Partying in Prague...

Prague Travel Blog

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So, everyone has an image in their mind when they hear the word “Prague”… The old terrace buildings lining the streets, the squares and the Churches, the castle… Well, let me tell you, that was not my first impression. I was going there hoping for a magical place since a few friends had been completely disappointed and hated the city. I preferred to stay optimistic, and not trust others opinions again. Ever!

So, when I arrived pretty late at night on the train I was in a good mood, and was hoping to find my way on foot rather than trying to figure out the Czech public transport that late at night.

My map didn’t cover the area where I was staying (pretty far from Old Town, the place you see in all of the pics) so I had to wing it in the dark, in the snow. Now for anyone else the snow would have been a pain in the butt to deal with, but for me it just cheered me up even more and put a little spring in my step. The spring could also have been helped by the fact that I sent another 5 kilos home from Vienna which made my luggage a little more bearable and took the strain off my poor old shoulder!

So, while walking around trying to follow the directions that I had very poorly scribbled down, I got completely lost. Well, actually, not quite lost, but just thought that I’d gone too far and then couldn’t find the street (no map, remember?) but it turned out I was actually really close by then… Sooo not afraid to ask strangers for help, even when they don’t speak English and I definitely don’t speak a word of Czech!!! Managed to get there in one piece, checked into my room, and pretty much instantly went down to the bar and planted myself with a beer planning on unwinding and having a quiet night. Got talking to everyone in the bar, a whole bunch of randoms and almost everyone was travelling along, only a few were travelling with maybe one other person. That’s something I missed in further western European countries, that side is more flashy and touristy and you tend to get bigger groups, like gap year students and stuff travelling on their parents credit cards. The further I head back east, the less I’ll have to deal with that hopefully. That’s how it seemed last time, anyhow.

Anyway, focus. So, got to talking and drinking with a whole bunch of people, and a few beers later we were all on our way to a club. Hmmm…. Don’t know how exactly that happened but it’s always the same with me. I start out with good intentions, next thing you know I’m out partying again. My poor liver!

Had a blast of a night though, the club that we went to had all different rooms, but the standout favourite of the night was the live salsa room... The music was absolutely killer, really, really cool, so I spent the entire time salsa-ing the night away with one of the guys from the hostel. It was so much fun that at some point in the morning we realised that everyone else had gone home to bed but weren’t too concerned and kept dancing til the club closed. Must’ve been 5 or so (maybe later) by the time I got to bed exhausted.

Ended up sleeping til 10:30ish and when I made it downstairs to get out and go sightseeing ran into all the boys who were on their way to buy some hockey tickets for some match. So I went along for a tram ride so I could head to old town with them afterwards. Somewhere along the way they invited me to whatever game it was they were going to see, and I figured that since I’ve never watched an ice hockey game now would be as good a time as any to start, true? So I bought a ticket as well (it was dirt cheap) and it turned out that the game that we were going to see that night was the Czech playoffs… But more about that later. After buying the tickets 4 of us headed into town and checked out the famous and very underwhelming Astronomical Clock… So completely overrated… The Apostles kind of do a rotation and there’s a skeleton that very unconvincingly rings the bell. And that’s it. There were hundreds of people gathered to watch this as I assume there are every day, and it was really unimpressive.

We moved onto doing loads of Churches, every one in sight! I’m used to it being me dragging everyone else to Churches, but for once everyone else wanted to go and see them and I was the one just going along. I mean, I wanted to see them all and would have done so if I was alone anyway, but they already had a plan! It was great, went up to the tower at St Nicholas’ for an awesome view of Prague from above, only problem was the absolute freezing wind up there! It had been snowing on and off the whole time I was there and pretty much continued that way til I left, except the last day.

Once we had done all of the Churches in the centre we split up, I went to find the infamous castle, don’t really know where the boys went. Spent my day roaming the streets, getting lost looking for the castle but finally finding it (I know, it’s a massive castle on a massive hill, how could I possibly get lost… But once it’s hidden behind the buildings the streets are an absolute maze… And for the record I wasn’t the only one at my hostel who got lost looking for it! Anyway…) Eventually of course I found my way and made it up to the top… It’s a great place full of more Churches and museums and dotted with traditional guards in their traditional (ridiculous) costumes! Spent a few hours up there before heading back to old town to walk around a little more and gaze at the buildings and stuff.

Got back to the hostel in time to meet the guys so that we could go and see the game. So, the League that we were watching is the top professional league in Czech Republic, and from what I understand they take their hockey very seriously. Very Seriously. It’s like a national sport. They’ve won Olympic medals for it! So, when we got there and the crowds stormed the queue barriers chanting songs in, well, Czech, I wasn’t surprised. It was paramount to watching crazed football (soccer) fans before a game.

Went in and found our seats, and I was hooked! I’ve seen little bits of games on TV and the net, but was not prepared for how cool a game it was going to be. It stumps me how they can do all of that on skates. I mean, balancing and holding a stick would be too much for me (but in all fairness I don’t exactly come from an ice skating kinda country, but still…) They look like they’re really fit, and super coordinated!

I was glued to the game every second of the match, and was thrilled when it went to overtime, and even more impressed when it ended in a shootout. My only qualm was that every time the players started to fight the refs would break it up straight away. C’mon refs… They have padding, let them fight!!!

