Prague, Czech Republic.
Prague was really beautiful. Not my favorite overall but had some really great moments.
I flew in from Paris on Saturday afternoon and hung out in my airport hotel until Erick came in from London late that night and then we got up early Sunday morning and went into town to check in to our hostel, Equity Point Prague. I’ve been in three different hostels in San Francisco so I was used to it but you really never know what you’re getting. Luckily, Equity Point is one of Erick’s clients so he knew they were great and he’s stayed in all of their locations so I knew I could trust it.
First thing I did in Prague was go exchange money just around the corner from the hostel at a no commission exchange place, which I found is very important. Always look for a 0% commission shop. Other places rip you off pretty bad. Or just use a real bank’s ATM with your debit card and just deal with the couple of dollars your bank will charge you for the exchange. I found it was best to get out at least $60-100 worth of the currency for the day to account for food, tips, drinks, souvenirs or anything else you might need but not thought of. Prague is actually expensive compared to the other Central European cities we visited. Of course, it’s “cheap” compared to some US prices or other major cities like NYC, London or Paris but it’s not too far off.
Since it happened to be Easter Sunday, the Square and the St. Charles Bridge were crawling with locals and tourists…mostly tourists. People really need to learn how to walk in large crowds and not just stop in the middle of walking traffic to take a picture and make the people behind you spill their coffee. Also, what is with people who take selfies with a plain, straight on look? No smile? No excitement? Just like a mug shot in every single picture of you in front of a beautiful view? Look, it’s me in front of water. Look, it’s me again in front of a church. Look, can’t you see how much I love my life with my straight face? I feel sorry for the friends who click those FB pics.
After a long day of walking and struggling to really see things and take good pictures, we decided we would come back early morning to explore on our own. That morning was truly beautiful. All the real photographers were out with their super nice cameras. No tourists. And they all respected each other’s space and looked like they knew what they were doing.
When we decided to take the hike up to the Prague Castle we should have looked at the weather because it started off as a clear, sunny, and cool day. When we got up the hill, it started pouring rain. It was actually quite funny. Neither of us were dressed well for rain but I happened to have my small, bright lime green and floral umbrella that I let Erick use since he’s bald and didn’t have his hat. I had hair and a scarf I could wrap around my head. So by the time we got to the castle it let up a little and I took some pictures but we thought we should head back to get dinner before it really poured. Well, it immediately started down hard again and we got totally soaked. Scarves and umbrellas don’t stop your shoes, jeans and shirts from getting drenched. We were so wet and so cold and Erick almost slipped down the steep, cobblestone sidewalks many times. It was one of those moments where we could only laugh at the situation and go with the flow. That’s part of the beauty in not over planning every moment. Since we didn’t check the weather, we didn’t know we would have that much fun getting soaked and having to find the cutest little restaurant to save us from the rain. I think we had more fun because of the weather. It was great.
So, the people in Prague were really nice except when you were at the cash register in a long line, trying to count out the Czech Crowns. I had no clue what each coin meant but just a glance. I had to inspect each and every one and do mental math. And if you know me at all, I’m slow at math and that’s just a fact. I also had a mix of Euro coins in my little bag so that didn’t make it easier. The patient clerk would quickly turn impatient as soon as I would accidentally mix in a Euro. “THAT’S A EURO!” I would get a how could you ever mix two different coins together?? type of look. It would further fluster me and it would just get worse. But I learned just in time to move on to the next city with the next set of currency to learn. Oh well, I’ll get better eventually!
Other than that, people were very nice and seemed to be appreciative of the tourism and new money. Lots of travel blogs will tell you that Prague is one of those little known or “undiscovered” destinations but they’re wrong. There were so many tourists. Lots of people seem to know about Prague. And lots seem to love it. A lot. I loved parts of it but I probably won’t plan on going back. It was nice to see but now I can cross it off my list. Unlike Paris, where I feel like I could spend many more days exploring hidden parts and taking time to truly enjoy it, I don’t feel like there’s much more in Prague one can really explore. You see the town squares, the St. Charles Bridge and the Castle. You eat some street food, drink hot wine, walk, take pictures and then you’re done. Unless you’re there for a bachelor party where there are tons of “nightclubs” to visit. And their “nightclubs” are actually stip clubs. If you just want to dance at a club like we do in America, as for a disco or dance club. Nightclubs have the boobies. 🙂
Prague was great and I would recommend seeing it but a two day trip will satisfy.