Prague - day 30

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
Trip End Nov 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Bishop's House
What I did
tourist stuff

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, September 5, 2011

so here's something i didn't think i'd be saying - i didn't much like prague, and i've always wanted to come here :(

visually, old prague is stunning...from churches to squares, and charles bridge to the prague castle, it's all really beautiful to take in...and at night  with all the wonderful old buildings lit up, it's breathtaking

beyond that, it's all incredibly fake...old prague is the tourist centre and all you find is shop after shop of westernised restaurants, pubs advertising cheap beer, and cheesy souvenir shops...they even manage to make the bohemian crystal look gawdy (isn't it meant to be the best in the world?)

the food is awful...they have a meat-based cuisine, like in Austria, but the quality of their meat is some of the worst i have ever encountered (beat only by Cambodia, a third world country!)...i tried out-of-the-way restaurants, expensive restaurants, even street vendors, and everything has just been varying degrees of yuk...i gave up and walked into a bakery and the staff were standing there waiting for me to order while flies and BEES were crawling all over the pastries...thankfully my hotel has breakfast included and i've been filling up on bread which i toast myself, and boiled eggs

i do like their bread (when i'm not imagining flies regurgitating on it) in austria it's that dark, heavy bread full of whole grains...well, that and hot chips...i make sure everything i order has french fries so at least i can eat those

the locals seem to abhor the tourists...NO ONE smiles...service everywhere is a joke; the restaurant spruikers make fun of people; i saw a street vendor yell at a tourist, a grown man not a youngen, and then throw bread at him; i went into 2 tourist information offices and they both claimed ignorance on how to get to the zoo; i asked another tourist info office where to get tickets for the tram and he said "metro station, 10 mins" and pointed to the left...some other tourists overheard and told me i can get them 2 stores down, which i did

and everything is terribly expensive and of low quality, food and goods alike...someone asked one of my tour guides why Czech isn't on the euro when they are already part of the EU, she said it's better for their economy to keep their local currency...the next day i went to the post office to get stamps and found they cost 4 times as much as in australia and greece...FOUR that translates to having a good economy, i do not know...y'all will have to wait till i have some more free time to find me another post office in another country before youse get any more post cards...i'm saving them all up

the tourists here, though, have been my favourite...all ages, all shapes and colours and sizes, and i have heard every single language's quite wonderful to see so many different types of people and cultures all converging on the one place and looking around in awe 

i managed to get to the zoo (it was relatively easy, after all), and it's the most wonderful zoo i have ever been's been rated the 7th best in the world - i can't image what the other 6 would be like!

it's one of those 'no cages' zoos and set on a hill in natural's quite large and every animal is displayed in it's natural habitat....they had a 'thai jungle' pavilion and in it a section for nocturnal creatures...while looking at some freaky little animals, i could hear noises behind me and over my head and i thought for sure it was just an mp3 track on repeat for added affect - until something touched my hair!  i literally RAN for the exit and as i opened the door i saw the ceiling crawling with was so awesomely creepy

prague had a major flash flood in 2002 and they didn't have enough time to transport all of the animals...they knew the zoo wouldn't survive the flood and because it was too dangerous to have the elephants and tigers and lions running through residential streets, they had to put them down :(  they found a walrus in germany 2 days later, but because the water was fresh, not saltwater, it had a heart attack :(:(

all shitty, inconsequential things aside, it IS a beautiful destination, and if you're into drinking with randoms you'd probably have a lot of fun here...i myself am very much looking forward to Berlin, my next destination, not only for all it may offer, but because i'm meeting an internet friend there :)

i'll be back to the danke's and ja's tomorrow

PICS:  random pics, self explanatory :p

ps...i also went to Schonbrunn Zoo in Vienna after i had posted my vienna was really lovely (yes, i'm a fan of zoos), but doesn't compare in the slightest to Prague Zoo
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MrsD on

Again my experience with people was completely different. Everyone was very friendly to us. They don’t understand service in the same way though, so the staff in restaurants is slow and not as friendly as in other places. But elsewhere people seemed friendly enough. Czechs are a quiet sort of people. You need to give them time to respond. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. I’m used to people from Eastern Europe and Russia. But Prague is one of those cities which are hard to visit when you’re on your own. Everyone seems to be partying or couple holidaying.

I hope Berlin won't let you down...

Charon on

I quite like Prague actually, but it has become terribly expensive. When I first visited a whole pot of tea was like 50 cents in the teahouse ... now you won't even get a little mug for that.

Let's hope you like good old Berlin better ... since you have a friend you should be ok with the food here. Try a vegetarian Döner :)

Helen on

Yep Con and I felt the same way about Prague. We wanted to go there the most and it was our least favourite. Budapest & Vienna shit all over it!!

kevloid on

did you know there are streets under the streets in prague? back during the renaissance sometime, to deal with flooding, they filled in all the streets and paved again on top. so on the buildings that old, what looks like the first floor is reall the original second floor. they've since emptied out the fill in a lot of places and you can walk on the original streets that are now underground. I saw a thing on history channel. I don't think they let the general public down there though, so you didn't miss out on something you coulda saw.


I'm also playing a game with a section that takes place in old prague. I recognize that clock and I think some of the skyline.

kevloid on

speaking of underground stuff, there's a functional multi-lane highway under downtown berlin. hitler built it, as part of one stupid plan or another. I saw it in the same history channel series I saw the prague thing on.

Samita on

How assy of them to give you the wrong direction *snickers* I was eating and I kind of went oyyy on the meat part LOL

I wish I had a more thoughtful comment but I dont, but rest assured I'm reading your posts :D

cassawesome on

I've always thought prague would be wonderful b ut my sister had a similar experience to you... though she was with a group and I do believe got drunk LOL I LOVE that you love zoos! I'm headed to sydney in Nov (the end) but you're not home then are you? :(

nicky7a on

so far loving berlin and the great, fresh food :)

nicky7a on

budapest was originally in my plans but I knocked it off because I was to chicken to go that far east on my own...oh no, now I have to come back to europe again, what a tragedy!

nicky7a on

yep, leant about it while I was can actually see the different architectural styles between the ground floor street level and the ones above, really interesting stuff...the astronomical clock was awesome

nicky7a on

Ooo, I did a city tour today and it wasn't is wonderful

nicky7a on

and I'm writing you postcards (which I haven't sent yet) :)

nicky7a on

since posting that, every aussie that's been to prague has told me they didn't like it, and everyone else seems to love it...I get back around 13th and go to work a week later...I'd love to catch up...let me know of your plans, ok?

Laura (onetruefriend) on

Nicky, I got your second postcard- from Greece, I just love the image on it, makes me so jealous! Stay safe! <3 Laura

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