Woo Czech me out!!

Trip Start Jul 12, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Czech me out"... the phrase of our time in Czechoslovakia haha.

So after finally arriving in a rather cold Prague, we checked into our hotel.. flopped out after a hard day on the bus (pfft haha) and then headed into the old part of the city for another included meal.  It was in a very fancy looking restaurant not far from Namesti republiky.  
We had no menus, and were told that we would just have a 3 course meal- Fine with us!!

So after starting with compulsory beer, we were served our first course of mushroom soup, followed by our main of a skewered kebab and chips, and then a layered cake type thing for desert.  Not knowing what we were eating kind of added to the fun of it all as we started playing 'guess that meat' and 'guess that sauce'...I don't think we managed to identify everything but I swear we were served at least 5 different meats!!

After another good nights sleep we were driven up to the Prague Castle while we had our local guide, Charka, on the bus who pointed out a few things on the way and filled us in on some of the history.  The castle is pretty impressive and it stands out on the hill on the opposite side of the river to old town square.  We went for a walk through into the Castle grounds and crossed into the church that had some pretty amazing stained glass windows!! you can't really go to far into the church itself as it is roped off unless you pay to go in.  We then passed quickly outside to watch changing of the guard... but the funny thing is a few of us at the back of the pack kind of got caught up in the procession and got chased by nicely dressed guards carrying big swords.. not normally ideal.. but I at least can say I was part of the action!! haha.

We got a few photos out over the city.. however the low lying fog didn't really help our situation!! From the Castle we started winding our way down the hill passed lots of really nice little shops.. however you couldn't really take your eyes off the ground as the stones were super slippery!!!  We learnt all about the symbols above the doors however, it was really hard to hear Charka at times because she just had a little hand-held speaker for all 50 of us to hear... so I missed a fair bit of the history!  
We then passed down in front of the John Lennon wall.  I love the fact that John Lennon never actually visited Prague.. but it's a wall where people can come and write tributes to him!!
From here we walked down the famous Charles bridge where there are all the statues either side, and then there's the statue that you touch/rub and it brings you goodluck

We then walked into old town square where we watched the astronomical clock strike over the hour.. and little skeletons start dancing and pulling the cord to the bells..supposedly in a way saying "it's time to die" (how creepy) and then theres little men who shake their heads, meaning "we are not ready to die".. and then a REAL human plays the trumpet from the top of the clock tower! all in a bit of fun right? 

We had an optional boat cruise that afternoon which I took advantage of, and for 20Euro, we had a pretty good buffet lunch 2 free drinks and a guided boat cruise down the river.  It was well worked out because the boat left the dock and went downstream away before we went into a lock and had to wait for the water lever to rise.. so this meant we could have a leisurely lunch without feeling that we were missing out on seeing things.  We then cruised further up the river and then came back down (through the same lock) and mingled around in front of Charles bridge for a good 10 or so minutes which gave us some good photo ops.  

For the rest of the afternoon we just strolled around Prague looking in the souvenir shops... Prague has AWESOME souvenir shops.. and it's all pretty cheap as well.  One thing I told myself I had to buy in Prague was a 'fur' hat.. but I had to find the right one.. I hate to think how many I tried on! haha. However sadly.. this day.. I didn't find one!!

