Prague was the last destination on my wonderful ten-day fall break. Mallory and I headed from Amsterdam to Prague in the late afternoon after dealing with the usual airport craziness. I had to wear two coats on the plane because my carry-on bag was less than an inch too big. On top of that we had to fight our way on the plane to get decent seats. Traveling is so much work, eek. Once we got on the plane we got settled into our seats and passed out for the entire flight of course. I have started to really love sleeping while on planes and trains, very relaxing.
We arrived in Prague after the sun had already set so we couldn't see much of the city on our way into town. My friend from Iowa, Ellie was letting us stay at her apartment and had given us stellar directions to get there. The transportation system in Prague is so much easier and more organized than in Rome! They actually had signs telling where the bus and trams were heading and what time they were going to arrive, unbelievable!
We finally got to Ellie's apartment and we were famished. Although I had vowed to not eat any Italian food over the break, the only restaurant open by their apartment was an Italian restaurant. We both ordered a Stella beer considering beer is cheaper than water in Prague. Then we ordered two different kinds of pizza…wow was it different. It was really soft and not cooked all the way, tasted like a microwave pizza. Apparently, this is how all pizza in Prague is made? Yuck. I have been extremely spoiled living in Italy, I feel like I have turned into a little bit of a pizza snob. Oops? By the time we finished dinner we were tuckered out so headed back to the apartment and passed out (this seems to be the theme on this trip).
The next morning was a late start, as usual. We went out for coffee and pastries from a little stand by the metro station. The pastry was so delicious and they had to-go coffee cups!! Nothing better than a coffee you can walk away with, although I did miss the perfectly made cappuccinos in Rome. Once we finally got our butts moving we headed into Old Town Square to walk around and eat of course. The old buildings in the center of town are gorgeous and I felt like I had gone back in time. The square had a market going on with all different kinds of food and crafts. Naturally we started stuffing our faces immediately. They had the most delicious cinnamon and sugar circular pastries that were cooked on rotating round tubes. Yum! Then we had a deep fried pastry covered in garlic and cheese. We then finished with some beers and homemade potato chips that were fried right in front of us. We got to listen to a jazz band comprised of five old men while we ate all these low-calorie goodies. The whole city is filled with little jazz groups, its adorable. You could feel the cheer spreading to everyone when they started playing.
Luckily we were spending the rest of the day walking around so we could burn off all those delicious calories. We headed to the Charles Bridge, walked along the river and down random streets. On our walk back we stopped to view the little figures dance on the astronomical clock at the top of the hour. The mechanism was built in the 1700's so it was pretty anticlimactic. We headed back to the apartment before going out for some delicious Indian food for dinner. I am sad to say that my first official taste of restaurant Indian food was in Prague, random. I really found out what I had been missing all these years. After dinner we headed out to a club that was playing 80's and 90's music all night. It was a blast! The clubs in Prague are much bigger than in Rome and definitely not filled with as many creepy men.
After spending a few hours there we were required to walk to a food stand that sold an item called Smazny Syr. It is a piece of fried cheese on a bun covered with either ketchup or mayonnaise. It was delicious but tasted a little like chicken patties from elementary school. This was just one of the healthy delicacies that Prague provided to us over the weekend. Prague is clearly one of the healthiest cities in the world, right? By the time we finished our food and trekked home, it was 4:30 am, time for bed. Losing track of time at night is a common occurrence here in Europe.
The next morning we got an even later start and were really worn out. We wanted to do more sightseeing though so we walked to see the Lennon wall, Prague Castle and then stopped for some traditional Czech food: Subway and McDonalds. This may have been a little of our homesickness coming through. Both these places never seem to disappoint though! After we ate we walked up to the Petrin tower. It is a tall tower on the top of a hill. We had to pay 50 CZK ($2) to climb up the 300 stairs to the top and get a spectacular view of Prague; it was one of my favorite parts of Prague.
That night Mallory and I decided to stay in and cook dinner because we were both feeling a cold coming on. We were heading back to our "homes" the next day. It is so unreal that I have been calling Rome "home" for the past few months. After traveling for 10 days I was starting to really miss Rome and living out of a suitcase gets old. I could not have asked for a better fall break, I got to see so many amazing places while spending time with great friends. Sunday Mallory and I slept in, packed up and headed our separate ways until meeting up again for Thanksgiving.
More to come.