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Chasing a Dream - Part I "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

Prague, Czech Republic

CZECH REPUBLIC | Thursday, 12 May 2016 | Views [237]

Tuesday, 10 May

We arrived into Prague earlier than expected at 6:30am, and my bunk mates and I were scrambling to get dressed and off the train. Luckily it was the last stop, otherwise we never would have made it, as our tour guide didn’t bother to check up on anyone. The hotel let us check in early and it was refreshing to take a shower and brush my teeth before setting out for the day. After an expensive coffee and croissant (food in Prague is expensive compared to the low prices of Poland, and particularly so in the main square), I joined a free walking tour of the Old Town, New Town and Jewish Quarter. One thing that was immediately apparent to me, was although there was some beautiful architecture, the Old Town lacked the charm that was so abundant in the previous cities. In Poland and the Baltic states, I loved spending hours just sitting in a cafe and soaking up the ambience, whereas in Prague, there was no desire to linger. It was definitely a larger, more modern city, however, the locals were friendly and spoke excellent english. The walking tour was a nice way to see the major sites and was very informative.

After the tour ended, I went for lunch at one of the places recommended by the guide. Appropriately called Lokal, it looked like a large beer hall and served inexpensive Czech dishes (mostly meat!) and beer, with blazingly fast service. I ordered the fried cheese, which was good, but a bit heavy as a stand alone meal. After lunch, I walked off the calories, by heading over the river and up the hill to the castle complex. Somewhat tired of castles, it did have a large cathedral with a beautiful display of flying buttresses, and the Royal Gardens were an oasis of serenity. Best to go early in the morning, or after 5pm to beat the crowds. Right before the entrance gates there is a great lookout for taking pictures of the Old Town and the river Danube. Rather weary of foot, I took the evening river cruise to watch the sun set and see the city from a different perspective. It was a great way to see the popular Charles bridge without bumping elbows with the hordes. I got a bit lost on the way back to the hotel (the streets are not in a grid), and put to use one of the tips from the guide (blue street numbers get lower the closer you are to the river), and eventually arrived at my intended destination, a kebab stand later.

The following day, I decided to have a leisurely morning, getting some sink laundry completed, and my photos edited and uploaded. Since I knew I would be back through Prague at the end of my tour through eastern Europe, I didn’t feel the need to pack my day with activities or buy souvenirs. Instead I had cake for lunch, beer for late afternoon snack, and caught a free classical concert in the main square in the evening. Then is was sushi for dinner, before heading back to the hotel for an early night.

Tags: czech republic, prague

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