Czech it out!

Trip Start Feb 13, 2013
1
12
15
Trip End Sep 15, 2013

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, May 5, 2013

It was time to take on a new country and the Czech Republic was in our sights.... Yes, it was time to Czech it out!! Mini Linger had trekked over here from Canada to visit her sister Katie and lucky for me had brought some Canadian treats to try (Reece's pieces of course). So Katie, Bec, Cecile, Lisita and I began our journey early Sunday morning to Prague. Let me just clarify the nationalities amongst us...we consisted of two Kanuks, one Parisian, one globe trotter, and of course an Aussie. I was pretty excited to travel with Cecile and Lisita as we hadn't been travelling together yet, many adventures were sure to be had over the next three days.

We trained it to Vienna and boarded our bus to Prague for a 5 hour journey with a half hour stop in Brno. We weren't particularly looking forward to the 5 hour journey but this all changed when we got on the bus. Hands down the best bus service I've ever travelled with! There were entertainment systems in the headrest of each seat with movies, music and games, and we received complementary headphones as well as free hot chocolates and coffees. Had we accidentally booked a first class bus for the cheap price of 15 euros?? Either way the next 5 hours were looking bright.

Soon enough we were in Prague and we managed to fetch a map and navigate our way to the hostel we had pre booked. Turns out we hadn't actually booked that hostel, but the one we had wasn't far away... Only slightly embarrassing trying to convince the guy that worked there that we had a booking. After settling in to our actual hostel, which was conveniently and insanely central, we got straight into the sightseeing to discover Prague's beauty.

We explored the main square consisting of three Cathedrals and numerous other historical buildings and then twined through many touristy streets and headed over the famous Charles bridge to the Prague castle. The bridge was full of artisans selling there crafty goods and musicians playing their hearts out, talk about ambiance. The view from the castle was awesome, you could see the whole of Prague city and it sure was massive. After spending a while simply admiring we finally headed down to a little garden we had spotted from the castle and managed to score big time. Somehow we had discovered a hidden beauty that I'm sure not many tourists discover. It was a secret garden with a massive wall of drip stone, an avery with some owls, and several peacocks freely roaming around including a beautiful white one that happily put on a performance for us. Was he wooing the 5 international beauties that stood in front of him?

Eventually we wandered back to our hostel incorporating a walk along the beautiful river. We got ourselves ready and headed to a restaurant around the corner that an exchangee we knew in Krems (from Prague) had recommended us. We all got a traditional Czech meal which consisted of pork pieces in sauce with dumplings and sauerkraut.. Yummy! After dinner we headed to a street that was apparently filled with popular bars. Considering it was pretty early on a Sunday night not everything was open but we managed to find an awesome higher class Argentinian bar to have some cocktails at. It was the best bar I've been to so far with Latin dancers performing for the guests and a woman singing Argentinian music. Perhaps my next stop should be Argentina!

The next morning we did a free walking tour of Prague and had an Australian tour guide woohoo. We learnt many interesting facts about the city and of course I remember all of them. During the tour we stopped at a place called Bohemia Bagel for some lunch where I got a creamed cheese bagel. It was the second bagel I've eaten in my lifetime (the first being in San Diego, America) and I think it's time that bagel eating became a regular thing - they are delicious! After our walking tour we had a browse around some shops in the city centre, had a beer at the Prague Beer Museum, and headed home to get ready for dinner. 

For dinner we headed to a restaurant around the corner that the hostel worker had recommended. She recommended a few things off the menu with one of them being the shared plate for 2. Sure enough I roped Lisita into getting it with me and the other three girls each got an individual meal. Crunch time came and the meals were served.. Oh dear God is all I have to say. This shared plate for "2" could have fed the whole bloody Melham family! Katie, Bec and Cecile could not take their eyes off our meal once there meals were served which were super small considering we were paying the same price. Jackpot! Lisita and I managed to work our way through just about all of it after having many intermissions.. talk about a food baby!

After dinner we had bought tickets through our hostel for a Pub crawl to some of Prague's best bars and clubs. We headed to the starting point where we received free T-shirts and they then took us to the first bar where we had an open bar for 2 hours as well as free beer pong and Sheesha's. It can safely be concluded that open bars mixed with university students are not the best idea but either way we met lots of fellow backpackers, danced at some of Prague's best clubs, and had an awesome evening together.  

The next day we all awoke in desperate need of showers and some breakfast. Cecile caught an earlier bus back home as she had a class in the afternoon, Katie and Bec had planned to do some additional souvenier shopping for their family as they are of Czech descent, and Lisita and I had decided to head to a place called Kutna Hora. Kutna Hora was about an hour by train from Prague, and in the town there was a church made entirely from human bones. We were both excited to see it (i've discovered whilst in Europe that I have a strong interest in dark tourism - weird) so we quickly got ready in order to catch the train there. On our way to the train station we realised we were cutting it fine so we revved our foot falcons up and began to run providing endless amusement for all the locals in the street watching us pass. We finally arrived at the train station and quickly purchased our ticket. The salesman kindly told us after we had purchased the tickets that the train was delayed and we would be better off catching a different train that would take twice as long. We eventually decided to cut our losses and stay in Prague for the morning in case we couldn't get back in time to catch our bus back to Vienna - what a drama that would have been as Katie and Bec had our bags. As we couldn't contact the other girls we spent the morning exploring Wenceslas Square and browsing through shops.

The whole day was rather interesting and early in the piece I realised that my choice of clothing in my hungover state was extremely terrible so I received many interesting looks throughout the day - unfortunately none of them were from beautiful young Czech men. Early in the afternoon we headed to the bus station where we would be meeting Katie and Bec and our bus to Vienna would be departing, meaning the end of our time in beautiful Prague. But nevertheless another luxurious 5 hour journey was in stall!

I did not expect much from Prague for some reason but it certainly managed to exceed all of my expectations in the best way possible. When I eventually return to Europe to visit the northern countries I will definitely make the effort to return to Prague! I read recently that it is ranked the 3rd most beautiful city in the world and it sure does live up to it's expectations.

Jaký nádherný zážitek!

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