The weekend being here and me being in Prague, Central Europe’s #1 party destination, I had to do my share of partying. Even on a Sunday night. And for that, what better partners in crime should I find than a big bunch of Brits.
I have arrived Saturday morning from Krakow to Prague on an overnight train. First time out of three or four nights that I will have to spend this way during this trip. If you are doing an Interrail trip, when you make your seat reservations, make sure that you select a sleeping option (ex : 6 ou 9 ppl compartiments). Because I wasn’t asked to choose, so I ended up in a normal seat compartiment with 4 very excited Swedes and a less than excited Korean. When sleeping time came, we all played human Tetris to find a relatively comfy position to sleep. Hopefully it all went quickly and we all woke up energised and ready to discover Prague, or at least that’s what I thought.
I stepped out of the train, left the luggage at the hostel, had a shower and by 9am, I was ready to rock! Which I did! I went to the other side of the famous Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), where you have an amazing view but need to cohabitate with millions of tourists. If you walk up those steep streets, you will reach the Czech Senate, the beautiful Castle and the very old looking (but really not that old) Cathedral , which dominates the city from the top of its hill. There’s no doubt why Prague attracts tourists from all over the world, the heart of the city is so very baroque and well preserved (and beer is cheap). A paradise for Chinese tourists and other photography enthusiasts, who like to get their camera out, every step of the way.
But the best view I had was from the Beer Gardens overlooking the city from the same side of the river as the Castle, next to the Metronome, or next to the German Embassy. Good beer, good view and some calm, what else can I ask for ?
Old Town Square
So by 2pm, I had seen most of the Old Town and the « Castle District », the tiredness (from sleeping in an absurd position on a moving train) chose that time to fully kick in. So I decide its chill out time… Following the hostel receptionist’s advice, I head to a garden behind the station. What’s following is what happened every day I was in Prague, because Prague is not made of blocks, but circles, triangles, arcades and twisted streets (better be wide awake and well caffeinated). My brain was totally out and I got lost so many times on the way and even spent a full hour in the train station looking for the right exit. I ran out of patience after 3 hours of walking around (literally around). To gain some strength, I went to a truely Czech gastropub, where I had a duck, sausage and cabbage dish, big enough to feed 3 people like me (= the normal portion for any dish in Central/Eastern Europe).
Finished that in two bites!
Feeling brave and already fearing for the upcoming Pub Crawl, I ate most of the enormous dish, then went back to the hostel and had a instant nap. Awaken by the sound of two feminine English voices, I knew I had found my buddies for the Pub Crawl. It was indeed a very English pub crawl : two English ladies, their English mate, plus three guys from Sheffield that we met on the way, and me, the Frenchy who like to pretend she’s British. I ended up losing the girls and setting the disco dancefloor on fire with the Northerners, till 3am, while sober (why does it keep happening?). Good times indeed, and even better time when I woke up fresh the morning after. Since I got lucky the first time, I tried to do it again the night after with a big bunch of Scotsmen (and a LOT more alcohol) and it didn’t end up that well for me (oh headache, oh intense fatigue).
Do I need to say anything else? I was tired.
Generally, I would say that carrying my tired legs and exhausted mind through this big city, has been quite a handicap. Yes, I will admit, walking for at least 6 hours every day, travelling overnight, going out till late at night, working full-time and writing a blog, is a bit challenging and truely exhausting. And when I finally find somewhere to sit down, I try to unwind and switch my bruised brain off.
Potato and smoked meet dumpling with… Sauerkraut of course! Gotta love cabbage. In a cute pub next to the German Embassy in Malastranka.
Just a little appetizer before real dinner. Just kidding. Can’t finish any plate in this country.
I settled into a cool secluded beer garden in town to write this article. Ukunstatu, it’s called. The very nice waiter made me try some « Pickled Camembert", with a spicy filling or a plum filling. It was certainly worth the try, even though it sounded like a profanation of one my favourite cheeses.
World’s most boring boat ride. Well I was hungover, so probably very hard to entertain.