The Riverboat Incident and other fun games
Trip Start May 23, 2006
10Trip End Aug 02, 2006
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Sorry it has been so long since my last posting - between Prague, getting to Florence, hosting 9 guests in our apartment and general debauchery it has been hard to find a minute to update everyone.
So, Prague. It was as beautiful as I remember, and definitely a really cool fun city. I got in on Sunday night after a trip to Dachau, which I think I wrote about last time. Jesse got in the following afternoon, after I went shopping with a girl from the hostel for the full day, figuring it might be one of my last chances to go shopping with a girl now that I am safely installed with Jess and Matt. After he got in, we started watching the futbol downstairs in the hostel bar, then went to the pizza place next door in day 1 of our attempt to avoid all local foods in Czech. It was a quiet night because he was jet lagged and I was recovering from Munich.
The following day, we went on an insane walk. We literally saw all of Prague in about 10 hours as we walked and walked and walked and then got lost on the other side of the hill away from the palace, then hiked back up some hill, found the Saudi embassy, wandered around a lot more, found the National Theatre and eventually deciphered their list of performances, deciding to go see Rigoletto the following day. We also saw the Gehry building, which was nice, and got a bit of shopping in before dinner at 9. That night, we went to a crazy machine bar (pictures to follow) with a random group of people from our hostel, watched two of them hook up (after she decided that she couldn't do any better), saw people literally passed out with their heads on the tables with noone seeming to mind even a little. It was pretty nuts.
The following day, we decided to go for a paddleboat ride with two Swedish girls we had met the night before, so after buying opera tickets, we changed into our bathing suits (or at least I did) for a lovely hour or two of sunning on the river. The crazy German man staying in our hostel (he was full-on insane, but what a helluva character - he spent time one night explaining how his photographic memory destroyed his marriage but he has remained friends and lovers with his ex wife) assured us we could swim in the river, Wikipedia disagreed, so we decided against swimming. Also, the river was brown and kinda icky looking. So we paddleboated along (after having rented from the cheapest place - about $4 Canadian for an hour) and stopped for a while to just relax and enjoy the view. When we started trying to paddle again, we realized how seriously our boat was listing to one side. But paddleboats don't sink, so we didn't panic, just started to paddle towards the boat rental place to complain. After about 5 meters, the boat was listing so badly the other girl paddling had to jump out of her seat because it had filled with water, and from there it was like a slow-mo crash, as we tipped! Luckily, noone got hurt and we were near an island, so we got out quickly (except for Jesse who like a good captain stayed with the boat), and a random boat of Americans took off to get help as a Czech man stripped down to his underwear and jumped into the water to help jesse stabilize the boat. They towed it and us back to shore, though shockingly, there were no offers of refunds or apologies. We took off as quickly as we could, though we were all a little bit in shock, and alternated between feeling panicky and upset and laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all the whole way back to the hostel.
After that trauma, it was almost more than we could handle to make it to the opera, but I literally took the longest shower of my life and so geared up for it. We went for Tex Mex food (again, it's harder to sneak pork into a veggie quesadilla than something written in Czech), then to the opera, then to meet up with two Canadian girls I'd met in Munich, which was great, because we had someone to tell the riverboat story to. After a bit of a ridiculous night, wherein Belgian businessmen were buying out entire table rounds for an hour and one was awkwardly propositioning me to go back to the hotel (my response was to keep pointing at his wedding ring, and edge away), we were about ready to go home when this drunk girl comes running in the bar cheering for Canada. Turns out, the bar was showing game 5 of the Stanley Cup, so naturally we had to stay out till 6 in the morning watching it with a few random Australians we met on the street (they asked for directions, we convinced them watching hockey would be more fun).
It was a crazy crazy night, and at least we didn't need to worry about finding out how to get home on the night tram!
The next day was spent sleeping and lazing about the hostel, and the following day we left for Switzerland to stay in Basel for the night (we'd left it too late and couldn't find any hostels in any other cities). It was a beautiful town, we went for a walk along the Rhine and just basically relaxed after the madness that was Prague. We also found the underage drinking spots in Basel- the preppy kids apparently hang out in a church courtyard, while the punks drink under a bridge. Good times!
From Basel, we spent basically a day on the train getting to Florence, where I've now settled in with my roommates and in my beautiful spacious apartment, and am loving it! Anyone who is going to be in Florence over the next month, let me know!