Anyway, need to calm down. It was a really good game and is my new favourite sport this week. Afterwards we went out for dinner and beer, and then headed back to the hostel for another beer and some conversation with some crazy German guys before bed.

Next day all the guys were leaving for all different countries, I had decided to stay one more day and finish my sightseeing before heading to yet another country.

First thing I did was go and figure out the cheapest way to Poland and book my ticket.

Second thing I did was go and get a new tattoo!!!

I have been dying to get another one for the longest time and decided a long time ago that I was going to get one on this trip. But every time I go to a tattooist they’re either asking for a ridiculous amount of money, they’re dirty, or if they pass both of those them they’re all booked out and I tend not to stay in one place or know how long I’m going to be in a place to be able to make an appointment. So, when I found a good place (clean, won loads of awards, speak perfect English…) I jumped at it. Got the symbols that I have been wanting: A Maltese Cross and a Southern Cross… He did a great job, got the seven point stars right and everything (thankfully!) It didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as the one on my spine, but it was a very different experience because this time I as alone. Last time I had a whole bunch of people distracting me from the pain and the thought of needles (petrified of them…) but this time I had to do it all on my own! It was actually good, forced me to let go of my brain for a little while. And it was all over in about 10 minutes, I felt kind of proud that I had gotten through it all by myself. Yay me!

Afterwards, I finished off all of the sights that I wanted to see, bridges, Churches, architecture, and was on a mission to find the impossible to find John Lennon Wall… So, they joined the fruitless mission, I guess after walking around and around in circles I was destined to fail on this one. But as with Salzburg, knowing that there is something in Prague that I am determined to see but couldn’t get to, it means that I am just going to have to come back here too one day.

When we finally gave up on the wall, went and had something to eat and a couple of beers before heading back to the hostel to get changed and go out for more beers. Went to a local bar that was really truly a local bar, I think that we were the only foreigners in there but fortunately one of the guys spoke Czech amongst I don’t even know how many other languages!

Afterwards one of the guys wanted to go out, so we went on another mission for the day - finding the Chateau L’Enfer Rouge that he had been to before. Disaster. First we missed the last tram that would take us to the metro so we could get to old town. So we walked to the metro, no big deal. Except that when we got there we missed the last metro into town, and it was waaaaaaaaaay too far to walk. So we got a cab (it’s cheap enough there…) and then got out in the main square to walk the rest of the way. Only then we went the wrong way and got disoriented and lost. As usual I had no idea where I was going, but for a while it seemed like we were going to end up in a cab home very soon since the whole city appeared to be deserted, nothing was open. But, Matt came through and found his way to the club which turned out to be a wicked cool place. After a few beers we ended up on the dance floor, where I found a random group of Danish boys who could dance… Like, I mean, I have never seen a group who can dance like this. So of course, I danced the night away with them, had a ball. So much so that it was 9:50am when I got home and I had to check out at 10am. Exhausted and wanting nothing more than to crawl into bed for 9 or 10 hours, I had 10 minutes to pack my stuff, have a shower and get out. The joys of living in a hostel. So, in a whirlwind of water and packing I got my stuff together and checked out, had to get to the bus station ASAP as I’d booked and paid for my ticket out of there. If I hadn’t I think that I would have checked in for another night and gone to bed, but I didn’t have that options. So, I had to suck it up, it was all self inflicted!

Had to get a tram and 2 trains to get to the station that I needed to leave from, and I was kind of expecting to find a big Eurolines depot with an office where you check in. What I actually found was a big dirty bus loop with no signage at all, and definitely no English translations. So, I went from driver to driver, playing the pointing game (where you just point at your ticket and hope somebody knows what the heck you’re on about, my phrasebook just doesn’t cover the phrase (where the heck do I get the bus from and why is your depot such a shithole!!!) and eventually somebody put me in the right direction (they played the pointing game as well as I do!)

So, went over to what turned out to be my bus, and was shocked. This thing was rickety and dirtier than a backpackers socks (not mine of course) and looked as though it was going to fall apart at any moment. So I approached the driver to make sure that it was my bus, and the vague mumble that I got kind of gave me the impression that he wanted my passport too which I handed over only to have him literally throw it onto a pile of passports that he had gathered, and grunt in the direction of the luggage storage under the bus (which I had to figure out how to open all by myself and then move all of the luggage to fit everything in…) and then get on the big dirty bus only to find that I’m pretty sure I was the ONLY person on the bus that did not speak Russian. And, I was the only person on the bus that did speak English. So I was very much looking forward to 12 hours of solitude (sarcasm, people, sarcasm!!!)

But, this blog is well and truly long enough… So the bus ride will have to wait…

It’s been a pleasure talking to you all, but right now I have to get up in a few hours…

So, until my Polish blogs are online, let me just say…..

Woooooooooot… I’m finally up to date… (Now if I could just catch up on my journals with all the details you guys will never get to hear (!!!) then my life would be complete (lol)

So, you know the drill.

Love love love.

See you all far too soon (nah, I do kinda miss you all!!!)

Seh.

xox

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Prague
photo by: vulindlela