Hello lovely people! October is here and I am fresh off of a weekend in Prague.
So far this has been my favorite excursion. Prague had a certain vibe unlike I’ve experienced in Belgium so far. For one the nightlife is strong with this one-in my friends words “its what you do. You come to Prague and you party.” 2, 3, 4 in the morning and there are a lot of people roaming about the streets.
We flew in Thursday evening, our flight landed at 11, off the plane and through customs by 11:20. Then trouble. My email from the hostel said that we could buy tickets for the bus at the airport and that their ticket machines took cards but when we got there, they didn’t take anything but paywave (I didn’t even know what that was.) Shocker I know. So then we took cash out of the ATM, only the ticket machines didn’t take bills and there was nowhere for us to change them into coins. So we called an uber. Not cheap but definitely easy. We got to our hostel at 12:30 am. 24 hour check in is a blessing. We were able to head straight to bed.
Friday the real fun began. We stayed mostly on the right side of the Valta river. Wandered into an outdoor market selling food, trinkets, sausage, and flowers first thing in the morning. There is something so inexplicably charming about open air stalls, vendors negotiating prices, the smell of fresh food.
Took a long tour through the Museum of Communism, saw the Old Town Square and the astronomical clock, then made our way to the PUB, a bar with serve yourself taps at the table. I was on a mission to try as much traditional czech food as humanly possible over the weekend. Smoked salmon, pork wyncelas (I don’t think I spelled it correctly but I couldn’t pronounce it either) and their famous Pilsner beer.
To work off the calories we walked down the river towards Charles Bridge, by the old Jewish Quarter- walled off and historically the site of a jewish ghetto. All the way back to the hostel- stopping to look at Salvador Dali’s eccentric artwork. A small nap, potato soup and a different type of beer. We were supposed to go out but upon retturnig through the hostel I was so exhausted the thought of drinking and dancing and staying up late sounded horrible.
Instead I accidentally stayed up until 2 am talking to a fellow traveler staying at the hostel. We had met at breakfast and sat chatting about my favorite subject- travel. He was Central European, well traveled, and asked a lot of good questions. He also had some amazing insight on solo travel, a subject I have been unsure about.
Saturday the majority of the morning was spent wandering around side streets and through arches. Around 2, we began the steep hike up to Petrin Tower. It was a beautiful wooded area, dappled with sunshine, dotted with other tourists, deadly for my makeup. We enjoyed a bottle of wine at the top, surrounded by this lovely view.
A trip North towards the Prague Castle, the palace site of defemistration, and past another outdoor market- this time with more food. We actually wanted to sit down for dinner and tucked down a side street away from the touristy castle shops was the perfect restaurant. I had cider, pork knuckle, roasted duck leg, dumplings, and bread. It was absolutely divine. The rest of the group got equally delicious dishes and it was several hours well spent on the patio while we ate and talked and wrapped ourselves in blankets. A lot of outdoor cafes in Europe lay blankets on the backs of the chairs in the evening so diners can wrap up!
We stayed up all night long because we had to be at the airport at 3 am! Needless to say, I had a large coffee when we got there. Arriving back to Brussels Sunday morning was 1/2 the price of coming back in the evening and most of the subsequent day was spent in bed, catching up on sleep.
Prague was lovely and I could go back and spend weeks there (and probably will at some point.) For now, I will be content with a weekend. Look forward to my next post about my study abroad experience in Brussels!