Everybody likes Prague! I don't think I've met a single person traveling so far that didn't say good things about Prague, other than maybe that it's super touristy, but so is every other awesome city. After hopping off the bus the first thing I did after getting to Prague was stopping in a shipping container market where they had all sorts of foodie type stalls. I only ordered fries with chipotle aioli (delicious) so I could eat while walking, and I asked if they took cards. Turns out they only take cards! No cash at all. Ha! I’m not used to this.
The architecture in Prague is amazing! Even just walking along random side streets all the buildings are fascinating to look at. Just have to watch out for the trams that are everywhere! I checked into my hostel, and of course everyone I meet is college aged. This is by far my least favorite part of traveling Europe, all these hostels seem to only have travelers aged 18-25. When I’m off in Indonesia, Africa, the Stans or other more far flung places I meet a much more diverse group of travelers of all ages, who I’m much more at home with than university aged kids looking to get drunk in Europe in between semesters. So even though some of these cities are really kick ass I can’t see myself doing any long term traveling in Europe unless I’ve got a travel partner. That’ll have to wait! And of course I could afford to stay in hotels if I really wanted to, but that’s boring and the price difference is just so much bigger in European cities.
Aaaand now it’s off to the Old Town. There is no shortage of nice old towns in this part of the world! It didn’t take long for me to realize that motorcycles had seemingly took up every available parking spot and the sound of loud mufflers could be heard around every block. It was bike week in Prague! Harley Davidson Chapters from all over Europe had made their way over to the city for this. Lots of rough looking dudes (and chicks) with some pretty tricked out bikes. Apparently Eastern Europeans really dig the whole macho man type schtick! They also like to vote for authoritarian asshats… Coincidence??
I found the center of Old Town quite easily and ordered a big hunk of ham and some sauerkraut with a beer right in the middle of the square. Great spot to eat, but 15 bucks, oof. Gotta stay away from the super touristy places! The square was gorgeous like always, but unfortunately they were doing construction on the old clocktower with the astronomical clock that goes off every hour. This was supposed to be one of Prague’s biggest tourist attractions, although I wasn’t too bummed not to see it.
Eventually I made my way over to Prague’s most iconic structure, the Charles Bridge. The nice thing about Prague was that it was somewhat well preserved, ie it didn’t get levelled during WW2. That Bridge had been connecting the old town with the new town for hundreds of years, stretching over the Vltava river. You can see the Prague castle up on the hill on the other side. The bridge is lined with statues of various saints as well as some other religious imagery. And then there’s the hundreds and hundreds of tourists! It’s a pretty good place to pull out your camera! I’ve got lots of shots from around that bridge.
I walked up to the hill park on the other side to get a different vantage point of the bridges and at the top of the hill and there was this pop up bar and a DJ. On this towering rock wall you had this large crowd of young people sitting, drinking and smoking :0 (no worries about being arrested obviously) overlooking this absolutely gorgeous city and listening to a live DJ. What a cool scene! Really one of the cooler things I’ve ever seen in any city! Fun stuff. I ended up meeting some other Americans up there and chatting them up for a bit. One just moved here to study Czech, mostly as an excuse to live in Prague for a year. She was pretty jazzed up about it, and I beginning to see why! The city is historic, gorgeous, clean, open minded, diverse, has great nightlife, and isn’t crazy expensive. Like I said, everybody likes Prague.
The next day was more of the major sights, the Prague Castle and the big cathedral, the usual European touristy type stuff. I give myself one really big touristy day in each big city, I can’t really handle too much more than that. But I wanted to be a little more social in the hostel, so I made it back there by 8pm when they cook up a communal dinner type thing. It was some vegetarian stew, meh, but I did get to meet some of the people there. A few people from Perth, oddly. Then it was on to the world cup and drinking games, and then off to the bar, which was a place that had a whole bunch of different music venues, with a different theme in each one, the biggest being the EDM set with the lazers and smoke machines and all. It was a pretty cool place. I left with some people at 3am, but a bunch of the hostel peeps stayed there until 5 or 6 am. I can’t hang anymore!
Then it was lazy day the following day, sleeping in and then taking a long walk through some of the local, non-tourist neighborhoods. All of these places were quiet and nice with plenty of parks around. I liked how all of the big parks had some sort of bar and beer garden in them! Also almost all of the dogs were off leash, and every one of them was so well behaved. I was impressed!
Ok, I’m getting tired of typing, here’s a couple more photos from around the city! Highly recommended!