Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Prague, Part 2: This place is Czech-cellent

Witty puns, man. Czech me out.

Cliffnotes of the Day:
  • I took one of those free walking tours today - I took one with the same company in Dublin, and I'm beginning to love them. We walked through Old Town and the Jewish Quarter and our guide was massively entertaining.  Our tour was huge, it was like 50 people, but everyone was super nice, and history FTW.
  • On the tour, I met Amy - another girl traveling the world solo, from Atlanta. It's so refreshing to kind of meet someone in the same boat. Most travelers I've met so far are from England or Australia (really....only those two) who are on an extended holiday or doing a gap year, and to them, it's totally normal to take a year off to travel (they're all also like, 20 years old, but that's a separate issue). So to meet someone who I could relate to (the backpacking thing, the not-working thing, the solo female traveling thing, etc.) was awesome.  She's blogging her own travels on her website here.
  • After our tour, Amy and I explored Prague Castle together. It's apparently the largest ancient castle in the world. And it's awesome because different parts were built at different times, so it looks like all these totally different buildings cobbled together - there doesn't seem to be any kind of unifying theme with any of the buildings. 
Prague Castle!

The cathedral in Prague Castle
Tiny adorable houses in Prague Castle. I am appropriately-sized for a Czech person circa 1400
Enjoying the view from the top. It feels good to look down at the plebes

  • Don't ask, but I had people encourage me to do one of those pub crawls that every city has. It's something I probably wouldn't have done before, but apparently it's a good thing to do if you're traveling alone. I seriously thought I could just go and have a drink. Lesson #1 is is that there is no such thing as a pub crawl in moderation - every bar had these platters of shots that they'd have you drink before you went inside. The last couple bars, I was cheers-ing and then secretly dumping my shot on the floor. My apologies to the bars that discovered random puddles of vodka all over the room. It was fun, though, and I got to see a gorgeous nighttime view of the castle and Charles Bridge:

This looked much prettier in person, I swear

Meal of the Day:
We tried a Czech pastry called Trdelník.  It's a huge sugar-covered pastry shaped like a hose: the kind firemen use to extinguish large fires, not those wimpy garden hoses. And then they coat the inside in Nutella. This may or may not have been my dinner.

Lady turning trdelniks on their spit

Please ignore that in addition to a giant trdelnik, we are also clutching ice cream cones #vacationdiet 

Fun Facts of the Day:
  • Prague is one of the few cities in Europe that's managed to be preserved through all the wars, bombings, etc. (partly due to Hitler wanting to preserve it, but whatever).  That's why it looks so pretty, and you can see so many different examples of buildings/architecture from all the time periods.  Most other European cities have been super reconstructed.
  • There are people in the Czech Republic that have lived through the area changing countries 7 different times. Can you believe that?? You're just living there, minding your own business, and BOOM suddenly your country changes to an entirely different country, with different government, currency, etc. Also, I find it mind-blowing that I remember when it was Czechoslovakia (it was on Carmen Sandiego when I was a kid). Am I the only one who finds it super, super fascinating when big historical things happened while I was alive??! 
  • Czech people drink the most beer, on average, compared to every other country in the world. Even Ireland. Way higher than Ireland.  I've never had so much Pilsner in my life.
  • "Hello" in Czech is "Dobry den!" The only reason I can remember this is because it kind of sounds like "Dobby den", a la Harry Potter's house-elf, and I imagine Dobby (not dead, of course) in a small den-like cave filled with socks. 
  • Czech escalators are ridiculously fast. I was staring at one in the metro station today, debating whether I should try and video the up/down escalators zooming at breakneck speed. I didn't in the end, but take my word for it - it's borderline theme park ride. Take a Scottish double-decker bus (front row) and a Czech escalator, and you've got yourself a day.



  2. Recently discovered your blog and reading it backwards :) I'll refrain from commenting on every post but this one spoke to me. I met lots of Brits and Aussie while traveling and they balk at how little time off Americans get, not to mention we DON'T USE IT!!!

    Quick question - do you have an end date to the adventures (eg 1 year) or just travel indefinitely? I follow you on IG and LOVE the posts from Africa. Well, all of them...

    1. Thanks!! That means to much to me.

      Yeah, it's crazy how different the perspectives are once you interact with all these people from different countries!! In the US, so many people were like "Whoa that's revolutionary!", whereas now I'm on the road, everyone else I meet from other countries are just like "Meh, normal."

      I definitely have to have an end date soon, I gave myself max of a year total to travel! I left it flexible so I could come home earlier if I wanted to or wasn't feeling it anymore, but I knew I had to have a "drop dead" date or else I kind of knew that I would never come home at all.....

      Thanks so much for following along!! <3