At long last, we are here in the Czech Republic. I cannot tell you all the weird responses Abe and I have had when telling people about our pending trip, including (but not limited to): "Wow, why the Czech Republic?" or "Do you know anyone there?" or "What is in the Czech Republic?" or "What is the food like there?" These seemed to be among the most asked questions. Well, now I can begin to tell you as I've not only read my guidebooks backwards and forwards (no joking, I was sick for 5 days last month and read the books pretty thoroughly) but now I am here: Prague. We arrived on the runway of Prague at the exact scheduled time according to our flight itinerary. We packed one carry on bag each (1/4 of which my bag was filled with my new digital Nikon SLR D80, my camera case and an extra lens). We took a bus and then the metro and wandered about 5 minutes after we got off the metro to our hostel: the Riverbank Hostel. Despite being right off of a busy street it is very quite inside and overlooks a small courtyard.
We slept a few hours (we'd only gotten about 2 hours of sleep on the plane and had travelled from 7:30 am Monday until 3 pm Tuesday Prague time. We were exhausted. Then we attempted to find a place in our guide book but by the time we found it (Abe a little frusterated at me having to pick a place out when we'd passed dozens of other restaurants along the way) they had stopped serving dinner for the evening. We hit up another spot but they too were no longer serving food for the night. At last, we stumbled upon a place that had mediocre food but an English menu and the price wasn't too bad. About $30 US for a glass of wine, one beer and two bowls of pasta. Not the best deal but it was food. I was confident we'd find something cheaper the next day.
Prague or "Praha" is a beautiful city. The architecture is truly amazing and beautiful and it is astounding how each and every building has something unique and stunning about it. What is in the Czech Republic you say? A few things I've learned in just over 24 hours:
Many beautifully adorned churches, architecture of all kinds, cheap food, great coffee, good pilsner (beer), people willing to speak English with you and teach you how to speak Czech and great pocket museums (we went to both an Avante Garde and Cubist museum today both with only Czech artists). Things that are not of interest to me: ovepriced tourist trap restaurants, weird souvenirs and too many onlookers at tourist sites. Overall, I had a great first day and look forward to sharing more of my adventure. I've seen only the Old Town so far (Prague was 4 cities that were combined) but I will be checking out the Castle Quarter and Jewish Quarter in the next few days. There will be much to tell.
To be continued.....