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Our location as of 10/2/2012

Madison, WI, USA
Last updated 10/2/2012
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Country Recap: Czech Republic

PraguePrague has been on our list of places to visit since we began planning out our tour of Europe. We always pictured it as a wild Bohemian, Eastern European city of crazy partying and backpackers everywhere. Turns out, there’s a bit of partying (though there’s much more than that) and, contrary to what some believe, it’s in central Europe and the local people don’t like to be associated with Eastern Europe. We only had three days, but we really packed a lot into our time while we were here. And for those who are wondering, this region is Bohemia, but it’s not really bohemian in the nineteenth century French use of the word; that was just a geographically-challenged stereotype.

The first thing we noticed as we walked to our hostel was the bright, often pastel, colored buildings. Everything seemed in such great condition, which is not what I was picturing. Nikki’s relatives visited Prague many years ago, and didn’t think it was very nice. Since then, apparently, times have been good because the city was gorgeous.

The historical part of the city is centered around the snaking Vltava River. We saw the major highlights, including the T??n Church, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle. One day, we went up to the hideous Soviet TV tower, where we could see all the green-colored old copper roofs. Mostly we just wandered around and soaked in the beautiful sights and weather.

We also made a stop at a local beer garden, our first proper beer garden on the trip. Czechs drink a lot, about 160 liters per year per person. And with beer prices so low, it’s hard to resist a quick afternoon liter of pilsner.

Top three experiences?

Nikki:

  1. The historical city center.
  2. The stained glass in St. Vitus Cathedral.
  3. Sitting in the egg chairs in the top of the TV tower. 

Brad:

  1. Prague Old Town. There are so many really cool buildings, and there must have been a lot of restoration done recently because they look great. I really liked the T??n cathedral and astronomical clock.
  2. Charles Bridge at sunset.
  3. Everything is very reasonably priced. The costs are a bit lower in Central Europe in general compared to Western Europe. Beer here was especially cheap, maybe $1.50 for a half liter.

Bottom three experiences?

Nikki:

  1. The loud Asian group that woke everyone in our room up at 4 in the morning.
  2. The trams were always really crowded.
  3. The internet at our hostel was really bad.

Brad:

  1. The Internet at our hostel was really slow, and at night it flat out didn’t work. We’re looking at apartments and other things, and I wish we had good enough Internet to Skype or at least write an email.
  2. Czech Republic uses their own currency. It wasn’t a problem getting cash, but going through Europe and not having to change currencies every country has been great.
  3. We had another snorer in our dorm room. If you snore, please don’t stay in a dorm with other people.

Best meal?

Nikki: Fried cheese for dinner. Somewhat like a cheese curd, it was a big, thick slab of breaded and fried cheese. Super yummy!

Brad: Nikki and I split two dishes: I had a potato pancake covered in beef goulash and cheese and she had fried cheese with fries. They were both great, but I liked mine better.

Worst meal?

Nikki: Can’t think of anything in particular…

Brad: We ate good food throughout, so I don’t know what to say. Maybe the night we had pasta, since it wasn’t special.

Favorite person we met?

Nikki: Omar, our Spanish roommate was friendly, talkative guy.

Brad: Omar from Spain, whom we met in our dorm. He was fun and friendly and on a six-month trip similar to ours going in the other direction.

Worst disaster?

Nikki: None

Brad: No problems.

Weirdest thing?

Nikki: The baby statues on the outside of the TV tower. I guess it’s art?

Brad: If the Soviet-built TV tower wasn’t weird enough, the giant black, ant-like babies crawling up and down it surely take it to a level of weirdness not normally seen in nature.

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