Admittedly, I was a little nervous to go to the Czech Republic, because, well, it IS Eastern Europe. And this was the Eastest that we will go on this trip. If it wasn't for the few friends who highly recommended Prague, we probably wouldn't have even considered it. I'm going to blame Hollywood for making me think all hit men and bad mafia guys are from Eastern Europe! Instead of mean-looking killers, we found beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets, lots of romantic street music, and plenty of perfect food!
(Thanks, Matt and Marianne for all the recommendations! These photos are dedicated to you... especially the two in Klub Architektu where we decide to wave to you!!)
Where do I begin?
I'd love to begin with a video that I took of three guys playing cellos in the middle of a bridge at sunset, but since I can't seem to figure out how to upload video on the iPad, well, I will upload it later and link back to here. Making you wait will build the suspense.
...can you feel the suspense yet?
Seriously though, Prague ended up being the most romantic city and our favorite place so far! Isn't it great how things work out? I'm going to touch on a few highlights and then, for once, let the pictures do most of the talking.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PRAGUE...
-Very affordable: Even though a meal may cost 375 Czeck Krona and it sounds like a lot, it really only translates into $20. AND beer is cheaper than water here. Because of this, it became apparent that if we were to spend our tourist money anywhere, it should be here.
-The Mosaic House: From what we have heard and read, the hostels in Prague are some of the best. The Mosaic House was a hostel plus hotel: hip, trendy, a great bar, eco friendly, a yummy restaurant, twinkly lights built into the bathroom ceilings, two shower heads in the showers, etc. Andrew stayed in a coed dorm room and was able to get some decent sleep. I stayed in a female-only dorm called Oasis. Sounds nice, right? Oh, right, I forgot to mention that there were 25 other girls sleeping in the same room, of which a quarter were sick in bed. So much for being an oasis.
Even though there were many, many, many girls, I was able to get a few hours of sleep each night, and a few naps during the day. So that I could get at least one full night of sleep, we decided to splurge the last night and get a real hotel room. It was sweet, friends, sweet. It was on the top floor and had a great balcony and view! I was also thankful for the first buffet breakfast on this trip that actually had hot food: no sliced lunchmeat or hardboiled eggs and yogurt this time. Instead we endulged in scrambled eggs, greasy sausage and bacon, toast, and fresh fruit.
***It is amazing to think that scrambled eggs could be so luxurious when on the road! Other such luxuries include pens, safety pins, ziplock bags, plastic grocery bags, real bath towels, handsoap, a closet, a bed lamp, a private toilet, a tv, a hair dryer, conditioner, floss, freshly laundered clothes, a real computer, and vitamins.
-The street musicians: Besides the cellists, we witnessed someone playing a recorder, someone playing a washboard using kitchen whisks, and also some really bad attempts at covering English oldies. It's still always surprising to see who tries to do what on the streets. And it's even more surprising when they are actually GOOD at what they are attempting.
-Clear Head Vegetarian Restaurant: I'm not sure what the name is in Czech, but Clear Head is what it translates to in English. We found this restaurant in one of the travel guides and were pretty skeptical at first. Any time we see a vegetarian restaurant, we go check it out. And many times, we don't eat there because they try to do tofu and soy in too many [unappealing] ways. This restaurant is down a very, very, very, side and sketchy street. But it ended up being our favorite so far! Instead of tofu, they focused on using fresh fruits and veggies to their fullest potential. It was a very "spiritually welcoming" place which focused on accepting all types of faiths (of course with an underlying Buddhist theme). So, for instance, any ordained clergy and enlightened leaders were able to eat for free. We ordered sample platters and chocolate fondue and lemonades. Clearly our best meal yet. We even had eggplant tartar!! And the decor rocked: twinkle lights mimicking stars on the ceiling (what's with Prague and twinkle lights?), a faux-wood table that lit up, and waiters with wonderfully gross hairstyles. All in all, I would love to clear my head at Clear Head again!
-Klub Architektu: Solely based on two good friends' recommendations, we decided to check out this restaurant. So glad we did! It's located underground in an old wine cellar. I had some amazing soup and a salad, while Andrew chose the more traditional meat and dumpling meal.
-Climbing Petrin Hill and seeing a mini Eiffel tower and great views of Prague was well worth it! The best part? Laying on the blanket in the park and listening to a violinist. Who knew Prague could be this romantic?
-The John Lennon Wall: You will have to ask Andrew for the details, but its an ever-changing wall of graffiti having something to do with someone painting John Lennon's face on the wall during Prague's communist years. It stood as an act of defiance and now stands for peace, freedom, and community.
-The fried cheese sandwich from the street vendor: I added mustard, sauerkraut, and onions. I mean, doesn't that just scream I AM MELISSA? I think I ate three of them.
>Food 1 !!!
The FLACH? 4.5 gloriously vegetarian stars.
|The main square.|
|Playing a washboard with kitchen whisks.|
|The Lennon Wall.|
|The cool urinal at the hostel.|
|Mini Eiffel Tower on the top of Petrin Hill.|
|Prague from Petrin Hill.|
|Entering the sketchy ally on the way to Clear Head Vegetarian Restaurant.|
|FRIED CHEESE SANDWICH!!!|
|Monks, ordained clergy, and enlightened persons eat free of charge.|
|Clearing my head with lemonade!|
|Clear Head's menu.|
|Clear Head's twinkle lights.|
|The cold platter which included hummus and eggplant tartar.|
|Chocolate fondue for dessert!|
|The hot sample platter which included skewered veggies, veggie lasagna, potatos au gratin, and an enchilada!|
|Wonderful music on the bridge!|
|View from our hotel room!|
|Our amazing hotel room!|
|At Klub Arckitectu.|
|My Klub Arckitectu salad!|
|Hi Matt and Marianne!|
|Traditional meat and dumplings!|