Sunday, November 21, 2010


Oh, and I forgot to mention my French SIM card is no longer functional, learned this while in Paris when I bought t recharge and tried charging it. I could turn on the phone but the card was no longer able to connect to a signal. And of course the recharge was non refundable…but I must have looked very sad because the guy made an exception for me, :).

My time in Prague was much too short. Arrived a day late due to flight changes so I only had 3 days instead of 4 and you really need a week to really appreciate the city. I arrived to the hostel around 6pm on Wednesday and enjoyed a piece of delicious lasagna con Bolognese and had my first Czech beer, a Pilsner Urquell. It was a bit too bitter for my taste but good. The hostel was amazing, such a cozy warm place and many good people. The basement bar was perfect with the brickwork and comfy chairs. Later that night I made my way to a local club with several others staying at the hostel through the cold drizzle. The first was a modern style “hip” bar where the drinks were pricey so we went to another cheaper place where they played reggae. Was a late night not going to bed until 3am. Took a perfect shower. There was a hot towel rack to place your towel on as well as assisting in heating the shower area, the water was deliciously hot with the perfect pressure. It was heaven.

Thursday I woke up around 10am and had a late start leaving the hostel by 11am. Took a tram down to Charles Bridge and made my way to Old Town Square. I haven’t taken trams since Old Threasers in Iowa, loved it. They have both styles in Prague: trolley style and tram style. I will miss such easy public transportation. I must say that Prague’s is the best I have seen in my travels, so easy. I wandered around Old Town Square through the drizzle for a bit before having an amazing and filling lunch. It was a chilly, rainy day and overcast. The restaurant I chose had these great heaters with a strong flame which was nice and toasty. There was Minestrone soup with fresh vegetables that the restaurant produced themselves, Czech goulash with bread, and Apple Streudal for dessert and a Mad Apple cider to drink, the alcoholic kind, :). Of course it was a Czech cider, they really know their stuff when it comes to beer and cider. Goulash is a thick and hearty beef stew type dish with only meat. After lunch I walked over to the other side of Charles Bridge and up to the castle but didn’t explore it that day. I wandered through the souvenir shops a bit and then returned to the hostel where I had another dinner of the same delicious lasagna. Had an early night at 1am and got some good sleep. I was in a room of 6 beds but only one other person which was nice.

Friday I was ready to go by 10am and took a day trip to Kutna Hora with 3 others, an Austrian who lives in Australia, an Aussie and a Turk. Prague has this great process where if you buy a return train ticket it is discounted, but even more when you purchase a group return ticket. We each paid 109 crown for a return ticket to Kutna Hora as a group rather than the 97 crown it would have cost each way had we booked separate tickets. Quite the deal! Kutna Hora is known for it’s church decorated with human bones. Yes, human bones. It was taken over by new power 600 years ago and the guy decided to take the piles of bones, clean and separate them, and create decorations with them. There is a chandelier as well as several other artistic creations. We arrived during the hour they were closed so we walked to the center where we had very large pizzas in this cute local restaurant. The whole village was just so picturesque. We then made out way back to where the church was locate so we could explore these bone wonders ourselves. A very interesting creation. Part of the reason behind the bone creations was to show the transience of life. It was also a very exhausting day. Arrived back at the hostel and had a delicious hot chocolate with peppermint liquor to warm up. Was perfect in the cozy den that is also the hostel bar. Ate another slice of lasagna with a Kozel this time. A little more bitter than the Urquell. After eating my fill I decided to finally try this Bechrovka liquor. It tasted like Christmas. It’s a local Czech liquor that has hints of cinnamon in it. Very nice on the rocks. Then a bunch of decided it would be fun to go to the city center to a bar called The Pub. Well…we made our way downtown to where we thought this place was but then we couldn’t find it. And of course everyone we asked had never heard of The Pub. So we ended up walking around for about an hour in the cold before just stopping at another hostel’s pub. Was fun and good music. We had dwindled in numbers and by the end of the night we were 6, so we decided to take a taxi back to the hostel, all of us in 1. It was just like Morocco, 2 people in the passenger seat and 4 in the back. Again, I took a wonderfully hot shower. It was a good night, lots of fun people. Went to bed around 4am.

Then woke up early at 9:30am so I could take in the sites on my final full day in Prague. I ate a decent breakfast and then followed a guided tour down to Old Town Square to view Prague. It was Prague’s Free Walking Tour and amazing! The guide was funny and informative and I was able to really see the center of Prague and the Jewish quarter. It lasted 3 hours and was a nice day, the sun actually game out. The history was interesting and the buildings gorgeous. Being able to visit a city such as Prague is a priceless opportunity. I finished my day by having a BLT on a bagel from a place called Bohemian Bagel and a smooth peace of Baileys flavored cheesecake. I then found my final souvenirs, a few post cards and a lovely peace of bohemian crystal, a blue tinted shot glass with Prague frosted onto it. Then had goulash for dinner at the hostel and a cookie. Was still warm from the oven with raisons, chocolate chunks and oatmeal. Had a dark Kostel, very nice. Less bitter than a Kostel light. Enjoyed a few mixed drinks and good conversation before an evening out. We tried to go to a new club…first we couldn’t figure out how to get in…then we were denied because it was a private party. Se went to a previous club. It was very unique, like being in a metro, very Matrix. Lots of odd pieces of electronics and wheels. Had a very late night of until 5am this time. A great way to end my short stint in Prague.

Now I am on my way to Vienna via a Student Agency Bus. Very nice. Leather seats with seat belts, free hot cocoa, in flight entertainment and even free wireless! Though the wireless doesn’t really work so well… It’s like being on a plane. Another rainy dreary day in Eastern Europe, but that’s winter for you. So far I am quite enjoying my short vacation and meeting so many interesting people. Many take a year off to travel around the world…maybe once I am debt free. There are so many places I still want to visit.

Made it to my hostel in Vienna with no problems, but very tired. Had a fun time trying to figure out how to set up my bedding, haha. Apparently I had a duvet cover thing to put over the heavy blanket lining thing. 2 people later it was put together, yay! Wombats seems like a nice hostel, but I don’t know if any can really compare to the one I was at in Prague, Sir Tobey’s Hostel. Everything was just so perfect and cozy. Well, off to explore some Vienna, only here 2 days and might stay the night in the airport Wednesday night as my flight leaves so early. We’ll see!

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