Praha, A City For All

Traveling with a group of friends can sometimes be challenging.  What one person loves, another hates.  When one person wants to be here, the other there.  Different personalities bring different energies to the mix, and different interests will lead each individual to want a unique experience in each place visited.  On our last trip, Damany and I introduced two friends, who had never left the states before, to the world of travel.

While we had a great time, there were of course those moments where not everyone was on the same page.  While one city was perfectly suited to Chi-Chi, it may not have been to my liking.  Where Jason thrived, Damany might not have felt at his best.  No matter where we went good times were had, but I felt as though the city that provided the most diversity for all of our needs was Prague.

When we made it to the Czech Republic, already, I was excited about not spending the Euro.  We had a beautiful ride through the countryside on the train from Berlin, which made me want to walk across the entire nation (or horseback ride more realistically).  So gorgeous.

Upon our arrival in Prague’s main train station, we met Stan the Man, who not only helped to find us very spacious and affordable lodging conveniently located in the city’s Old Town, but also gave us a proper introduction to the the place; showing us a good time, and telling us about his life there.

On our first night we enjoyed vegetarian pepperoni pizza at Pizzerie Václavka with Stan.  The drinks began to flow, new friends were introduced, and laughs came freely.  Nineteen shots and seventeen beers later (alcohol is cheap in Prague), we set out for a nighttime walk through the Old Town.  The architecture and lighting in this historic city makes for a magical stroll, creating the feeling of being in another time and place.  The well known clock tower warrants a photograph at all times of day (and trust me, I took one at all times of day), but is especially beautiful at night.

I had been searching for red heels the whole trip, and Chi had been wanting a piercing.  Today (our second day in Prague), we decided, was the day we would get them.  Stan picked us up around 11:00am bringing us for a tradtional Czech meal (yes, for breakfast) at Restaurace U Jindřišská věže.  Trying national dishes is usually my favorite part of any trip, and other than bratwurst and more bratwurst, I felt I hadn’t gotten that on this one (until now).

Walking the same absurdly indirect path through the small streets of the Old Town as we had the night before, this time stopping in possibly every other souvenir shop along the way (on top of every shoe store), we finally stepped into Chi’s haven, the Torture Museum.  A walk through the history of torture, with numerous Medieval devices on display, it was the perfect attraction for my skeletal friend Chi.  I should mention here that Chi-Chi wears skeleton shirts so often, she pretty much is one, so it was like her very own history museum.

Leaving Chi and I to our own devices, our girl’s day of mischief began by skipping directly across the street to the Salvador Dali exhibit.  Not only did the space create a great walk through the progression of Dali’s work, but also provided an amazing view of the clock tower out the window from the exhibit.

With another easy crossing of the street, we moved from colorful drawings and paintings into multicolor displays of candy and ice cream.  Talk about overindulgent of your sweet tooth, this candy shop was ginormous (yes, it’s a word, spell-check says so), and there were so many different sugary things going on I could almost feel my tooth ache just standing there.  We settled on fresh strawberries covered in melted chocolate.  Served like a kabob on a hot dog dish, we made beautiful messes of our hands and faces, a testament to the treats deliciousness.


Continuing our mission for Chi’s piercing and my red heels, buying gifts for friends and selves along the way, we finally found it, a piercing and tattoo shop.  While standing outside the place, a very obviously drunk guy started a limited (by drunkenness and language barrier) conversation with me.  I would learn that he was actually a tattoo artist here, and hoped he was not working today.  When he saw Chi he practically dropped to the ground to drool over the ink on her legs.  Lifting his pant leg, he exposed what looked like a drunken attack on his leg with a tattoo gun.  He had signatures, phone numbers, emails, all sporadically inked up his entire shin and calf.  “Can I sign” Chi asked immediately.  He almost fell back on the floor with excitement.  And so it was, “Chi-Chi” with a skull, and “Kat” with ears and whiskers.  Forever a mark of our journey, on a drunken Czech tattoo artists leg.  Epic.

I had waited many years to experience Prague’s well known nightlife, but know that my interests aren’t what they used to be.  We thought we were going to Club Roxy for Drum n Bass, but apparently there’s a thin line between House and Drum n Bass here.  After a few hours at what to me seemed to me like your average NYC nightclub, I was ready for a Prague dog and sleep (which is why my friends call me grandma).

My mission for red heels continued on day three, and was finally satisfied!  I had looked for so long, and tried so many wrong pairs on, I almost missed the obviously perfect pair in the corner.  Chi had become so bored with shoes, she was playing with the kids toys in the stores as she waited for me, so these heels were like a godsend.  Necessity taken care of, we had lunch in the square and split up to relax before the underground tour at 4:00.  En route to the tour, I enjoyed wandering through the stalls of crafts and produce in a random street market I found.

Watching the sunset while admiring the work of the numerous artists on the Charles bridge was a nice close to the day.  Our last night in Prague, while the rest of the crew partied it up at the ridiculous sounding 4 story club, I had a quiet dinner to myself at Kobe, took a bath, and rested up for the early train to Vienna the next morning.

 

I could definitely have spent more time here, seeing the many historic sites it has to offer, but the days were good, packed with excitement and a variety of interesting attractions.  Great shopping (at reasonable prices due to the use of the Krown), traditional food, historic sites, museums and street art, beautiful architecture, a nightlife…what more could one ask of one city?  I definitely expect to return.

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