Well here is my post about my whirlwind stop in Prague. I only stayed a short two days in the city and from what most people told me through out my travels that’s the perfect amount of time for the city. After two days you’re just seeing the same stuff over and over.
Prague still looks very much like it did before WWII because the city wasn’t bombed heavily. Nazi Germany kind of just took Czechoslovakia, first what was called the Sudetenland then the rest of the nation. The only real bombing that occurred in Prague was by Americans near the end of the war. They were supposed to bomb the city of Dresden but were off course and bombed Prague.
Prague I find is very much like Budapest except for one major thing, tourism. Budapest I find is hardly touristy when compared to Prague. However what are the similarities?
Well they are both capital cities. Both have rivers flowing through them which are spanned by numerous bridges but each city has one famous one, the Chain Bridge in Budapest and Charles Bridge in Prague. The terrain is also very similar, west is hilly and east is flat. Each city has a castle district and that can be found on the west side with the hills; both cities love their tram systems, much like the rest of Eastern Europe and both were occupied by Nazi Germany during WWII.
With so many similarities it makes you wonder why bother doing both cities? Well those similarities are not what give the cities their character. One thing Budapest doesn’t have is the Astronomical Clock. Now many people are let down by it because they expect something amazing out of the hourly show. What they don’t realize is that it was built hundreds of years ago, 605 to be more exact, and the show they see now was cutting edge for the time. For something that old I was happy I stood around for a few minutes waiting for it, the best part is the skeleton ringing the bell letting you know death is now an hour sooner!
Czech cuisine is delicious, I only ate out a few times but each time it was great! One dish that is a must to have is the beef with creamy sauce and dumplings. When it was served to me I was a bit worried when on top of the creamy sauce was a scoop of whipped cream and a cherry. To me I always believed those were ingredients for dessert but I have to say they were a lovely inclusion. If you have only one meal in the Czech Republic this needs to be the one to try! Now I also went to a Monastery Brewery Pub just outside of the Castle District, thanks to the recommendation of my friend Amy, and that place was great! I tried their IPA and I was truly disappointed, but I guess I’m not a beer drinker. However the food was very good, I had goulash in a bread bowl and rabbit. I don’t think I have ever had rabbit it before but it was so good!
I guess I will do a quick paragraph about beer. You can make the beer in Canada, you can make the beer in the Czech Republic and it will still taste like beer. I don’t like beer and I don’t know why I had such high hopes for Czech beer, what would be the key difference between them? They are still beer! Disgusting. Please don’t let my hate toward beer taint your view on the beverage. Maybe if you are a lover of beer you can pick out what makes Czech beer apparently so much better.
Now one thing I did notice was the Czech Republic’s hate for Russia. They simply don’t like them, they still remember the oppression Moscow brought on them less than 30 years ago. My free walking tour guide was very adamant telling us that if you wanted a truly Czech gift to bring home pick up bohemian glass or a nice painting. She made sure to point out that many souvenir shops sold Russian nesting dolls and that these have nothing to do with Czech culture. She noted that often shops that sold the dolls were owned by non-Czechs, if you went to a Czech owned store those would not be there because they don’t like the Russians.
Like I said above I did a free walking tour and you know what I have yet to be disappointed by one. Yes I had the misfortune of being in one with 50 other people but that’s just the nature of the beast, I was also in one with myself and two other people. But I can not preach highly enough about them, when ever you travel see if there are any available where you are going. The guides are very good because they are working for tips, they know they aren’t guaranteed to get paid so they put in their all for tips. I recommend when your doing these tours stick to the front with the guide, there you can ask questions between stops, listen to others questions and answers and usually make friends in the process which is great if you are a solo traveler.
Well that’s it folks! Hope you enjoyed my Prague post, I’m now in Hamburg actually waiting in the airport to surprise my Mum. She thinks I’m still in Berlin and is picking me up tomorrow at the rail-road station. When I write my Berlin post in the next few days I’ll make sure to tell you about her response!