Beautiful Prague

Trip Start Jan 09, 2011
Trip End Aug 21, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, July 1, 2012

Like all the rumors, Prague is absolutely beautiful.  I think we had the most jam-packed and interesting time while there, starting off with our accommodation. We were there for four nights and stayed at three different places! Klaas had a coupon for two nights at the Clarion hotel so we were staying in absolute luxury for the first two days there.  It was fantastic, but not going to lie, I felt slightly out of place walking into the fancy hotel all disgusting after
a full day in the bus, and with my giant backpack. haha!  For the longest time we had been trying to find a place to couch surf for our two last days, and at the very last minute we were accepted by someone...but then last minute again we changed our mind because my good friend from Czech found us a place at his friend's apartment which was much more centrally located.  It was a bit hectic but It all worked out so perfectly in the end! I'm usually anal about organization and stuff like this (aka finding a place to sleep... yeah, not too much of an outrageous thing to be anal about I guess) but everything has been working out so well and it's nice to be quite spontaneous.

Did a free tour the first morning there and saw quite a lot; there is so much history in all the buildings (but what else is new in Europe). Random fact: apparently defenestration was a big thing here!  Some neat things in the city center included the opera house where Mozart premiered Don Giovanni, and lots of monuments and important buildings related to WW2 and the Soviet occupation. Walked along Wenceslas Square (the Christmas carol was about him) which is now a main square lined with shops and of course visited Prague castle across the river, which is the largest medieval castle complex in the entire world, full of palaces and such. Both Klaas and I each had a friend to meet up in Prague with (we actually all have meet before in Lund) which was really cool, so we ended up spending the days doing different things and then meeting up all together at night.  We all went out one night dancing and ended up going to the castle for the sunrise and it was amazing to see it without all the tourists - I could barely recognize the same streets!  Prague has so many perfect beer gardens by the water, with the most amazing views.  We spent most of one afternoon at one after a long day walking around, just enjoying the sun and the live guitarist and watching people in paddle boats go by on the Vitava. Bliss.

My friend, and his friend who's place we stayed at our third night both are from Havlíčkův Brod, a town around 2 hours by train away. They had a high-school class reunion the following night so we tagged along with them to their hometown the following morning. We spent an awesome day swimming in an empty quarry in the country side in Lipnice, and checking out the town where he grew up. It was beautiful and the old square of the town reminded me very much of Lund. In the evening we met up with his classmates at a local brewery (beer is huge in Czech, makes sense since they pretty much invented it) and then we all went out dancing afterwards which was great.  I can't stress how nice it has been to have friends in almost all the cities we've visited - it has made my visits so much more interesting because we get to see the "real" places and way of life. So so so lucky. Definitely almost the same with couch-surfing as well, if you get a host willing to hang out and show you around a bit. 

We spent the night at his apartment but didn't sleep because we got home too late and we needed to the train back to Prague, because we had a bus to catch to Vienna. but it was definitely well worth the lack of sleep!  It was so cute because his mom and little sister had cleaned and cooked food for us before we arrived and then left to stay at his grandma's so we could have the flat.  She even picked us up and drive us to the station the following morning at 6:30 am. waaaaaaaay too nice.  This entire trip we've been spoiled by amazing hospitality! 
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