I felt like this semester started out slow, but I do begin seeing how fast things are picking up as it’s time for my first travel break. Going with two friends, we explored 3 cities: Prague, Budapest, and Vienna.
Prague was the city I was looking forward to the most. I’ve heard so many nice things about the city and how affordable everything is. Cheap prices is definitely something a student from Copenhagen misses experiencing. Sucking up to another early morning flight, I kind of wish the duration of the flight was longer so I can have a longer nap. I dozed off before the plane took of because like Stockholm, I barely had any sleep before. For Prague, we stayed in a B&B that Chloe found.
It felt surreal to be in Prague! With the research I did the night before, I was very eager to hit up some of the attractions immediately. Britney and I ate at a nearby restaurant the B&B host suggested. The must-eats in Prague included pork knuckles, Czech dumplings, roast duck, and beef goulash. Little did I know, that was my only opportunity to sample Czech cuisines. It was a difficult decision because there were so many things I wanted to try and the prices were conveniently affordable! For a decent meal, my bill totaled to be less around $10 USD. I ordered this sirloin cut with dumplings while Britney ordered the roast duck. Just as the pictures on Google listed, Czech dumplings look and taste very different from Chinese ones. They look and taste like bread. I wonder what characteristics are needed to be considered a dumpling. The meal was very delicious. My only complaint was the slow service we received. We ended up staying in the restaurant for 2 hours.
After the meal, we quickly headed towards the Old Town Square. We were in awe of all the beautiful buildings. We had our tourist tag, DSLRs, on us the whole time. Everything was so eye pleasing. From Old Town, we made our way to the famous Charles Bridge. It was extremely crowded with tourists and hawkers. We promised ourselves we must come back at night to see the bridge. We ended up coming back several times for the duration of our 3 day visit.
On the other side of the river was the palace. We figured we’d leave that for the following day when Chloe arrives. Just aimlessly wandering around, we accidentally tumbled upon the John Lennon Wall. It was a colorful graffiti wall with a few stencil prints of Lennon’s face and songs and lyrics spread across the wall. It’s an interesting attraction because I’m sure if I were to visit the wall again in a few months, I’d experience something different since the wall is actually covered with layers and layers of graffiti. Right by the wall is a cafe dedicated to The Beatles called the John Lennon Pub.
We crossed back through the other bridges to see the Dancing House and other neighborhoods of Prague. We decided to check out the mall by our flat and called it a night.
The next day, we checked out as few of the attractions again with Chloe in the morning. The walk on the Charles Bridge was much more enjoyable with barely anyone on it. We then hiked up the stairs to the Palace. For the first time in my life, I was absolutely wow-ed by the Church of Saint Stephen. I’ve seen a lot of nice buildings in Europe, but the church was truly amazing! It’s going to be hard to one up this one. This massive structure built with incredible details left us on our stomachs trying to capture the essences of this beauty. The view at the top of the hill was gorgeous as well. I completely agree that Prague is a beautiful city. Normally, many things fail to meet my expectations, but Prague sure did not disappoint.
Chloe’s local friend took use around the castle again at night and it was a different experience. Prague was not as well lit at night as pictures online suggest, but I would still recommend exploring the city after sunset.
The following day, we visited the Jewish Cemetery and museum. We tried to do some souvenir shopping, but the marionettes were pretty expensive. I think the most I’ve purchased in Prague were pastries. After mindless walking, we headed for the TV tower for an overview of Prague. Interestingly, the tower was advertised as the World’s 3rd ugliest tower. I’m not sure why, unless it was a relative comparison to the rest of Prague’s buildings.
After some photo shoots of the river at night, we returned to the flat to rest before catching the overnight train to Budapest. Prague is the first city that gave me the Old Europe vibe. It is indeed gorgeous, but I’m not sure if I want to live here. It’s quite small as we walked around many of the same places several times.