So after heading back to the hostel and dressing up nice and warm, we headed back into the city using the metro, as our bus driver had to have a compulsory day off (European bus laws?).. and we all met up in old town square to start our Prague Pub Crawl!!
We did it through Prague Pub Crawl Company, and started off at their bar where they gave us 1.5 hours of free booze; beer, absinthe and vodka. I behaved (don't worry mum!) and only did one absinthe shot... and a few vodka.. and a few beers. We had a great time before we were led onto bar number 2 (sadly there was no treasure hunt this time!!). Everyone got their party on.. and our Fab tour leader got it really going by getting up on the bar and dancing... everyone then followed suit.  A couple of the girls and I couldn't get up to the bar so jumped up on the table and bench seats.. and then I saw a tealight candle that looked like it might be a bit dangerous so I went to blow it out... and I must have had my co-ordination a bit out.. either I had it too close to my face.. or I blew to hard... or a combination of the two?? Anyway.. I managed to blow/spray wax back into my face!! I was lucky that it wasn't super hot because it could have ended pretty badly... but it was just luke warm.. and made me look like lady Gaga!!... So not only did I give everyone a laugh.. but I spent the rest of the night picking wax out of my hair! haha.
Our night continued on to a couple more bars before they headed us to the famous 5 story night club!  However, by the time we got there everyone was knackered.. we had all peaked way too early! haha.. We battled on for a little bit because we knew we had effectively already paid the entry fee, and we wanted to see what it was like.  Most of us went straight to the "oldies" dance floor and boogied away to hits of the 70's, 80's and 90's. 
Getting a taxi home proved to be a bit harder than planned as the taxi drivers try to rip the tourists off.. the first 2 taxi's wanted to charge us between 400 and 500 czk (15-20euro).. we were only going a short distance.. so we started to walk.. and then I managed to flag one down that gave us a ride for 200czk!! we were only 200m down the road from where we had first asked!! Proves that it pays to shop around!!

We had a slow start to the day on Thursday.. but finally got going just before 12.  Simon went off to do some washing at the local laudramat.. so I went into old town square with Lindsay, Ed and Inna (a canadian girl and 2 australians).  We decided to go and check out the rooftop terrace bar/cafe at U Prince hotel, where we had a coffee and a bite to eat while looking out over the old Prague skyline (not a bad life!).  We followed this up by checking the view out from the top of the Astronomical clock tower... the view is pretty astronomical ;)! 
We had then arranged to meet up with the others that had an even bigger sleep in than us, before we headed to a bar called BED.  This place is AMAZING.  It is a Bar where you sit in giant bed like seats, and you can drink cocktails! sounds perfect right?? It was!!! I would recommend it highly!! More bars should be like this!
I left Bed bar early (what was I thinking!?) with one of the Australian girls, Maddi, in search of the perfect fur hat! .. I found it! I picked myself up the snuggliest beanie style hat with fake fur around the edge- my life was complete!! 
Now that my life was complete, we were able to meet up with the others again who were now at 'The Beer Factory': Pretty much a bar where you can tap your own beers.  (As you can see already.. there is quite a few alcohol related activities on Contiki!!).  
At 7pm we met up with the rest of the group and walked to a restaurant that had been booked as another optional excursion.  We got treated to a 3 course Czech dinner.. another soup.. followed by 5 different kinds of meat with potato dumplings and then a crepe on dessert!.. I don't think anyone was able to finish the main.. it was HUGE!!!
We were entertained the whole night with live Bohemian music and Polka dancing!! It was great.  Later in the night, they put out a few competitions.. one of them was to see if anyone could fill the wine decanter in the traditional way (by sucking it up).. 2 girls tried and failed.. clearly harder than it looks!
I then nominated myself to have a go at 'the hat dance' and in a group of 5 we had to take the hat off the head of the person to our right and place it on our own head.. in time to the music... so in theory.. all 5 hats should be in constant fluid motion moving round in a circle.. However some people clearly just can't hold a beat!! haha.. I came out on top and won myself a little ttle of Becherovka- a czech spirit.  
Sadly enough a few of the group were leaving the next day as they had only booked the tour from Berlin to Prague.  So to say goodbye, a few of us went out to a bar in old town square for a a goodbye drink.  Inna decided to really make it a party, and took a rather large shot of Absinthe along with Absinthe.  She became the party! It was crazy!! So we decided we may as well make a night of it, and 7 of us headed out to a club that a couple of the boys had heard about.. it was on a boat..docked on the river!! It was pretty quiet, but then again it WAS a thursday night! haha. However, we still made the most of the situation and had a great night out, making a party amongst ourselves, and finally getting home at 3.30am.. just enough time to grab a nap before jumping on the bus bound for Vienna!! 

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