With it’s national cuisine featuring such dishes as pork goulash and bread dumplings, beer that’s cheaper and more readily available than water, and picturesque river and maze of cobblestone alleyways lined with beautiful 14th century buildings – why wouldn’t we love Prague?
As soon as we touched down and jumped aboard our bus and train heading towards the city centre we were already impressed. Every mode of transport was ultra-modern, clean, frequent and impeccably timed. You know you’ve spent too long in developing countries when you’re left speechless from another country’s public transport! Honestly though, Prague is said to have one of the best public transport networks in the world and I couldn’t agree more.
We hopped off our train and met Orhan, our very friendly Couchsurfing host for the next two nights. He gave us his keys and after an obligatory arrival beer of Pilsner Urquell, our jet lag had caught up with us and knocked us unconcious until the following morning.
The next morning we woke up bright and early, chucked on our boots and hit the road. On the walk into town we were blown away by the city’s beauty. Again, it probably had a little to do with us spending four months in South East Asia and Sri Lanka beforehand but we couldn’t get over how neat and tidy everything was. Drivers were even stopping for us to cross the road! Something we once took for granted.
We had a long-awaited European breakfast of bread, meats and cheese, then decided to do the sights. We walked over Charles Bridge to the Lennon Wall, then up the stairs to Prague Castle before walking back for lunch.
We stopped at a popular butcher/eatery called Naše Maso which offers signature dishes such as steak tartare, meat loaf or sausages, all served with a few slices of fresh bread and a dollop of mustard. With all of that and a self-serve beer tap in the wall, I was in heaven.
That night after Orhan and his wife treated us to dinner, our first Turkish coffee and a beer at their favourite local, we said our goodbyes and packed our bags, as the following day we were headed to Braník in Praha (District) 4. It was there that we would start our next week-long workaway helping Tanya renovate her apartment.
Although we spent most of our week sanding, sweeping and stripping and reapplying paint with our new friends Tanya and other workawayer Nick, we also got to explore more of Prague both from within and outside the city centre.
We visited contemporary art galleries DOX and the Meet Factory, saw a great film at one of the arthouse cinemas in town, had a relaxing beer overlooking Prague in Letná Park and visited a local festival in Braník itself for even more sausages and local beer.
On our final night Tanya’s father and stepmother George and Eva invited us for a traditional Czech goulash and dumpling dinner. Tanya and Nick couldn’t make it so it was only Anita and I but we had such a great night discussing our cultural differences and travel stories. We were again loaded up with beers, something which probably didn’t help our 3am wake up for our inter-city bus, but were welcomed anyway.
Before we knew it our time in Prague had come to an end, and even though we had done and saw so much in our time there, we still felt we hadn’t even scratched the surface. Who knows, maybe we’ll be back sooner than we think!
Next stop, Budapest.