Czechin' Out Prague
Trip Start Jun 16, 2011
9Trip End Jul 21, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
For the last 3 nights we stayed at the Sir Toby Hostel in Prague, Czech Republic. We arrived in Prague by train. The trip took around 6 hours and was thankfully uneventful. After arriving at the hostel we were greeted by Richard, an overbearing/very welcoming desk worker. He was very helpful with familiarizing us with the city although he micromanaged our every move from the moment we walked into the hostel.
After dropping off our bags in our room we headed towards the center of the city to exchange our Euros for Krowns. Once we were flush with Czech money we walked over the famous Charles Bridge. It was here that we were surprised to see what a beautiful place Prague is
The next morning Richard offered his beloved "No Umbrella Tour". He gave it this title because we would be visiting places off the beaten track and we would be in a small group so we wouldn’t find him holding up an umbrella for us to follow. We were unsure about what to expect spending 3-4 hours with Richard but, despite his bossy demeanor we decided that taking a walking tour of the city might do us some good. The tour took us to cool places that we would have never seen without him and gave us insight that we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, such as “The Czech humor”. Czech people pride themselves on their dry/ sarcastic sense of humor. For example some time ago a radio tower was erected in the middle of the city
After the tour we went to the Prague castle and walked through it’s garden. The castle was an outstanding specimen of gothic (?? We think) architecture and sits high on a hill giving a great view of the city. Czech is known for their delicious beer so after the castle we risked taking another one of Richard’s recommendations and went to Bar Bar in the Old Town district of the city. This proved to be the most helpful advice we got from Richard. Bar Bar had a great atmosphere and offered us an opportunity to taste a variety of Czech Beers. After relaxing in the Old Town we grabbed a pizza on the way back and decided to attend the quiz night put on by our Hostel. Arriving at the pub, we were a little set back to only find 6 other people (an Aussie, a Kiwi, a Canadian, a Brit, and two fellow Americans). After we commented on how this looked like the beginning of a joke, we quickly hit it off. Working in teams of two we were overly confident about our chances of winning. The first round bruised our egos a little bit (6 out of 10) but made us more determined to step it up for the next round
However two points would be awarded to the team with the funniest name. Being avid trivia night attendees back home we have picked up a few good ones along the way. We settled for “Hi, my name is Al and I am an alcoholic.” After our quiz master (named Al) read this we respondeed in unison with “Hi Al.” Winning the bonus points made us tied with third place and closer to our gummy bears. Unfortunately the tie breaker question (How many episodes of South Park are there?) landed us back in last. This was a bummer but it did afford us with some really cool friends who we hung out with the rest of the night.
The next morning we discovered that our hostel has bikes for hire. With our biking experience in Amsterdam in mind we knew how we were going to spend our last full day in Prague. Amsterdam taught us there is no better way to see a city than by bike and we weren’t going to miss this opportunity. The cost was only 2 euro more than an all-day metro ticket and took us to anywhere we could possibly want to visit. We started off by going towards the castle via the bike paths through the park and the zoo (another good recommendation of Richard)
After saying goodbye to Martin, we rode our bikes enjoying the scenery before stopping at a park to watch some locals sword fight. We then rode into the center of the city and found a mall to look for a new pair of jeans for Pat (after his only pair fell apart). Needing a caffeine boost we stopped at Starbucks in the mall to order some Frappuccinos. While things are generally less expensive in Prague some Americanized things are not. For instance for the price of one Frappuccino you can get a delicious roasted duck dinner and for the price of four Frappuccinos you can get a new pair of jeans. The coffee drinks were grossly overpriced but we were desperate for the energy so we gave in and purchased two venti java chips. After the mall we realized that we have neglected to get a single souvenir from any of the cities we had visited so far, so we jumped back on the bikes and went to the most touristy area we could find (loved ones look forward to some Prague memorabilia). We visited dozens of different gift shops looking for something unique and authentic to Prague only to find the exact same mass produced merchandise in each store. Once we finally settled on our purchases (sorry no spoilers) we went searching for the John Lennon wall. We had seen the attraction on our tourist map but we didn’t exactly know what it was or why Prague had a John Lennon wall in the first place. On a section of a wall near the French Embassy thousands of people have spray-painted Beatles lyrics, portraits, memorials, messages, and anti-Yoko propaganda in honor of the late musician
After taking pictures of ourselves making the peace sign in front of the memorial, we decided to just ride our bikes around the city and take in some other sights. The more we rode the more we fell in love with Prague. We decided that out of all the places we visited up to that point Prague was the most surprising. It is arguably the most beautiful/ coolest city we have been to, also the great weather we encountered helped. After a long time of riding we decided to take advantage of the affordability of the country and had our third sit down dinner. We capitalized on the opportunity to be healthy and had salad, grilled chicken breast, and mixed vegetables. The food was delicious although the waiting staff was not very friendly. During our travels we have found that on multiple occasions we unintentionally come off as pushy while ordering food. This has always been met with ICY cold service. We made a point to be overly kind but failed to win over the servers
Prague was exceptional! We have both decided that the Czech Republic is a place we would gladly re-visit. Although its sights are not as famous or extravagant as places such as Rome, Paris, London, etc. this city has a lot to offer.
Please bear us- Athens and Santorini coming soon!
Ryan and Patrick