Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fall Break Part 3: Prague Crawl*

We arrived in Prague after dark and took a train and a tram to get to our hostel, located in the very center of the city just a few minutes away from Prague Castle. After settling in, we headed out for a gourmet McDonald's dinner and a drink in the city. Upon setting foot on the bridge by our hostel, I had a revelation: Prague is Disney World.

If this doesn't remind you of Cinderella's Castle, you obviously haven't been to WDW 11 times like I have.
Prague, had it not been shrouded in a somber, smoky sheet of cloud, probably would have looked like this.
We arose early the next morning and trudged through the fog to get on a boat tour. The boat was comically slow, only passing by a few monuments on the river before docking again. I wouldn't say it was worth the money; all I did atop the boat was freeze my nose off.
  Thanks to the Guinness Factory, my head was covered.
The majority of our day was spent climbing to and exploring Prague Castle. It was spectacular - a series of dozens of fairytale buildings at the top point in Prague centered around an enormous Gothic cathedral. The inside was very ornate and was nothing like the churches of Rome. While Roman churches will still be my favorite, the cathedral at Prague Castle was still pretty impressive. I particularly enjoyed the rose windows, which let in the cloudy, natural light from outside and tinged it with bright, sunny hues.

The nave and apse of the cathedral

For lunch, we stopped at a place on the way down the hill. We were ushered in by a rather aggressive waitress and were served mediocre Czech goulash off a menu illustrated with pictures of the food and lacking prices. For my own safety and for the safety of others, I'd rather not get much farther into the $30 I spent on soup.
Baffled by our own stupidity, we returned to the hostel and slept for a few hours before returning to McDonald's for dinner, because, at that point, that was all we felt we could afford. Then, after dinner, we headed out to Prague's famous Pub Crawl, which, for reasons of privacy and decency, will not be recounted on this blog or anywhere else that can record it permanently.
Exhausted, we got up the next morning and visited the Old Town Square, which is characterized by its little food markets and beautiful architecture.
 We got snaaaaaaaaaacks!

Before taking a walking tour of the town, we went to a bakery for lunch, our first meal of the day. I ordered a goat cheese and tomato quiche... the best decision I made during my time in Prague.

 It was a slower day for us, though it seemed to end very quickly. Before we knew it, our walking tour was over and we were back in the hostel, resting up for dinner. No, we did not go to McDonald's for a third time. Instead we tried a restaurant right across the street from our hostel, where most of us ordered stuffed peppers in a thick, barbeque-colored sauce. Czech food, mind you, is not nearly up to par with Italian food. Our waitress practically begged us for a tip, and, though we know it isn't customary to tip waitresses in Europe, we decided to pool our extra change for a tip for her. All counted, it amounted to 29 Czech Crowns, which is, give or take, one Euro. We ran up the stairs (quite literally) before she could see it.
The next morning, we were en route to London, the final leg of our trip. Again, to be continued... 

*This blog post is also Writing Exercise 15 for CM316

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