Contiki Eastern Road
Oh Prague, let me tell you about Prague! What a phenomenal city- lets just start with that. As you leave Germany, you spend a few hours on route to Dresden where there is a lunch stop along with a quick moment to do some site seeing, or if you’re really keen, eat at a “Canadian” restaurant. Another few hours on the bus pass by and you arrive in Prague. The first night is started off with a walking tour around the city to get your bearings, which then is followed by a nice dinner at a traditional Czech restaurant. Just like always, great food and some great company to follow. This night was not overly exciting, some went out to a bar near the hotel but nothing particularly eventful. It was the second day that made Prague an epic city.
Day 2 was primarily a free day till about 5pm, so as everyone split up into smaller groups, I ventured out with my fellow Canadian and a very funny Brit with a compass. This day was basically entitled Ice-cream and beer. As we entered the town square at about 8 am, it was refreshing to see the main square of Prague empty in the peak of its busiest season. We even got tons of pictures in front of the Astronomical clock, without a soul in sight. Breakfast beer or ice-cream is a pretty solid start, followed by a trek up to the St. Vitus Cathedral.
The cathedral on top of the hill is incredibly impressive, especially when it’s not busy, but regardless gives you a great start to what Prague has to offer. Not to mention the hilltop it is on gives you some great views of the city too. The day was perfectly arranged. We had a repetitive rhythm going- Sightseeing, beer, Ice-cream- in that order. The day was a lot of fun, no real plan, just exploring and getting lost with our dated map and no real sense of direction- good for us, we did have a compass and a man who knew how to use it.
What I really enjoy about Prague is how bohemian the city is. Although still very medieval in its styling, and most shops and restaurants are housed in original buildings, the streets and alleyways are filled with artisans and crafts from all over. It is really quirky in most aspects. Although I wish i was there in the off-season when it wasn’t quite as packed, it was still a great experience.
Prague is a charming city. From the cafes, cobblestone, art works, performers and obviously the beer and ice-cream, you can really spend days upon days here. I really wish we had just that to really explore it for all it was worth. Along with all the quirky and almost bizarre aspects of Prague, there is actually something here for everyone. You want to go to a museum, well take your pick. Want history, awesome there’s a museum for that. Not your style? Not problem, how about checking out the Gingerbread, alcohol, chocolate, puppet or any other kind of museum you could envision, because I guarantee you will find it here. It’s hard to really sum up what make it the city it is, but perhaps charm is really the answer.
Once we hit up at least 3 beer stops, and two ice-cream stops, we tried to find the Lennon Wall. What was once a communist wall of grievances, is not an ever-changing piece of art. But what a tedious task finding it was. We probably had the oldest map ever created, that, or there really are no real streets in Prague, just random turns (which is what my final conclusion was). Eventually we did stumble into it, and me loving my bright colours and street art was all over that! What I love most about the Lennon wall is that it is never the same, with layers upon layers of artwork. I know that when I re-visit Prague, it will again be different- which really is a perfect representation of travel.
It is really hard to get interrupted by a schedule when you’re having fun, but 5pm was the meeting time for the optional Bunker tour. We basically had to sprint back to the hotel, had 5 minutes to do a quick change and we were off again. Regardless of our efforts, we were late, but thankfully still made it to the tour.
Bunker tour wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it does expose you to another part of Eastern European history in an immersive fashion. The bunker, as well as its museum really gave you a much better understanding of communism of the time, as well as the paranoia that came along with it. Although it wasn’t my favourite part of the trip, it was still great to do, just for the historical factor.
Straight after the bunker tour we went back into Old town Prague for our optional dinner with traditional music and dancing. It was so much fun! Unlimited beer (WIN!), awesome food (WIN!) and the main dish had 4 types of potatoes, 4 types of meat and 2 types of cabbage (Another WIN!)- true Eastern European styling. All that while getting serenaded by Czech classics and some wicked dance moves to go along with it. I think everyone really enjoyed that evening. I personally felt like I had to be rolled out of there after that meal, but the night was young!
Our guide took us to a bar right in the centre of the city, which oddly enough, earlier in the day was one of our beer stops. Let’s just say the bar by night and the bar by day are just that- night and day. It was such a fun place. I won’t lie, the memories are a little scattered, but there were lots of beers, pitchers with straws, lots of dancing and more dancing. Somehow the guys lost their shirts, but the dancing just didn’t stop! I think our large group slowly fizzled down to a few people, but I think there was about 10 of us left standing- sort of. Let’s just say the bus ride to Vienna was not my favourite- basically where the term “happy naps” got coined for me and my poor hangover moods.
I LOVE PRAGUE! I will be back, and if Prague has not been on your radar, well it should go on the radar asap!
Go there one way or another, you won’t regret it!
VIENNA- Schnitzels and Schnapps
BUDAPEST- Ruin Bars And Sparties
KRAKOW- Pierogis and Vodka
WARSAW- Clubs and Goodbyes