I must have taken 400 photos within my 2 days here, everything looked out of a post card. I wouldn’t suggest coming here for less then two days however, because I could have spent a week here. Overall, one of the most underrated placed I’ve ever visit; you need to look into coming here at some point in life.