Czech people are not Prague-matic
Trip Start Nov 18, 2013
103Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The bathrooms here are pretty inconvenient because there's no area to get dressed inside the shower cubicle. You either have to get all your clothes wet and dress inside, or take the chance of being walked in on! Thank goodness it’s a ladies only bathroom.
We had to make it to the walking tour by 11am, so we took the number 22 train towards town. The tram didn’t stop where we thought it would, so we ended up running a long way to get there in time.
We met our tour guide Jana and group at the astronomical clock. She had the funniest accent ever, which made it quite hard to understand at the start
She taught us how to read the astronomical clock, and showed us around the Old Town Square. We saw the Town Hall building which was bombed during World War II and never rebuilt, so it is much smaller now.
Over in a courtyard near the main square, Jana told us about a Turkish man who visited Prague and fell in love with a blonde beauty. He had to go back to his home town, but they both agreed to wait for each other until he returned. However, he was gone for a long time, and another romantic man proposed to the blonde girl. On her wedding day, the Turkish man returned, and was devastated to see his lover in a wedding dress. He snuck a note to her, asking her to meet him one last time in their special spot. She agreed, and then went missing. A few years later, a lady went down to the girl’s family restaurant cellar for some vintage wine, and found a skeleton in a wedding dress. The legend is if you walk in that courtyard at night, the Turkish man will be there, approaching girls with long blonde hair (as Jana would say, ‘looooongg bloooonnt haaaaaarrreee’). Creepy thing is, a couple of nights later, Joanna and I were walking around Prague and a man stopped us and said to Joanna, ‘Excuse me, can I get a photo with you? I am a Turkish man.’ We promptly said ‘No!’ and ran away.
We also visited the Church of St. James the Greater, and heard another good story. There is a famous statue of the Virgin Mary above the main alter
Next stop, the Powder Tower and Municipal House, and the entrance of the Communist Museum to warm up a bit. Here Jana told us about her childhood under the communist regime, and how it changed when a new government came to power. We saw the Don Giovanni statue, as Mozart’s opera first premiered in the nearby theatre, and another statue called Hang In There by David Cherny. Cherny is a modern statement artist, whose works are displayed all around Prague. For example, the babies climbing up the Zizkov Television Tower, and the two men urinating on a bronze Czech Republic. The Jewish Quarter was very interesting, and we saw the oldest active Synagogue in Europe called the Old New Synagogue. Gawking in the shops on Parizska Street was nice, even though we could never afford it and the Franz Khafka statue was very strange but symbolic of his stories and life
The walking tour went for a good couple of hours, and afterwards we went to the Mucha museum. Alphonse Mucha was an Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He created a lot of famous advertisements, paintings and architecture. It is rare that someone likes everything in an exhibition, but I LOVED all of his work and ideals. His art is so beautiful and meaningful. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photographs in the museum. My Dad has also told me about a serious of 20 huge paintings he did called the Slav Epic, which depicts the history of Czechs and other Slavic peoples. They just so happened to be on temporary exhibition in Prague while we were there.
It was a bit out of the way on the tram, and we supposed they needed somewhere a bit more warehouse-like to hang such large canvases. The sheer size, detail, colour and emotion portrayed in the Slav Epic was incredible. Mucha worked on completing them for 18 years.
It was getting dark (at 4.30pm!), and time to go home to get ready for the Pub Crawl that night. We had to walk down some shady streets to get to the closest Metro, and we both agreed it wouldn’t be fun to be in that area late at night.
We got ready at hostel and then took a tram into town, where we were meeting Joanna’s medical friends (also holidaying) at a restaurant called Svejk
To add insult to injury, as we were leaving, he sprung us with 15 kroners per person extra for some imaginary ‘salad’ that we never had. We were so late that we just paid it.
After this incident, I also noticed that other Czech people weren’t keen to help us or be kind
We all rushed to the pub crawl, getting a little lost in the middle, but arriving there in time for the 10pm session. A guide took us to our first pub, where we had one hour of free drinks, including absinthe, beer, wine and vodka shots. We played a game…if you said ‘like’ you had to do a vodka shot. Deadly! At the next pub we had lovely elderflower ciders and busted some moves on the dance floor. The finally stop was the ‘biggest music club in Central Europe.’ There were five floors with different themed music, and the top floor even had dancers. Sasha showed us a dance move where you hang your head, shoulders and arms and basically give yourself whip lash! We all looked like idiots. We left at around 3am, Joanna and I on foot, and the others in a taxi. We really underestimated how far it was back to the hostel, so it was only natural to have a MacDonald’s stop halfway (free wifi, chyeah!)
Back at home, I talked to people in Australia via Viber until 5.30am. Needless to say, I was tired the next morning.