Back behind the (Iron) Curtain

Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
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Trip End Apr 28, 2012


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Paris of the east, city of a hundred spires, Rome of the north, symphony of stone. These are just some of the names applied to the capital of the old Bohemian Empire

Prague, wow-ee. Did I say wow already ?

To say I have been looking forward to Czech frothies is an understatement and boy has it been worth the wait. The dark beer especially has been flowing. Heavily. Then there is the absinthe. Jesus H Christ that stuff is like rocket fuel. I would have sworn off it forever if not bringing a bottle home to enjoy. I use the term enjoy very loosely.

Staying in a hostel here, god I haven't stayed at a hostel since Japan. Luckily, all the kids I've been bunkered with have been cool, except for one. I didn't want to kill him immediately, but my mind was moving that way. Right, how can we do this without getting caught. 

The rest, the students from HK, the students from Peru, the students from Argentina, were all good value, lucky none of the kiddies have annoyed me badly enough to walk around in my jocks (hold that thought, yep thats the one), employing a scratch and sniff setup. Or request a second opinion on some vicious looking blisters. Or enquiry which one of the bathroom "sinks" I should be drinking from. The Argentines were pushing me though, not starting dinner until about 10.30pm making a damn racket with the pots and pans. Bed time in Winter is no later than 8.30pm.

Wonder how they are enjoying the snoring ?

I may have slightly altered / stretched / made up some hellish stories for them to take with them as they travel east. The kids from HK looked particularly frightened.
 
Unfortunately, after a good run with weather the rain from Vienna has followed me north. I about half a day of 20 or so degrees and sun, then the rain and cold returned and finally it snowed as I was leaving. Winter is back, baby. The Endless Winter cannot be stopped.

Walking about Prague, you can't help but wonder how this place was not annihilated in WW2 or blown to smitherins by the Soviets is astonishing, as most places of note in these parts were decimated at some stage in the 20th century. Czech Republic has had a fairly bleak recent history, but has really got it's act together since the Velvet Revolution of '89.

Getting around is pretty easy. Most attractions of note are within walking distance. Failing that the reliable (and stylish) metro and tram system is an easy way to get around.
 
Due to popular demand, fun facts are back. The following words are of Czech origin; robot, polka, pistol & dollar. Useless, utterly useless Mawer I can here you say. How many more of these boring, bullshit pods do we have to read ??

How is work going ?
 
That reminds me, here's one for you. It's worth waiting for the little green man here, or its a 50 Euro fine if you get nabbed. Similar story with the metro, you need to buy a ticket, then get it validated before you cross the little white line at the station, or you'll get nabbed for not having a ticket. As my friends from HK found out the hard way. They said it cost them 70 Euro each. The Czech website says its a 50 Euro fine - old matey earned himself a nice 20 Euro fine, times 6 people is a nice afternoons work. Something tells me that's not going to be the first time they get fleeced.
 
I could go on and on about how excellent Prague is, but I won't. You probably don't want to here about how cool it is getting around the little cobblestone streets, all the 13th century gothic arcitecture, how good (and cheap) the food and beers (pilsners and dark beer in particular) are; as you'll then probably want to come here & I wouldn't want that. I'm keeping this one to myself and just the other 6 million tourists that come here every year. Jesus it has been busy. Easter.   
Prague was one of the places I was most looking forward to and it has delivered in spades. Has gone straight into the top 3 for the tour, clubhouse bronze - behind Russia and Iceland. Czech it out.

And that sadly bring an end to my time in Eastern Europe. It's been a wild and strange ride at times, far too strange to even begin to explain so I wont.

Keep on keepin' on.
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