Day 12-13/34 Eastern Europe Trip


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.


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.


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.



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!



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.


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. 🙂




Day 11/34 Eastern Europe Trip


Unfortunately, we had to check out of our Airbnb in Bratislava at 10 AM. It really would have been nice to see more of Bratislava!

We decided to head in the direction of the train station, and stopped at a cute coffee shop for coffee and breakfast on the way. The Boyfriend got a sweet pastry filled with fig jam and powdered sugar. I basically got a croissant sandwich, with veggies and prosciutto, and we shared something that looked like crepes, but it was more like a soft waffle cone texture, filled with hazelnut and vanilla pudding. YUM.

We got to the train station well in advance, and learned that if Bartley is in his travel kennel, he gets to travel for free. Yay! We departed at 12:07, easily found seats together, and again enjoyed views from the train.

In Brno, we took the short walk to our beautiful Airbnb, and were happy to meet our hosts. This would be our first experience staying in a room in someone’s apartment, rather than have the entire space to ourselves, and we were a little nervous about it. But our hosts were so sweet and helpful, and our room so beautiful (plus it was obviously cheaper) that we quickly realized this was a great decision.

Unforunately, we slept terribly in Bratislava, due to a serious lack of pillows, so we needed a nap. By the time we woke up, we were a little frantic because we knew we didn’t have much time left… and then it started raining too. We managed to go on a walking tour where we saw, in The Boyfriends words, the most metal church ever, (Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul) Old Town Hall and Spilberk Castle…

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We also just loved walking down the narrow streets and enjoyed the town’s squares.

We read about this fascinating museum called Nuclear Shelter 10-Z. It was a bomb shelter for the public to use during WWII, but afterwards, it became a secret nuclear shelter for the communist elite. It has recently reopened for the public to experience. Unfortunately, for the English night tours, you have to book three days in advanced. Next time.

By this time.. we were HUNGRY. We enjoyed one of the best burgers of our lives at Burger Inn, right down the street from the apartment. Sooo delicious. Afterward, we went home, fed Bartley and relaxed a bit.

Then, we set out for an evening of drinking! We had some AMAZING cocktails at The Bar that Doesn’t Exist, (again – just steps from our aparment!) and got to observe the bartender and all of her magic. I should have asked for a picture. A little after 11, we moved on to Super Panda Cirucs a “secret” bar that involves playing games to determine your drinks for the evening. I admit, I was nervous at first, but it was a lot of fun! The Boyfriend claims he had the best drink of his life there. 🙂

We wound up back at the apartment a little after 2 AM. On our walk back, there were still many people in the streets. Brno has quite the nightlife – keep in mind this was a Tuesday – and quite the cocktails!