I arrive in Prague and collected my bags. I am supposed to meet someone outside that will drive me to my apartment. I meet the gentleman that drives me. He is young and doesn’t speak a word of English. That’s ok. I could use some quiet time as I’m actually really tired. It’s approximately 9 pm and we leave the airport. His GPS tells him that we should arrive at the apartment in 20 minutes. Now I don’t know about you, but I can follow a GPS pretty well. This guy, not so much. I could even follow it and it was spitting out directions in another language.
After a couple of twists and turns we finally get to the apartment. He apologizes, repeatedly, and I pay him and I even give him a tip. I ring the buzzer and get let in. I walk up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment and meet the lady who I am renting the apartment from. She doesn’t speak any English either. She gives me a quick tour of the place (as best as we can understand each other) and leaves me be.
I quickly unpack some things and head out to do some quick exploring. I find Prague to be alive and vibrant at 10:30 pm on a Saturday night. I take in Prague castle from the other side of the river and find Charles Bridge. It allows me to get my bearings and find out how long it will take to get to each place. I find a Gyro stand and grab a quick bite to eat as I’m famished. delicious gyro. I find my way back to the apartment and get some shut eye as I have a long day planned. I only have two full days in Prague so I need to manage my time well.
I wake up and I hear something horrible. Rain. Ah crap. I guess it was a good thing I bought that umbrella. I go to take a shower and notice that my towels are about the size of an airplane tray table. Not very convenient. I shower, dry myself off as best I can, get dressed and head out.
The rain has let up quite a bit and it’s now a slow drizzle. I walk back toward the river and head toward Charles Bridge. It’s a magnificent structure and not surprisingly, very crowded. The one thing though that kind of bothered me was that there were too many vendors hawking their wares or painting or jewellery and what not. I felt it took away from the bridge itself. After crossing the bridge, you end up in this what seems to be little village in the middle of Prague. I take two lefts and I end up at my next spot, The Lennon Wall. A graffitied wall that features images of Lennon and lyrics of Beatles songs. I sat there in awe of this wall that people have taken to creating because they are inspired by him.
I next walk up the many steps to the main attraction for the day, Prague Castle. I get up to the top and realize that maybe I should have taken a guided tour. The line up to get in is long. Very long. I decide that this would be a good time to grab a quick bite to eat. I check the food stands that are present and settle on a traditional bread dumpling with cabbage and bacon. Not my usual cup of tea, but when in Rome (or Prague in this case). It wasn’t too bad. I had to get used to the sourness that the cabbage brought to the dish, but overall it was better than I thought. After finishing my meal, I got in line and waited in the cold rain for about an hour. Prague castle sits on top of a hill over looking the river and the Old town on the other side. After going through security, you walk through an archway and are immediately greeted by this amazing cathedaral.
I buy my ticket that allows me to enter the chosen venues in my package and start to explore. The first venue I entered was the hall that was used for dinners and gatherings. You step in and the hall was large to say the least. I could only imagine the feasts and weddings and dignitaries hosted at this venue. I then walked over to the Golden Lane which was an area that housed shops that sold traditional Czech wooden toys, Christmas decorations, knick-knacks and such. You exit into an area where you walk down and take in a view of the city. The view is spectacular. You get an appreciation of Prague itself. You also find the little known back entrance that you can use instead of the front entrance that everyone is herded toward. No lineup. Mental note taken for next time. The final spot visited was the cathedral itself. You walk in and here is this massive foyer into the church. The details that go into these 400-500 year old European churches just amaze me. I guess the cheap labour back then really helped as well. As I walk around the church I notice that I am starting to tire out. I decide to go back to my apartment and relax a little and go out for dinner.
I decided that I wold walk to old town Prague for dinner so I would know how long it would take to get there. After about 15 minutes I was in Old Town Square. It was beautifully lit up and bustling for a Sunday evening. I sat down and had dinner. It was the restaurant located at the Hotel U Prince. I ordered a beer and a caprese salad and a pasta dish. All very good. After paying, I started walking back toward my apartment and decided to grab an ice cream. I got back to my apartment and went to bed to get ready for the next day. Or so I thought.
I wake up at 4:00 am. Sick to my stomach. I end up throwing up my dinner. I felt horrible. Luckily it was just vomiting and not the “other” exit strategy for food poisoning as well.
I went to bed again thinking the worst was over and I could make a go of it. I woke up around 10 am, still raining, and I was just drained of all energy. I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. I literally stayed in bed the whole day. I must have slept another 6 or 7 hours throughout the day. I tried to go out that evening but it was pointless. I got about 5 minutes up the block and I was just too tired. I went back and went to bed. I had a train to catch the next day and I still needed to pack. Last nights dinner cost me my time in Prague. I went to bed, woke up and got my stuff ready. I was feeling much better and was looking forward to my train ride to Budapest.
I Ubered a vehicle and was taken to the train station. The driver was fast and efficient. Still, didn’t speak English. I guess it was fitting with how everything started. It didn’t matter though. Even though I could only see Prague for a day, I had seen enough to know that I wanted to come back. In fact I know I will be. Nothing will rain on that parade.