Prague. Say it in an English accent and it's posh.
Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
29Trip End Feb 15, 2011
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Where I stayed
1. Republic Hotel
Lee: If only. Epic (ear-poke is how you say it in NZ) travel. Denver to Toronto, Toronto to London Heathrow, spend a compulsory $70 travelling up to Gatwick (ouch), a 12 hour layover (yep, we're those sleep in the airport people now), and then a flight to Prague. <Sam: All up, this journey took about 30 hours>
So Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. They put funny squiggles above most of their letters. We've learnt that they drink more beer per person than any other country in the world, and they seem most proud of it. Pilsner seems to be a favourite, and they're taking credit for Budweiser too (strangely). I'd thought that was American.
We got in very late, and the airport was quiet (already having flashbacks to Amman, Jordan). Ever-organised, we realised we had no local currency. I still don't know what they call their currency. Anyway it was late and we didn't have any of it. The ticket machine for the bus we needed to catch took coins and seemed to want 26 of them. Or that was my assessment. If the ticket machine wanted 26, then we should get .. hmm ... 2,000 out of the ATM. Sam gets 2,000 out of the ATM in denominations of ... a single 2,000 note. Okay, so that is <long pause> about $120 right there. That's not gone well. We need change. Buy a diet coke. Sale refused. What if I add this chewing gum?
We eventually sorted out our money woes and navigated a bus, two trains and a 10 minute walk to reach our hotel around midnight. <Sam: It turns out that the trains stop running at midnight so we were very thankful to make it all the way to the hotel!> Best sleep EVER!
Wake in the morning jetlagged and stumble down to breakfast. No idea what to expect, there's been some shockers on this crazy journey. To our surprise, we found real museli, fruit, yoghurt and bread that doesn't taste like cake. Yay! So long high fructose corn syrup
Comfortable shoes on, wallets in anti-pickpocket mode, it's tourist time. We did a big circuit of the city taking in a lot of the sights. It's 1,000+ years old so has some very ornate architecture which reminded me a lot of Venice actually, minus the canals. <Sam: Highlights included a walk down Karl's bridge, a visit to the Old Town Square where we saw the Astronomical Clock strike midday, perusing the shops on Karlova Street and a visit to Wenceslas Square.> A tour of the torture museum really did wonders for my appetite (not!), and we made sure to have two of the local delicacies: a big hotdog thing for Sam and a fried cheese sandwich for me. Oh, the health!
That night we ate at a recommended "authentic" Czech pub/restaurant serving traditional dishes. On the plus side there was the guy with the tuba playing, and ... well that's it really. The atmosphere was kitschy (think beer hall) and the food was heavy. Roast pork, dumplings, pickled cabbage, schnitzel and potatoes. Okay! How do the girls stay so thin here? <Sam, it was actually quite delicious, but I couldn't have more than one day of this diet.>
Sam: Another plus on the gastronomical front has been the great coffee here. Today I made the mistake of ordering two large lattes. They were great, and certainly helped with the jetlag, however; I have never been so hard-pressed to finish a cup of coffee in my life. Check out the photo!
Tomorrow we fly to Spain where we intend to stay for the next couple of months. Muy bueno!