Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Prag // Prague: Got Love? Czech.

April 17, 2015

The weekend immediately following spring break was again spent out of the country, this time to the neighbouring Czech Republic's capital of Prague. Nearly all of my Mannheim friends had already visited this incredible city, and CB and I were stoked to visit it for ourselves.

As nearly always we had transportation issues from the start. Our bus left Mannheim at 11pm, picked up people in Heidelberg, and an hour later broke down on the side of the Autobahn. The repair truck didn't show up until a little after 2am and whatever damage was done couldn't be fixed so we had to stay there until 6am when a backup bus came and we could switch over. We were supposed to arrive in Prague around 9am but due to the bus issues we were 3 hours late.

Once we had arrived in the city and dropped our bags off at the hostel, we bought some tram tickets from our hostel staff and rode into the heart of the city. We took a free city tour from the old town square (one of our best decisions of the weekend). Our guide was an Australian named Ashley who moved to the Czech Republic a few years prior because of his immense love of beer. He was hilarious with a flair of drama and a knack for making the long history of the city interesting. He took us to some of the most important areas and sites of the city, making up the tour route as we went along. I would highly recommend the city tour to anyone planning a trip to Prague as the guides are so incredible and knowledgable. Personal highlights - the Jewish Quarter and the Rudolfinum.

After the tour CB and I had some traditional Czech food for dinner at Krčma, a basement pub recommended by our tour guide. While the food was good, it seemed like a bit of a ripoff of Hungarian fare (sorry Czech Republic!) and it was not my favourite. CB and I decided to get Bohemian coffee rather than beer as our bus ride had left us completely exhausted, and it was without a doubt the best coffee I have ever had. Instead of the usual roasted scent I associate with coffee, the Bohemian variety has a smoky aroma, and drinking it was like drinking air - it felt like it melted in your mouth as soon as you sipped it. It was such an extraordinary coffee experience that I have a hard time describing what it was actually like, other than recommending it to every coffee drinker looking for a interesting cup of joe. 

CB and I had several unique experiences that after the first time we fully embraced. We had to exchange our euros for Czech korunas, and as the exchange office had a 100€ limit and we knew we would be together the whole weekend, we exchanged our money together. At dinner the first night our waitress lit the candle on our table - something she only did for the couples in the restaurant -and she gave us an amused look when she gave us the bill and we said we were paying together. The next cafe we visited for dessert was the same way - a surprised expression after we paid together. We found this far funnier than it actually was - very little sleep on an overnight bus had addled our brains - and carried it on the rest of the trip, pretending we were a couple and always paying together at restaurants and shops.

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