Long time no speak! Let’s address the fact that I haven’t been blogging for three weeks. Frankly, it’s a bad excuse. I haven’t had a life crisis, or been too busy, and I certainly have a lot of things to write about.
I have simply been hanging out with my friends. Hanging out in the summer sun, drinking coffee and just having a good old silly time.
We even managed to hit up Berlin for a couple of days (blogs on this amazing city coming soon). For the first time in a long time, I have been feeling undeniably happy and I thought I would ride that train for awhile, free of stress, commitments and “must do’s”.
Okay enough blathering, more blogging! Lets talk Prague.
I was lucky enough to head to Prague for four days last month. I went with a bunch of friends for a conference. Although the conference was a bit of a bust, we did get to see a bit of Prague. I thought it would be worth sharing the little we did see but this is certainly not a definitive guide.
As the capital of the Czech Republic and Bohemia, Prague is city stuffed with culture and history. My little trip certainly didn’t do it justice, but here are a couple of (jumbled) insights.
Prague is a little rough, and thats okay.
Crossing the border of Germany into Prague was anything but ceremonious. The bus driver swung a left, crossed a railway track and rolled into the Czech Republic. Arriving in the tiny suburb of Uvaly, about 20 minutes from the centre of Prague, things looked just a little bit rougher. The buildings sported a bit of peeling paint, the road a couple of potholes and the parks a smattering of trash. Running across the tracks to get the train to town felt illegal but was completely normal in Czech. What would warrant you a large fine in Australia, was just how it was done. Having spent the last two months living in pristine, legalistic Germany, it was exciting!
As I walked around Prague for the first time, I felt a rising sense of delight. The pastel coloured buildings, the winding cobblestone streets and the castle turrets peaking over the rooftops made the city feel like a magical place.
Buskers of every variety worked the streets; people juggle at red lights hoping for some change, artists by the dozen paint dubious caricatures and magicians swallow swords. Around every corner is someone hoping to entertain, delight and get the change out of your pockets.
Throw in a bar on every corner, Central Europe’s biggest dance club and places like the Absinth museum which sells Absinth flavoured ice cream and you have yourself Adult Disneyland.
Unfortunately, like Disneyland, Prague is packed with tourists.
Packs of roving, intoxicated men stroll the streets, people roll by haphazardly on segways and bucks and hens parties holler and squeal at each other.
In the busy season, prepare to shuffle over Charles Bridge and jostle with the crowd in Old Town Square. Although the sites were beautiful, having to crane your neck over crowds of people to see them killed the charm just a little bit.
Lets talk food and coffee.
So when you get sick of getting your toes run over by clueless tourists on segways, it is easy to run to the closest Starbucks for your coffee/wifi/sanity fix and truthfully I drank a good amount of white chocolate mochas but sometimes you need to walk that extra mile and support some indie places (hipster alert).
Mamacoffee in the centre of Prague, with its huge glass windows, window boxes and fair trade coffee was so worth the walk. Every cup of coffee is served on a silver tray with a cube of chocolate and a tiny shot glass of water. The morning I spent with my friends just hanging out at Mamacoffee was my favourite time of the short trip. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the place, running from site to site, taking a million photos when all we really need to do to discover the place is hang out in a cafe.
Sweet & Pepper days, while a little cutesy for my taste, was another great little cafe. Situated on a leafy street, this little cafe served up nice strong coffee and the cake selection had me drooling. Its little outdoor seating area was perfect for the sunny day and we had a great time spotting (and avoiding eye contact with) roving man packs walking down the street.
Looking for something to eat? One (very hard to pronounce) word: Trdelnik
Originally from Hungary, this sugary treat was sold on every corner. Dough is wrapped around a stick and cooked over hot coals in front of you. The dough is then rolled in sugar, cinnamon and almonds and served hot. Although not exactly traditionally Czech and definitely made for tourists, I have been dreaming about these for weeks.
So is Prague Adult Disneyland?
A Castle? Check.
Entertainers on every corner? Check.
Crowds of people? Check.
Alcohol widely available? Check.
Sugary treats? Check.
Do I want to go back? CZECH (so clever).
Mamacoffee- See http://www.facebook.com/mamacoffee
Sweet & Pepper days- See http://www.facebook.com/sweetpepperDAYS
Have you been to Prague? What did you think? I would love to hear your comments and questions so send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!