Wedding bells

Trip Start Nov 12, 2009
Trip End Apr 06, 2010

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Prague Lion

Flag of Czech Republic  , Hlavní Mesto Praha,
Monday, March 8, 2010

Prague in Czech Republic. The heart of Europe, an enchanting fairytale city complete with gothic cathedrals, gargoyles hanging off ancient buildings, stone bridges criss-crossing the river, tiny cobbled lanes, large open squares and an impressive castle looming on the hill.

Such was the magical location for Will and Tereza's wedding, and the next, impromptu and unlikely stop on our South American odyssey. Conveniently called one month after we left Australia, and dated one month before we headed home, it was a topic of much frustration and indecision. In the end, the gnawing feeling of missing our two good friends’ wedding was too much, and so began a three-day journey, across the Atlantic to join in the festivities.

Our first priority was to locate Toby and Murphs´s, whom had kindly brought with them warm clothes from Australia, so we could participate in the action while snow filled winds blew -5C. Next stop, H&M for some fancy accessories before a pre-wedding dinner beside the castle. It was great to see some old friends, catch up on some goss, and toast the (semi) newly engaged couple. After an un-named guest unsuccessfully propositioned Will’s aunts, arms over their shoulders - "so which one of you cougars is coming home with me?", we realized dinner was over, and found our way down to Will´s local for some more Czech nectar. Following some blurry pub shots later that night, or was it early next morning, we retired to our surprisingly spacious digs at the Prague Lion hostel – we are backpacking after all!

A few Bloody Marys helped the troopers through the pain that was everyone’s living nightmare next morning – the day of the wedding. Giz looked fantastic with recently styled hair, black dress and stunning $20 H&M special high heels, which she wore bravely for the first time. I looked the part from the socks up in my suit. Others might say the hiking boots were out of place, but I say comfort is highly under-rated when it comes to formal wear! We’re not likely to see this trend taking off. Another advantage of the puffy leather boots - warm as toast for the tootsies, which was the only part of me that was warm while sitting in subzero temperature in my lightweight Australian summer woolen suit!

Czech style weddings require a visit first to the registry to offer vows and commitment, ahead of signing your life away. We took a little longer than standard to ensure Will understood what exactly what he was getting himself into in English – his Czech doesn’t go much farther than ordering a Pivo, prosim (beer please). On exchanging rings, we walked across Prague square to one of the cathedrals for the blessing. It really was gorgeous. An incredible setting in the beautiful old town of Praha with snow gently falling on the newly made Mr & Mrs. Will looking dashing in black tuxedo, Tereza absolutely beaming and looking every bit the princess. Crowds of strangers joined us to capture the romantic image.

Beers, wine and Long Island Iced tea´s flowed at the reception. The restaurant was located on a little island in the Vltava river overlooking the Opera house. We had it too ourselves and it included a really cool dungeon come dance floor under the building! The music was shall we say interesting? A lot of 70´s Czech pop, interlaced with some nineteen hundred something Czech waltz, and a bit of Bavarian folk. Murphs did manage to pry some of the punters from the bar with his IPhone playlist later in the evening. We raged into the night, everyone having a merry old time, and Will and Tereza were ecstatic with all the people who had travelled so far on short notice to join them.

Recovery was a true recovery. Old Czech pub serving splendid traditional fare, cold frothy beers, but no absinthe? Obviously things sometimes go sideways when serving this ancient liquor, and so it was we skipped across the road to the adjacent pub, for the green fairy. It wasn’t long before we’d shaken off the demons one more time, postponing the inevitable hangover from hell, and smiling our way across town to another of Wilbur’s favorite haunts – Norms (an Australian publican no less). Will was decidedly relaxed relative to the day before, and thanked us for coming, over and over! It was another great day-night, and a fitting finale to a epic wedding celebration.

Although we hardly saw any of the city itself, we did enjoy plenty of its pubs, ate wonderful food, and spun a yarn with some old friends. Our job was done, our mission complete, and a warm fuzzy feeling for having made the effort for a mate, to enjoy with him and her, a momentous occasion. No regrets and loads of memories. We wouldn´t have it any other way. Now… back to Cartagena and more third world mayhem.
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