A lot of meat and potatoes.
From Madrid –> Prague –> Vienna –> Budapest –> Madrid, this was one of my favorite trips in my lifetime. The ten days flew by so quickly, but it also felt like I was away for much longer than 10 days. Funny how that works, right?
Anyway, I have a ton of photos to share (per usual) and want to get these (what will likely be more than 7 posts) completed before I forget all of the details.
Before leaving for this trip, everyone and their mother assured me that of the three cities I was going to visit (Prague, Vienna, and Budapest), that Prague would be my favorite. I am not one to fall head over heels in love with cities, but I was excited to see Prague because of everyone´s “YOU´RE GOING TO ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!” attitude.
So, what did I think? I loved Prague. Love, love, loved it…but not like people said I would. It was a beautiful and breath-taking city, with brightly colored buildings, history, fun, sunny skies, and beer that is cheaper than water (really, it was insanely cheap).
Horrible picture…. look at the beer.
It wasn´t a “normal” city. I think Philadelphia is a normal city. it´s nice, but it´s not amazing (which is okay!). Prague is not normal, it is much more than normal, but my expectations were a little too high. Maybe I should have treated it like Paris– where many people told me it was “ok” but then I loved it.
Anyway, I loved Prague, but I didn´t get a sense of any LIFE in a city (like there was in Budapest, wait for those posts). It felt like the life came from the tourist population, which is okay, but what about the people that live there?! I want to see them! It had the beautiful buildings and architecture, but not the life that I like in cities. I sound like a complete snob….Moving on.
Maybe we were in the wrong places? Either way, while it wasn´t what I thought, it doesn´t mean I didn´t enjoy it and would still absolutely 110% recommend a trip there! In the summer!
Here is how we spent 3 full days in Prague!
We actually arrived at night-ish, so the first night, we took the tram into the center in search of some grub. Fun FACT! I´m sure the trams in Prague are not technically free…..but…..nobody was checking….for our entire trip…. 😉
So we took the tram and I insisted on taking river pics.
And then dinner… the first of many nights of hearty, meaty food…and beer.
Beef with cranberries and this incredible soft white bread (the mushier, the better for me) in the back and a leg of lamb (I think…) over mashed potatoes and brussels in the front. With beer to wash it down.
Day one for real:
So this was our first real day, since it was the first day we saw Prague in the sunshine.
First stop (after the free tram, haha) was coffee. Expensive coffee. Mediocre expensive coffee to be exact. Totally my fault, though. At least the coffee shop had some views…
After coffee, we walked to the center in search of Old Town Square, which is the #1 rated thing to see in Prague according to Google and Trip Advisor.
Look at those buildings! Just as bright in real life, but a little photo editing helped them. For whatever reason, my camera lens captured the buildings looking like they´re tilted, when they are not actually tilted. Strange! The first day in Prague was hot, so we stopped for some beer in the Old Town Square.
After the beers (and I was a little bit buzzed because they were big and my stomach was empty), we bought some quick sandwiches, walked around a bit, and then joined a walking tour. I love walking tours!
The walking tour was in Spanish, which was okay, but I probably only really caught about 60% of the information, but understood mas o menos of about 80%. Walking tours are a really, really great way to get oriented in a new city, make sure you see all of the major sites, and pick up some interesting facts along the way. Not all walking tours are good, but if you get a good guide, then they´re great. And our guide was faaaantastic. funny, animated, and knew her stuff! I think! She could have been making it all up! We found a free walking tour that started in Old Town Square and meandered throughout the city over the course of 3 hours.
The Old Town Square is sort of the “heart” of Prague, full of colorful buildings, impressive Tyn church and St. Nicholas Church, and the famous Old Town Hall Tower and Astronomical Clock (dates from the 15th century) that has a little show every hour.
The tour also took us to the State Opera house (opened in 1888), as well as the Jewish Quarter (known as Josefov). It has six synagogues, as well as a Jewish cementary and the Jewish Town Hall.
There was also this statue, that is supposed to bring luck? (I think…tour was in Spanish, remember). I can´t find any info online, though.
Our tour continued throughout the city, and ended in the commercial area of Prague (but I don´t know what it´s called…)
After the tour, we were pretty wiped. We sat and ate bananas for a few minutes before walking along the river.
Like Budapest, Prague was full of nice-looking bars along the river. it was a bit cooler in Prague compared to the other cities, making it a nice option in the sunshine or for a warmer night.
These two birds agree.
We finished the night at a recommended restaurant for heary, traditional food.
Steak, fried onion rings, cream coated potaotes on one plate. Traditional goulash stew and that incredible air-bread in the back. With beer!
My diet started the following day.