The wonderful time with Bri has come to an end. Now I sit on a train to Munich in a 6 person car with 3 other girls traveling alone to Munich. I don’t think I realized how easy it would be to meet people. Most people are extremely friendly, especially at the hostel. I hope all of my hostels are as welcoming as Sir Toby’s was! They had activities every night and people were always sharing tables and life stories.
Prague is beautiful. The pictures and words don’t do it justice. The city is so clean and brightly colored with peach colored buildings next to mint green buildings all with burnt orange colored rooves. I think the pastel color theme really made the old churches/cathedrals/castles stand out amongst their surroundings. The weather was perfect, and I know that it will be very cold there in the winter, but this was a great time to visit. This morning I sat outside, drank tea, wrote postcards with Bri and wore a sweatshirt because it was 57 degrees. I’ve only been to Italy, but Prague is definitely higher on my list.
Also because I like sausages more than pasta. I completed my goal of eating many things in Prague. We saved money by buying eggs, milk, tomatoes, onions, and peppers from the market and cooking breakfast each morning (total cost $5). This allowed me to buy a lot of food. The plate of ham I ate my first day in Prague weighed about 400g (I have no clue about conversion) and cost 380 crowns which is about $15. Tourist price. Usually the food is much less. We dined at a restaurant one evening that advertised a 200 czk “tourist menu” which was 3 courses for about $8 and featured live jazz music. Naturally when we sat down the waiter said the menu was only for lunch. Of course it didn’t say this anywhere else. We shared a cheese platter and Bri got a veggie pasta while I ate my first beef goulash. Its not my favorite meal ever but it was quite tasty, just a bit more spice than I usually like. We also shared some knedlicky aka potato dumplings which I think tops the list for yummy foods. For dessert, we walked to the busiest trdnelik stand because they fill the grilled pastry with either chocolate sauce, whipped cream and strawberries, or ice cream. Bri got ice cream, I got whipped cream, the pasty itself was delicious and the whipped cream was just a little bit less than sweet making the combination perfect.
Yesterday morning we went to a little café for coffees and to try traditional Czeck pancakes topped with maple syrup and fresh berries. They were also topped with a lot of powdered sugar. It wasn’t exactly what I was in the mood for but it was super sweet and I can’t imagine anyone not liking them. In comparison to American pancakes, I would say they were heavier and no doubt that they were homemade.
In the afternoon we traveled further south to a cathedral on top of a hill. I found it to be extremely beautiful, I said a prayer and lit a candle for my grandpa. We also walked through a cemetery and saw the graves of some famous Prague-ians. While wandering, we found a grill and beer type area at the top of the hill. I ate kielbasa and a grilled pepper stuffed with cheese. I saw some onions/sauerkraut behind the counter and asked for a scoop with m kielbasa and the man said “only for meat”. I replied, “but I am having meat” and he said “no, not for kielbasa”. I was sad but I realized this is one of those things where you realize the way we eat food in America is different from the way locals eat so I had to accept/learn the authentic way as opposed to the American way. I did put some horseradish on my plate which was quite yummy. Not something I usually.
I think I’ve basically covered the last few days foodwise. What’s interesting about the cuisine of Prague is that there are other options. I saw many Chinese restaurants but also Mexican, Korean, sushi, burgers, lots of pizza and pasta, an Irish pub, even Thai and Indian as well. In Italy I found there was mostly pasta and not-so-good Asian food. Prague has more variety and options.
I searched two days for the Prague Museum of Fine Arts. On the second day, I realized I had walked in circles and that the museum definitely didn’t exist. I went into a lot of small local galleries as well as a few churches which were all extremely ornate and as extreme Baroque/Rococo as it gets. I also spent some time searching for the Bethlehem Chapel which I had actually circled around twice. Maps are not my strong point. Bethlehem Chapel was a place where the man of Prague, Jan Has, gave his sermons. He spoke out against Catholicism and was burned at the stake on July 6th 1415. There are statues of him all over and he was later recognized by Martin Luther as the start of the Reformation. I also wandered into an old palace where the walls had been painted over but some baroque looking mirrors and walls remained. The main room had been well preserved with marble walls with column facades and a giant painted ceiling. Another day I wandered into an astronomical tower where I got a guided tour and the group climbed to the top. There was a beautiful library inside which hadn’t changed since the 17th century (I think). We weren’t allowed to take pictures but it was quite impressive.
Bri and I made friends with the band from Holland I mentioned. The entertainment in the main square is really enjoyable. We went back to listen to them play the next day. The music was fun and chill and perfect for sitting outside and having a beer. While they were playing, there was a man with a giant bubble-making contraption which children found completely irresistible. The bubble man didn’t smile but he was smoking a joint and drinking a beer while he bubbled. The children’s happy screams were a good background to our beer and music. We ended up drinking and chatting and singing with the band for most of the evening. It’s amazing to me how so many people speak English so well. Also, music is a universal language. We don’t need the words of the song to follow the melody and sing along. The groove says it all.
But now Bri-time is over and I am on my own for a few days in Munich until I find my nut-job fake brother Steven in Milan on Monday morning. I wish I had wifi on the train so I could post now but alas, it will have to wait. Time to read a book for the first time in a year :)