Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 141-143: Prague

I had no expectations for Prague.  Everyone I talked to said they loved it, but I didn't really know what was there that I'd be interested in seeing.

Some brightly coloured buildings in the main square.
Kayla and I arrived mid monday afternoon and checked into our hostel, which was insanely cheap at just €2.70 a night. We were in a dorm with about twenty other girls and there were no kitchen facilities to speak of, but for that price we couldn't complain.

"Up..up...up the stairs we go, until we come to... the tunnel..."
(this tunnel led through a hill up to a museum, not Shelob's lair, thankfully...)
The first night we basically struggled to find food. Without a kitchen, the supermarket had absolutely nothing we could eat for supper, so we ended up at KFC. This was rather helpful, though, since we took the plastic forks and the cardboard boxes and used those for eating cereal and spreading Nutella on bread for the rest of our stay. Necessity is the mother of invention...

The roofs of Prague. I love how I got an aerial view of nearly ever city we visited!
The next morning, we started out trip in Prague with a walking tour. This one wasn't quite as interesting as the tours in other cities but we got a decent sense of Prague and got to meet a number of other people from our hostel. We went out for hot wine afterwards (we had so much hot wine on this trip, since the weather was chilly, and wine was cheaper than coffee!) in a pub where Kafka wrote, and then Kayla and I took a self-guided walking tour around the eastern edge of Prague. 

The pub where Kafka wrote and we enjoyed our first hot wine.
Prague has some nice pubs and cafés. Our first night we went to the Globe, which is also an English language bookstore, and enjoyed some happy hour cocktails while catching up on journaling. The next night we went out with some people from the walking tour, starting out in our hostel bar, moving on to a jazz bar, and concluding in an underground club. Drinks weren't as cheap here as Budapest but definitely better than the UK. It was nice to be able to go out without breaking the bank!

The river through Prague (the Vltava, not the Danube)
On my last day we went to Prague castle and spent the entire day there. At 10am they had the changing of the guard, which seemed to be a mini version of the buckingham palace ceremony. We then bought long-stay tickets, which cost only about $10 and allowed us into pretty much every part of the castle, from the great hall to the dungeon to the cathedral to the tower. It was a fascinating place, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to because I was just so cold and there was really nowhere to warm up.

Changing of the guard at Prague Castle
The next morning Kayla and I went for a quick walk up a hill through some gardens before I had to leave. My flight left at 2:30, but I was at the airport far ahead of time for safety's sake. As it turned out the plane was delayed for de-icing (we actually got about an inch of snow in Prague, which is the most I've seen all winter) but I still arrived in London Luton in time to catch my bus to the city centre.

The John Lennon wall
And that was Prague: pretty, a tad run down, but with far more culture and history than I expected. 

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