Czech Mate

Trip Start May 10, 2013
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Trip End Jan 14, 2014


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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Saturday, October 5, 2013

From Leipzig I got a lift to Prague through mitfahrgelegenheit (similar to blablacar). The driver who picked me up was Phillip, an expat Australian, and his German girlfriend Wendy. They were really friendly and gave me a lot of tips about Prague, as they had lived there for a year. I also shared the ride with “JK” a middle-aged overweight German weirdo in a fisherman's hat who didn't talk much, except to interrupt the conversation by telling us the cities in which he has been drunk. I arrived in Prague in the early afternoon, and walked to my hostel – Hostel One Prague. I chilled at the hostel for a while till Cayle arrived. Cayle's a mate of mine from high school who is also travelling around Europe, and we had organised to meet in Prague to hang out for a few days. It was really good to have someone to travel alongside for a few days. That night, we headed out to Cross Club along with a few others from the hostel. The décor of the club is striking, looking like a club in a post-apocalyptic scifi film. It only got more outlandish as Dub Turbulence meets The Skank crooned along in their unique style of reggae meets jungle techno. They were pretty intense, but we soon got in to it and raved till the early hours of the morning. Pretty much anything goes at clubs in Prague. You can smoke a joint at the bar and the bartenders will join you. And the crowd at the club was very... interesting. Lots of guys in tracksuits with shaved heads, just standing around. After cabbing it back to the hostel, we went for a late night feed at Yes Burger, which is open 24 hours. While we were waiting for our burgers, this Czech guy next to us starting babbling to us in Czech. We pretty quickly realised he was trying to sell us drugs. We politely refused, but he didn't give up. At one point he even presented us with a woolen sweater; presumably this is his side business. Just in case things couldn't get any weirder, he then pulls out a saw from inside his jacket, turns his attention to the old-school lantern that was hanging from the patio of the burger joint, and starts sawing away. He eventually sawed through the chain, and hid his prize around the corner. He then returned to try to sell us more black market goods.
 
Sunday was a very hungover affair. Went in to town with Lindsay, a Canadian chick from the hostel that had come with us to the club the night before, and had coffee. Then just had a chill night at the hostel watching some Back to the Future. Monday was a more productive affair. Went in to town with Cayle and Kate, this stoner chick from our hostel. We explored around the castle, including the St Vitus Church. The church is the defining feature of the Prague skyline, with its towering gothic spires and blackened, stone facade. The inside is also quite impressive. Almost as impressive as Cayle and my whispered rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody while we investigated the crypts. Afterwards, we wandered the pleasant grounds and hillside of the castle, then had a hearty dinner at a rundown pub.
 
Tuesday morning I hiked up a Vitkov Hill, near our hostel, to the statue of Jan Zizka on horseback. The statue, having a height of 9 metres and weighing almost 17 tonnes, is the biggest equestrian statue in the whole world, apparently. Gotta check the Guinness Book of World Records on that one. It was pretty friggin big though. Following that I walked in to the old town to the meeting spot for a walking tour. The tour took us mostly to places I had already been – Charles Bridge, the Lennon Wall – and featured a lot of silly myths and legends. It was good that it was run by a local, though. In the evening, we had pres and a picnic inside the hostel. Then Cayle, Darcy, Lilli, Yolande, Alice and I headed out to Roxy. I had wanted to check this club out anyway, and it just so happened that a band I liked was playing there this night. The band in question is 65daysofstatic, an English band who play one of my favourite genres: post-rock. The gig was sick, with the band putting on an intense, drum-heavy performance. We wrapped up the night with a few more beers, and some Harold & Kumar back at the hostel.
 
And that was it for my time in Prague; I was off the next morning to Cesky Krumlov. Prague was a lot of fun, and it was great to catch up with Cayle. The city itself, although a bit dirty and crowded, very pretty. The architecture of the buildings, the grandure of its wide boulevards and old town square, the Vltava elegantly flowing beside it, and the castle overlooking it all. The food is cheap and hearty, the beer is plentiful, and the nightlife pulsing.
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