Day 111, 112, 113 & 114
Prague, the city of clubs, castles, crypts and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff was our first stop in the slighty Eastern European 2 weeks of our trip. Whilst we did have a lot of down time recovering from Barca, Amsterdam and Germany, we got out every day doing something different. During our time there we also saw the Sedlec Ossuary, something we had been wanting to see since leaving home. It was everything we had hoped and more but first let's get the rest of the days out of the way.
After our rave on the last night of Germany we were hoping to have an easy first night in Prague. However fate would have it that the supposed best pub crawl in all of Europe was in Prague and it happened to be a Saturday night. So collecting what energy we still had after our 6 hour sleep and 5 hour bus ride we headed out for a big night. The crawl was very much overhyped in my opinion and turned out to be quite average. Whilst things seemed to start well with unlimited drinks for the first 30 minutes, the clubs we went to were pretty lame. That was until we got to the last club, a 5 storey building on the water, apparenty the biggest club in Europe. The club was epic starting with foosball on the bottom floor, dance music on first, oldies on second, RnB above that and on the top floor chill out music. It would have been awesome, the only problem was that we all managed to lose each other within the first 5 minutes and spend the rest of the night looking for each other. There were so many people and the place was so big that none of us could find one another. Eventually after ages of searching we were reunited on the foosball level and decided we had been there long enough. So we wrapped up the night relatively early walking out at about 3. We made our way home a bit disappointed with the night, however we took solace in the fact the pub crawl came with a free t shirt.
Our first day in Prague started with something none of us had done before. After a sleep in we headed to a Thai Massage parlour as we felt we were in need of some recovery. After looking through what they had on offer we decided to let fish nibble away at our feet in order to make them clean. It was unlike anything I had felt before. 100s of tiny fish surrounded our feet and began to nibble all over them. It was ticklish and a bit sore at the same time. What made it even more fun was that whilst it was happening we were sitting in the front window of the shop and people were constantly walking past and taking photos. We were some sort of advertisement for them. I think they even let us stay there a bit longer than normal as we attracted quite a crowd. We stopped after about 45 minutes (only paid for 25) only because we had somewhere to be. I wonder how long they would have left us there if we didn't have to go.
From there we headed to the free walking tour which has become standard for any new city. Despite having a really eager guide this tour wasn't one of the best. Prague may have just been a boring city or maybe we might have overdone the tours, all we know is that this one dragged on and on. We saw some standard sights such as churches, statues and an astronomical clock. We saw the biggest castle in Europe, the Charles bridge (XXX the movie was filmed here) and the Jewish Quarter which were all really pretty, but we were just a bit over it. There were a couple of things that did stand out including the Shul where golem is kept and a dead hand hanging in a church (long story behind that). We decided after that to give the walking tours a break for a while, at least for a city or two.
From there we headed home, absolutely drained and ready for bed, yet it was only 5pm. So, after weeks of waiting, we did exactly what we had been wanting to do and with that evening we did nothing at all. We hung around in our room all night, just messing around, chatting to people and got a solid nights sleep.
Waking up the next morning we had absolutely no plan for the day. Not really knowing what to do in Prague we walked into town and just made it up as we went. We started off with a bit of shopping going into any store that caught our eye. We went into one place that sold nothing but giant animal Teddies some of which opened up to form pillows. I would have bought so many but there were extremely large and extremely expensive. From there we stumbled back over to the Charles Bridge and crossed over to the other side. The river was awesome to just watch as there was so much going on around it. On the other side we came across a wall dedicated to John Lennon that was absolutely covered with messages. People creatively graffitied song names, pictures, anything they wanted all in memory of John. Right next to that we found a gate completely covered in locks. It was essentially the same idea as the love lock bridge in Paris but with all the locks in a much smaller space. After some wifing took place, we, through the magical power of google, found out about this artist who had made sculptures all over town. We trekked to quite a few of them, hunting them down and it was totally worth it.
The first one we came across was of 2 men standing in a pool of water shaped like the Czeck Republic peeing different messages. I'm not sure what the idea behind it was but it was absolutely wicked to see. What made it even cooler was that you could text a number and the two men would actually pee what you texted them. We thought it was hysterical. The second sculpture we saw was of a man who looked like Sigmund Freud hanging from a building. It was crazy as when we first got there we couldn't see it at all. Only when we really looked for it, searching all along the building tops could we find him. Im sure so many people walk past it every day and never even see it. There were a couple of other sculptures by the same artist but we struggled to find them/ couldn't be bothered to. Two that we planned to get to bit couldn't find were of a man riding an upside down horse and giant babies with barcodes across their faces.
After a bit of a relax at home we went out again with some people we had met in our dorm. We bar hopped for a little while visiting a pub in a cave and a pop bar but it seemed that weekdays weren't particularly fantastic for going out. It was another early night where we didn't go too big but nobody was really complaining.
Our last day there was a day we had been waiting for ever since we had left home. We were heading to the town of Sedlec to see the ossuary there. Rated as one of the creepiest places in the world we were absolutely pumped to get there and see what it was all about. As we had no idea how to get there or where it was we thought it would be smart to go with a tour group. So at 11am we met the group and took an hour train to the town of Sedlec.
Arriving in the small town it looked like any other. Shops, houses, churches, everything looked pretty normal. We swung past a church and were told some history about the town before we proceeded to the Ossuary. Before I tell you what it was like a bit of history. A couple of hundreds of years ago some guy from Sedlec went to Jerusalem collected dirt and brought it back. Once back he went to the cemetery and sprinkled this dirt all over the grounds. This made the ground holy. People from everywhere heard of this and decided they wanted to be buried on the holy ground. Eventually too many people wanted to be buried there and they didn't know where to put all the bones. So for some bizarre reason they took the bones into the church on the grounds and made sculptures out of them. That is what we saw.
Upon walking into the building we were totally freaked out. There staring us in the face was a huge mural made out of bones. We were shocked, but little did we know it was just the beginning. We walked further into the church finding bones everywhere. Pyramids of skulls, the royal family emblem and even a chandelier hanging from the roof made using every bone in the human body. It was incredible! They gave us a bit of a tour around the church explaining why and how it was made. We even found out that there were 2 more floors just like this below us however it was off limits to the public. The ossuary lived up to every expectation of mine and I'm so glad we went.
We thought the tour would soon be over as we had made it to the ossuary. However unfortunately for us it encompassed the surrounding town, which apparently had a lot of history. And so the day dragged on and on as we visited churches and buildings that were somehow significant. We were very over tours at this point and the only highlight of the rest of the tour was the lunch where we had a massive traditional meal.
That pretty much summed up Prague for us as that night was just another chill. We saw some cool things, went to some cool clubs but it was a very relaxed city for us. We had trouble deciding where to go next and somehow decided to go to Bratislava in Slovakia. No idea what to expect will let you know soon.