I was probably five or six years old the first time I heard about Prague. It was the same time I heard about Ethan Hunt. Ever since I’ve been wanting to go to Prague. And I did, 20 years later.
Getting into Prague was a fairly simple 2 hour flight from Moscow. The airport was earlier called Prague Ruzyně International Airport and was later renamed to Vaclav Havel Airport. Now, those two names are used interchangeably. I was confused and had to look up on google months before I left. Immigration at PRG was a piece of cake – no questions asked, stamped and I was out.
There are various options to get to Praha 1 (neighborhood where most tourists would stay). Cheaper and comfortable option is to take Aero Express bus. Its costs 60 CZK and takes about 30 minutes.
I had booked a dorm bed in Hostel Ananas. Well, its not the best hostel I have stayed in. But it was right in the center of Wenceslas square. Can’t beat that, can you?
Checked in, dropped off the bags and headed out to cafe in Wenceslas sqaure for breakfast,. I ended up getting a croissant and a Pilsner Urquell. When in Rome…
After the breakfast of champions, I walked to the Prague old town. If you followed my previous posts, you’d recall I am sucker for European old towns. See, I was suppose to walk to old town which is like a 10 minute walk. But, I started wandering off into random cobble stoned streets and took 45 minutes to get to old town square.
The old square has two cool things – a. The Astronominal clock built in 1800s(?) b. Old Town tower. The Astronomical Clock puts up a show at every hour and a lot of people gather to see it.
The old town town tower has some cool views of the thatched roof all around, Prague castle, and TV tower at the end. I easily spent an hour up there enjoying the views and taking pictures.
After this the plan was to go to Praha Hrad – Prague Castle. I took the longer route to get there avoiding the mass of humanity on Charles Bridge. I do not understand why people flock this first thing in the morning. It is a lot more peaceful in the evening after 6. Anyway, more on that later.
It was early evening by now and I was totes famished. Walked past the old town to a czech restaurant. Oh, now it was time for the clock put on a show. Seemed like the population of LA and NYC gathered there.
Ordered a pork knuckle, Goulash and pilsner and totally went to town. Ordered a second and then a third beer to make sure the first one wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t.
After the meal, I dragged my tired self over to Charles bridge. Found a quiet corner and enjoyed the tranquility. Here I ran into a solo backpacker from Australia. We seemed to have a lot in common to the point we both had same GoPro. So we decided to do a “you take my picture, I’ll take yours”..lol
Once again, walked past old town square. An Aussie was enthralling kids with huge soap bubbles. I may have ran around the bubbles..along with kids…I am not gonna admit to it.
At this point , I was totes beat. Plan was to head to the hostel and sleep. Well, that was the plan atleast. Instead, I met some ‘mates’ in the hostel and went pub hopping..There goes plan for a good sleep.
Slept through the alarm and woke up when I woke up. Ouch, my head. I was definitely woozy. They do not joke about Czech Absinthe. Those bad boys knock you off pretty bad.
The plan for the day was to hike up Petrin hill and then just walk around the old town and Charles bridge. See, there is a tram that goes up the Petrin hill. But I do not do easy. So I decided I’d hike. Took a tram into the stop near the entrance into Petrin hill. But later as I figured there are multiple access to trail heads.
Some good views down from the Petrin Hill.
I hike down from Petrin, had a heaping plate of Goulash (duh?) and started to walk around the cobbled stone streets of Praha. It was lost. I did not care to find a way back. I was just happy walking around.
Later in the evening I met with some people from hostel in a cafe by Wenceslas square, had some beer and called it a night. I wasn’t gonna get obliterated tonight.
Bright and early to the daily races…wasn’t to be today.
Spent the bulk of the day walking through the old town.
After lunch, I stumbled into this tower that is at old town end of the Charles’s bridge. Its really small, dark and is in a corner. Its funny how the mass of humanity walk past it but fail to notice. I walked in like I owned it and nobody asked me any question. And I was rewarded with the arguably the best view in town.
Later in the evening, I ended up in a local brewery – Letna Beer Garden. Its high up on the hills near Josezof. Again, I skipped the bus and hiked. I must spent have spent at least 2 hours up there. I also might have had 4-5 beers , I’ll never admit.
Here I met a guy, wearing USC t-shirt. Chatting up with him, he was backpacking alone for the one last time before his wedding, the same route he did 10 years back in college. He bought me a beer. Hey, my private university education bought me a free beer. score!
… Thats the end of Prague! I’ve been to over 30 countries in 4 continents. Prague is one of my favorite and I plan to visit again..soon.