Prague

Trip Start May 15, 2006
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Trip End Sep 29, 2006


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Sunday, September 3, 2006

Prague is the backpacker's Mecca. The one stop in Eastern Europe that everyone has to make. I was blown away by it 6 years ago when I came here and nothing is different this time around.

We started off our tour of Prague with a bit of a slow start. We arrived in town without any place to stay and used an room finding service to lend us a hand. We had never used one of these services before and it turned out OK but certainly wasn't anything special. They charged us 13 Euros a night for our own private apartment that was close to town(the good). The apartment was spartanly furnished, was not the cleanest, and certainly didn't live up to the pictures showed to us at the accommodations office(that is the bad). We checked into the apartment and then headed out to the old town for dinner. Prague is so picture perfect that just walking around the town is an experience in itself. It is the biggest city in Europe that maintains its small town charm. We saw the famous church with the 50 spires(look up any information on Prague and this is most likely the first thing you will see), the celestial clock, and the famous old square before ducking into a little pub for a bite to eat and a beer. Although the prices in Prague have increased the last 10 years, it certainly is still far from expensive. Our beer still costs less than water and the huge meals we eat set us back no more than 10 dollars.

After gorging ourselves on Czech cuisine of meat, meat, meat, potatoes, cabbage, meat, and gravy, we rolled out of the pub and meandered our way back to the apartment for an early night. The next morning, we checked into a new place called the Bard and Clown which is one of the famous hostels in Prague. Not expensive and certainly not clean, this hostel is famous for its social atmosphere and 30 cent beers. It is a love it or hate it hostel. They have huge dorm rooms of 36 beds and a couple of quiet 4 person dorms, one of which we managed to snag. So although this is a party hostel where sleep supposedly comes at a premium, we have our own room so we can still enjoy the atmosphere and then slip away from the crowds, booze, and music.

After checking into the hostel, we headed downstairs for a very good free breakfast before taking a walking tour of the city. We were picked up at the hostel by a very cool Czech guy named Michal and then he lead us around town for the next four hours pointing out all the important sites and interesting details. He was a great guide and made this tour one of the best I have been on during my trip. After the tour, we stayed around and talked to him for a while and he invited us to go out and join him that night. After the tour, we went out for dinner and then headed back to the hostel to clean up and drink some of the 30 cents happy hour beers at the hostel. We then went to meet Michal at a bar he suggested but, due to a 10 year anniversary celebration at the bar(or something like that), they were only letting in Czech people. Long story short, even with Michal's goading of the security people, they wouldn't let us in and we were forced to go some place else.

We were a little bummed about not being allowed into the club but our spirits quickly picked up as we walked up the street and heard the unmistakable rumbling of V12 engines. We were walking up a hill toward a swanky looking bar and parked outside were 7 Ferraris, 2 Lamborginis, and a Bentley and all the owners were taking their cars around the block, peeling out, and showing off their cool cars. For us 23 year old guys, this made for quite the spectacle and we sat for about an hour enchanted by these crazy cars. The rest of the night didn't make for much excitement other than just hanging out at a bar by our hostel and then going to sleep. Before I went to sleep I, of course, had to check out the score of my beloved Huskies football game and came away a bit disappointed. We could only beat San Jose State by 6? This does not bode well for next weeks match against Oklahoma but hey, at least we won!

Today we are going to check out more of the town not covered by the walking tour and then go out for the last night the four of us will be together on this trip. We might even attempt to catch back up with Michal who said he would do a better job of showing us around tonight, should we want to join him. Should make for a fun evening either way.
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