Day 12-13/34 Eastern Europe Trip

Prague

I can’t help but be a little disappointed about this portion of our excursion. Perhaps it’s because I had super high expectations. Since visiting it in the Fall of 2010, I’ve claimed it’s my favorite city. However, going in the summer is way different than going in October. Let me just get the negatives out of the way – There were SO many tourists it was a bit stressful, is was rainy almost the entire time, and I accidentally read a review of our Airbnb that said, “I think I was visited by a ghost.” Not the best combination.

We got to Prague a little after 3:00, and were settled in close to 4:00. (We had a little trouble finding the tram from the metro, and some trouble finding the actual apartment.) Our host said the check out time was super flexible, because no one was checking in the day after us. We were really pumped about this, because it meant we could have a full 48 hours in Prague! Given this fact, we decided to rest for a couple of hours.

We then decided to head into “Old Town,” and we were immediately accompanied by light rain. It wasn’t too inconvenient at this point, and the clouds made for some great photos. We grabbed a cheap beer and sausage for a snack, and walked around some more, just taking in this new city.

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We wanted to have dinner at Hastalsky Dedek because of it’s traditional Czech Cuisine offerings, and it’s really good reviews. When we saw that it was totally full, and felt how totally tired we were of walking, we noticed Orange Bar across the street. It was empty, but we’d thought we’d just order a drink and wait until things slowed down at Hastalsky Dedek.

Boy, are we sooo happy we stubbled across Orange Bar. The staff was fun, the atmosphere was great, they loved Bartley (always a plus) and WOWZ the cocktails were incredible. In Austin, we would’ve spent twice as much for drinks half as good. The Boyfriend and I were laughing about how we’ve never even gone out for cocktails in Austin, because it’s just too stupid expensive there. We ended up staying there the rest of the night, and it was a very good time.

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Due to the late night of drinking, we woke up pretty late the next day. And we woke up to cold, miserable, rain. We meandered down the street to a breakfast spot, called Home Kitchen. Unfortunately, it ended up being overpriced and mediocre in quality. We were super disappointed about the rain, because we really wanted to spend our day doing this amazing hike. We were so bummed, and I had a headache that was turning out to be pretty bad, that we decided to go back to the apartment to give the weather some time to improve.

It did! Slightly. It stopped raining, but Prague didn’t sparkle like it did the last time I saw it, because it was still really overcast. We headed back to Old Town a little after 4:00, so The Boyfriend could go up to the top of the tower. I decided to wait with Bartley since I’ve done that trek before.

Afterwards, we continued towards Prague Castle! On the way, we were suprised to see a film crew filming something, and stopped to watch some of the action.

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View of 14th Century Charles Bridge, over the River Vltava.

The way up to Prague Castle is very long and steep, but it is SO worth it!

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St. Vitus Cathedral within the castle walls. The Prague Castle complex is the largest ancient castle complex in the world!

On the way down, we spotted a tiny cafe and stopped for some drinks, and the lovely view.

We went back to the apartment to rest for a bit, and then decided to try Hastalsky Dedek again. There were available seats this time! We had fried pork, bread, mustard, pickles and horseradish for an appetizer. (Sidenote: grated horseradish looks like grated cheese… but tastes quite different. I learned that the hard way, hehe)

Surprise surprise! After dinner, we wound up back at Orange Bar and ordered lots of beautiful, delicious cocktails again. 🙂

We woke up later than I would have liked the next day. We ate leftovers for breakfast, and then headed towards Charles Bridge. We saw it on our way to Prague Castle the day before, but it’s quite a different experience walking across. For one thing – tourist central! – and another, lots of musicians and street vendors. Plus, the views are somehow better as well… or maybe it was just that the sun was finally saying hello. 🙂

After crossing the bridge, we headed to Letna Park, for some exercise before our 6.5 hour train ride back to Budapest, and nice views.

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We headed back to the apartment, quickly packed and made our way to the train station. All of our train rides thus far have been EASY. We’ve gotten there early, found seats easily, and had plenty of room. This one, was not easy. We got there about 15 minutes early, and right away we could tell – this train was going to be PACKED. We got on in the wrong section (My fault) and had to move fast, with all of our luggage from cart to cart to cart, till we found what must have been the last two seats together. We were tired and sweating, Bartley was panting, and there were two noisy kids next to us.

After stopping in Brno, the train emptied out quite a bit, and it ended up being a nice chance to catch up on some reading. Bartley was able to experience his travel kennel fully extended 🙂 and after Bratislava, The Boyfriend and I had four seats with a table all to ourselves. Not too shabby.

We walked back into Budapest, happy to be back in our home away from home, where the langauge, the layout, and by now many of the locations, are familiar. We will enjoy these next four days here before Vienna and Ljubljana. 🙂

 

 

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