The car on the train from Bratislava to Prague was rickety and loud, so noise kept me from going into a deep sleep. I also had vertigo really bad. Every time I rolled over, dizziness overwhelmed me, and I felt like I was going to pass out...a strange sensation when you're already lying down and "asleep."
We got off the train in Prague, and I still felt very unsteady and weak. We sat down for some coffee, and I started feeling nauseous. I found a bathroom and spent close to an hour being sick and trying not to pass out.
The Church of St. Nicholas, Prague
I knew my husband must have been worried, but every time I tried to leave the bathroom, I got sick again. It was awful. I finally felt ok enough to leave and found Jim outside the bathroom looking very worried. We walked back up to our bags (Jim had left them at the table where we had coffee to look for me...thankfully, they were still there). I didn't even sit down before I had to run back to the bathroom. This time, the stall I was in had a bucket, and when I felt well enough to leave, I talked (well, gestured is more like it, since she didn't speak English) to the bathroom attendant and she let me keep the bucket. I gave the nice old lady 20 ck for that! I found Jim again and, as I passed him looking for a place to lie down, told him I needed a hotel room immediately. I found a quiet, lonely section of the station next to the cafe, and Jim left me there with my bag and my bucket to go find a hotel room. I'm sure I was quite a pathetic sight laying there on the cold stone floor of the train station, shivering, half-unconscious, and occasionally sitting up and bending over my bucket! (Jim asked later if anyone threw any money at me, because if he had seen someone looking that pathetic, he would have!) Thankfully, Jim was able to get a room at the Holiday Inn across the street.
Street in Prague with castle complex in background
He came back and led me and my bucket to our room, where I immediately collapsed on the bed and slept until . (It was only by this time; we had arrived at .)
I felt a lot better by mid-afternoon, so we decided to do some sightseeing. We started slowly, as I was still weak and would have moments of nausea, but the longer we were out, the better I felt. The cool, fresh air felt good.
Our first stop was in Wenceslas Square...beautiful, but VERY touristy. We looked at Bohemian crystal, nesting dolls and marionettes (all of which are plentiful there) as we made our way across the river to PragueCastle.
Me with one of the guards!
Because of our late start, it was already dusk by the time we got to the castle complex, but we were still able to get inside and look around. I got a picture of me next to the castle guards (like at Buckingham), and of course, I got a spoon.
We tried some hot wine...it was very good! It was getting pretty cold, so the warm drink felt great! I didn't drink all of mine, though, because I didn't want to upset my stomach. Just as we were entering the gate, a flurry of snow began. It was very light but very pretty.
The cathedral there at the castle is one of the best and most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture I have seen! It was so gorgeous! I could have spent an entire day taking it in! Unfortunately, we got there too late to go inside the cathedral, so I can only imagine the grandeur in there...
We continued to stroll around the castle complex and then proceeded to make our way down the hill by way of the Golden Road, one of the most scenic routes in Europe.
Leaning on the well with the cathedral behind me
It was the coronation route.
On the way down, we passed a very traditional-looking restaurant offering a complete dinner for 190 ck. We decided to try it. First came a basket of bread, of course; good, but nothing special. Then came a bowl of beef soup; yum! The hot soup was so good on a cold night, especially after my rough morning. Then came our entree: a steak with herb butter on it, fries and tomato wedges & cucumbers on a lettuce leaf. I didn't think I would be up for eating much, but one bite of that steak changed my mind! Wow, that was good! The herb butter was delicious! The fries were crispy and well-seasoned. We decided we made an excellent decision by eating there. Finally, we were served a delicious crepe with apricot sauce. Yum-my! Now remember, the meal (soup, entree and dessert) was 190ck...That’s less than $7! Wow! I've paid much more for not nearly as good a steak in the States!
After dinner, we went to a shop next door and bought a couple of souvenirs before heading back down the Golden Road.
Rubbing the statue of St. Charles on Charles Bridge for luck
We crossed the beautiful CharlesBridge and passed by the Church of St. Nicholas just in time to see the Astronomical Clock go off. It was very impressive.
We had been told that getting lost in Prague was part of the experience and to be expected. At this point in our journey, we experienced it! Not too badly, but we did get turned around and wandered aimlessly for a short while. But we made it safely back to our hotel. We had also been told that Prague is one of the worst places for pickpockets.
The Astronomical Clock, Prague
Thankfully, we knew to be very aware, and we weren't victims.
Overall, we enjoyed Prague, but it was very touristy. It was beautiful but dirty. And the vendors spot you a mile away. It didn't matter what the sign said the bottle of water was, you paid more. If something was 70ck, and you gave 80ck, they just kept the change. In that respect, I didn't have a very high impression of Prague.