Friday, August 7, 2015

72 hours in Prague: Cheap beer, good eats, happy vibes

This week's post is coming directly from the notes section of my phone because I promised myself I'd blog once a week and because, as much as I love to travel and I love to write and I love jotting things down on virtual and literal stickies, sometimes I just don't feel like organizing it in a way that makes sense to the internet. Also, the Blogger app doesn't work tremendously well on my iPad so that's this week's grievance/sorry excuse.

After Paris, I spent a weekend in the Czech Republic's largest city and in addition to the well-known sights like Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Kafka Museum, Lennon Wall (disclaimer: I walked Charles Bridge a couple times and could see the castle from our apartment window, but I skipped out on the other two sights), did some less traditional things like:

Ubering to an underground techno party inside a World War 2 bunker
Getting a massage at an Asian spa in a random hotel 
Trekking through obscurity and up 4985295842 stairs to a beer garden in the forest
Having the largest bowl of pesto pasta plus a detox juice in one sitting at a cafe with the longest, most unpronounceable name ever 
Visiting a restaurant outside the city center (unthinkable, I know) that I found thanks to a Czech blogger

All of the above, and more, can be done in just a weekend (I was there three full days) on foot or by tram; Prague's walkability factor is a huge plus when visiting the city. Everyone has a singing voice in Prague. And everyone is there for a good time. Guys chant in the streets and I'm not really sure if it's about soccer or women or being drunk. But I did appreciate their candor and enthusiasm. 

Day 1 consisted of these things:
A loooooong shower because, due to the Parisian airport dilemma, I hadn't showered in 24 hours.  
A traditional Czech dinner--meat and potatoes all the way--at a place that had cocktails with names like "Fidel Castro"
$1 pivo (beer--the only Czech word I learned besides Strana which may or may not mean street) at the bar below the apartment of an American friend of a friend of a friend
$4 Uber to explore the WW2 bunker techno party in Prague 4 

Day 2:
Bagels and beer at Bohemia Bagel
A walk over Charles Bridge
A walk in the opposite direction over another bridge I haven't researched (therefore I don't know the name) that was less crowded 
Letna Beer Garden- two words: pure magic 
Rain (once in each city, without fail, and we never bought an umbrella)
2nd Floor Club- a speakeasy of sorts in a beautiful high-ceilinged unit of a random apartment building 

Day 3:
Running too late to walk to our massage appointment, we rode the tram. No one pays, although I'm pretty sure you're supposed to. Extended our stay in Prague an extra day. The AirBnB (with a hammock inside), the food, the architecture, the people--all out of this world. I would have liked to stay much, much longer than we actually did.  

Cafe Slavia- savory crepes and hot chocolate that was to die for 
Bake Shop for meringues and macarons
Cukrcavalimonada- the cafe?wine bar with the long, unpronounceable name (one of my faves)
Got locked out of the apartment, went to an ATM and got these delicious little sugary round breads from a street kiosk. Ate them on a bench while waiting for spare keys. 

Day 4:
Infant Jesus of Prague- my grandma told me to go here and ask baby Jesus for a husband
Bistro Proti Proudu- the coffee shop/breakfast spot outside the city center with really delicious lattes, baked goods and egg dishes (plus Prosecco all day) 
The Globe Bookstore and Cafe- expat bookstore and bar

Didn't make it to these places because time was limited and/or they were closed:
Lokal- a restaurant
Meet Factory- an art and cultural space
Hemingway Bar- exactly what it sounds like

Although I may seem quite un-animated at the moment, Prague was—in so many ways—my favorite stop on this trip. Breathtakingly beautiful, it was everything I wanted Paris to be. 


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