Czeching in and right back out

Trip Start Feb 26, 2007
Trip End Mar 12, 2007

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Day 8 (Tuesday, 3/6)
I once again took advantage of the Wombat breakfast and left Vienna at the leisurely hour of 10:30, to arrive (by train, of course) in Prague in the early afternoon. The train ride was made shorter by a conversation with yet another Aussie who shared a compartment with me and offered me lots of advice for what to do in future points of my trip.
I found a hostel right away, put away my backpack, and set off on a self-guided walking tour to the castle area. Being terrible with maps, I inevitably got lost and ended up wandering through a park and up to the back gate of the German embassy! Eventually, I found my way to the castle area, but I wish I'd made it there earlier, because the buildings (the Royal Palace and St. Vitus' Cathedral) were closed to the public by the time I got there.
After taking lots of pictures of the buildings' fašades, I headed through "Lesser Town" and had a ridiculously cheap apple strudel and coffee at a very nice restaurant. (Things both here and in Budapest were too inexpensive to fathom! Unless I messed up the conversions in my head, my very posh hostel-Miss Sophie's-in Prague cost about €12/night, and a really good steak dinner would run you €6-10.)
I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for the rest of the night, so I headed back to the hostel to freshen up and see who I could make friends with. I had no sooner made myself at home when guess who showed up? Jesse-the very same Australian buddy I had left only a couple of days prior in Vienna! We hugged hello and decided to spend the evening making dinner and going to an Irish pub to watch a soccer game over a pint or two. At the pub, we even met a couple from California who were on their way to Dortmund, Germany for the European Poker Tournament-the man had won a seat and had sponsored his trip to Europe and his (quite high) buy-in! It's funny that you meet such a variety of people when you travel.
Day 9 (Wednesday, 3/7)
Jesse and I spent the morning doing a guided tour of the city and learning a bit about the city's history. Afterwards, we were quite hungry, so we stopped for lunch at a famous sports bar in Wenceslas Square called The Beer Factory. It sounds lame and kitschy but it was really pretty posh-the main attraction was that each table had its own beer tap-and the menu had pretty tasty-looking items as well. After our delicious meal, Jesse and I parted again-he was to stay in Prague for another day, and I'd planned to go to Berlin as one of the "jewels" of my trip. Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor the cash to go to the Communism Museum (I'd heard good things about it) or to the top of the Old Town Hall tower at this point as I'd wanted to, so when I said goodbye to Jesse, I also had to say goodbye to the city. I hope I'll see them both again someday.
Prague Summary -
Thing that rocked: Meeting up with my hostel buddy again
Thing that sucked: Not spending enough time there
Advice to fellow travellers: Stay for more than 24 hours, but you can probably do all the tourist stuff in 72 or less. Stay at Miss Sophie's Hotel (they have private rooms as well as dorms, and it's really cheap, like almost everything else in the city). Learn about and visit the Astrological Clock and the Charles Bridge. Climb one of the "100 Spires" for a good view.
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