The green fairy and every British tourist
Prague Travel Blog› entry 6 of 10 › view all entries
The Aparcay Hostel which we have been staying in has been fantastic. Our room has its own kitchen and common area which has been great to meeting people. For the first time on our trip we have been sharing a room with native English speakers and have been able to make some good friends to enjoy Prague with. We have Lauren from Canada, Sara also from Canada, Beth & Dan from the UK, Geoff from Belgium but with perfect English, and then at the end of the trip, two all-american girls, Britney and Joseline from Florida. We spent Friday evening, just at the hostel with everyone happily sat around drinking and chatting. All weekend there has been a great atmopshere in the room and you just don't get that everywhere. Its such a cool thing that you can meet complete strangers from all across the world and just sit round drinking and talking all night. When you're staying in a hostel, your room mates become almost your family. You rely on them to look out for you, they are there to talk to, to explore with and to have fun with. These people appear into your life for a matter of days and become such a big part of it for such a small amount of time. Then, when they leave thats it. Hardly likely to see them again. The American girls who came later are still here, but our original little group has all left now, with me and Sam staying one more night than them. It was so weird seeing them go - it sounds ridiculous, but it has almost sad in a way. I'm also in a strange mood at the moment. We are leaving Prague today and yet I feel like I'm going home. Although we are not even half way through, I have the weird feeling that its over. I think that being in Prague for slightly longer than the other places, and having cooked our own meals has made me develop a bond with the place, much like home, and leaving it seems strange.
Although Prague was a communist country until 1989 (when the USSR collapsed), it is the most Westernised country our of the Eastern region. The usual international chains are here such as Macdonalds and Subway - Mcdonalds is even housed in a famous, traditional building that is very prestigious in Prague and has been done so to prove that the Czech Republic is up there with the West. But even more so, Marks & Spencer is here, as is Debenhams - so very westernised. All the music you hear in 80s/90s crap pop - Wham! in particular! Not good for the ears. It's like they are making up for all the years where capitalism and the western popular culture was suppressed and are now allowing it to - and trying to prove - that they are well rid of the communist curtain and flourishing as a modern, captialist state.As with all the places we've visited so far, we've taken in all the usual tourist spots. None of which are more famous than than the might astronomical clock. On the hour, every house, around 400 people wait paitently (apart from the American girl saying at 10:55, 'oh come on start already' - cleary she hadnt grasped the idea of 'on the hour') for the clock to do its magic. We were there waiting. And it was, just, crap! All that happened was this little man who was supposed to be death pulled a little chord and that was about it. It has to be one of the most disappointing moments of the trip! I smiled every time I saw the great crowds of mugs being taken in my the infamous clock as the hour approached. Prague castle, which is not a castle as we know it, was good. I really enjoyed Old Town Square where the naff clock proudly sat. I could easily have sat for hours watching all the street performers and artists, and even the folk festival that was in town on Saturday. The square felt a bit like Disney Land with the facades on the buildings. On the front there was a very ornate, ellaborate design, but the rest of the building was just normal brick like - very odd.
The nightlife was great! The Karlovy Lazne is the biggest club in middle Europe with 5 floors playing different music. I headed there with a group of people from our hostel and had a great night! More stage dancing - but no cages this time - was needed! Prague is also infamous for the green fairy or absinth. At 70% its pretty lethal stuff. Sitting in a jazz club, we tried an array of absinth cocktails. I tried the Absinth Hallucination which was hot water in a shot of the stuff which is meant to increase with alcohol % - certainly did that! Beer was 20Kc or 50p - so pretty popular! And it is for this reason that it is the new place for stag parties!
I had my first kebab - or Gyros in Czech - and it wasnt too bad! Goulash and Dumplings was great and they certainly know how to make a great apple struddle. All of which are traditional Czech cuisine.
Before going to Prague I was worried that 4 nights would be too long. Having been on a whistle stop tour of all the other places, I thought we might get a bit bored. I should never have worried. It was so nice finally taking things a bit slower and more relaxed. It allowed us to get right underneath the skin of the city and enjoy being there.
Hope all is well in the UK!