We got to Prague and quickly got ready for our traditional Czech meal at the municipal building down in the adorable Old Town Square. When we walked through the square, The Lion King song was playing. So damn magical. The dinner started with some mushroom soup that was the highlight of the meal, followed by skewers of pork, chicken, mushrooms, peppers, and a side of soggy French fries - not kosher at all. Finally, we finished with a honey ginger cake. All of this was paired, of course, with local Czech beer. Seriously, Prague has the best beer and it is so cheap. Here are some pics from our first dinner in Prague.
Contiki offers some optional excursions that most people in the group go on that have been less than stellar. The first night in Prague was no exception and consisted of a Black Light Theater. Kristy and I opted out, but were told it was people in black jumpsuits covered with lights doing interpretive dancing about Africa. Kristy and I decided to partake in some other local culture by heading to a local dive bar in a basement called the Popo cafe where the beers were 29 Czech Krown or about $1.50. You might recall my Instagram post. We enjoyed a couple beers and then met back up with the group to hear about their theater experience.
The next day began with a walking tour from the New Town over to Old Town from our tour guide, Shocka (her real name!). We saw another church, which was very similar to Notre Dame, a replica of the Eiffel Tower, the John Lennon wall (still not sure the meaning), and finished with watching the clock tower play at the top of hour while drinking thick, hot chocolate.
We then headed out for a lunchtime cruise along the river. The views were amazing, but it was seriously so cold I didn't go up for any pictures. I'm sorry, you'll have to take my word for it, it was very pretty. For lunch, I had my first goulash! It's a very rich, shredded beef gravy served over moist (sorry, I hate that word, too) bread. There were some other items I threw on my plate, but I don't know exactly what they were. I also enjoyed some Czech wine. The Czech Republic will never be the new Napa valley, but it was drinkable. We finished up after a couple hours and then headed to rest up for the big night we had ahead of us. We were going to do the Prague Pub Crawl that was raved about. 20 euros for an hour of all you can drink beer, wine, absinthe, and vodka shooters, then a shot at the next two bars and then entry into a 5 story night club, plus a shirt! Great deal, right? Well, I don't know if I'd go that far...
The beer at the first bar made Keystone Ice taste like Great White beer. It seriously tasted like shit. The worst part, was that it was called Budweiser. I'm still not positive if it's the same red, white, and blue we drink in the states. If so, what an embarrassment! I did get this great shot of us girls, so I can't say its a total bust. I managed to power down 4 beers and 2 shots, so I really did try to make the most of it.
We walked for what seemed like forever and got to bar #2 where we were handed a vile of a green mixed drink. I still don't know what I was drinking. We had a couple drinks here before walking another long distance to the next bar. I think this is there strategy because every bar, I felt like I had to start fresh with drinking because I was sober again. At bar #3, we were handed a vodka shot. I mean pure, plastic bottle vodka with no chaser. Once in, I ordered a vodka drink and then danced a little bit to get in the mood for the epic 5 story night club! Except, you know those nights where you tell yourself, I'm about to have the most amazing night of my life and then it's shit. I sort of had this feeling by the third bar. In any other situation, the amount of alcohol I had would be more than sufficient to get someone drunk, but I only felt myself getting more full and my waist band getting tighter. Lovely, let's go dance. We walked to the night club and quickly dropped our jackets off at the coat check. We all spread out searching out the bar to see which of the 5 floors would be the best. Naturally, we headed to the basement out of the club because that's how Prague does a bar. It was the R&B floor and was playing good music, but there were only 3 of us there. Onto the next, which was no good either. We got to the third floor and it had the most people, except it was still only the 35 or so of us Contiki people that signed up for the pub crawl. We were told there was an ice bar, but we never found it. Also, only 3 floors were open, but I don't blame them for closing off the other floors to make it seem more crowded. Lisa and I decided we were not drunk enough and took a shot. We headed out to the dance floor, got drinks spilled on us and immediately headed back for another. Still not drunk enough. We did this a couple of times until we decided we weren't getting drunk enough and decided to leave at about 2. It was a Wednesday night, so I can't blame them, but I was definitely disappointed in the night because it was so hyped. And, we didn't even get our pub crawl shirts, so I literally have nothing but these pictures to show for the night.
The next day was a free day so we slept in and headed out around noon to explore the town. Unfortunately, we didn't make it far and got some souvenirs at a market and then had lunch at a Burger King. I know what you're thinking, you're in a foreign country, what on earth are you doing eating at Burger King, but seriously, once you have like 10 sausages, potatoes, goulash, etc. some regular old American food is welcomed. Plus, it was 32 degrees here, so being inside somewhere warm was needed. Kristy and I did get in one touristy thing in bout 10 minutes before we met up with the group. We climbed to the top of the clock tower and saw amazing views of the city.
We met back with the group for a Bunker tour (another optional). I'm not sure if words can describe this tour, but I'll try and then I'll finish with some pictures to help convey it better. We got up to this concrete park area where there was some cool street art. A man in a green coat greeted us while holding some sort of big gun and briefly told us the history of the bunker. We got to a long hallway filled with pictures, medals, gas masks and other communist paraphernalia the Czech Republic ever collected. The tour guide was so enthusiastic that he spent 40 minutes going over every gas mask created over the last 70 years or so and then discussed a shit load of pictures on the wall. Thankfully, he only went over one of he walls and we moved along to other areas in the space where we saw a person getting 'decontaminated' and another that showed a family that represented they typical family in a bunker. We ended with some pictures with guns, hats, etc. I'm sad to admit it, but the pictures were the only reason I ended up booking this tour. We were quite happy it was over and ready for dinner. Here are that pictures that show exactly how weird this place was...
Brianna had completed almost an entire pitcher of white wine and Kristy, Lisa, and I finished the red wine and we were all ready to go out. Our tour manager lead us to a bar near the restaurant that ended up being a topless dance bar. They were a group of unimpressive dancers and the four of us obviously became judges as if we were professional dancers ourselves. All girls do this, not just us. Once we had our fill of topless dancers dancing to Grease Lightning, we headed off to a pub. Which pub? THE pub!
Creepy, right? And great gun photo? Told ya.
So we headed straight to dinner that was another traditional Czech meal, in a basement (duh), with unlimited wine and beer. We were pretty tired from the night before so it was going to be 'a low key night'. You know those nights, 'I'll just have dinner and call it early'. Perfect. So, we began drinking the pitchers of wine on the table and got to know Irish 1 and 2 (two Irish guys that lived in London and were on our tour that someone in the group - no names, sorry - was quite into) a little better. We were served the strangest meal I've ever eaten. It started with a soup that was pretty decent and then they placed a plate full of meat that was almost unrecognizable. There was a patty of something, could have been meat or potatoes, but it was delicious. It was rich, salty, and savory and the only thing that I devoured on the plate. There was a meat that might have been duck or some other fowl animal that was ok, but a little dry. There were two bread like things on the plate; one denser than the other but not with much flavor. They sort of stoked up the juices from the heaps of meat. There was an end of a sausage that did not seem to fit with the meal. Why just the tip? No clue. Finally, underneath all the meat, there were two types of saurkraught that accompanied the meat pretty well. It was a frightening meal that ended up being quite alright. Especially the crepe that they served for desert that was devine. Here is the pic...
At the pub, we poured the beers ourselves. Can you tell which beer is that of a person who has not gone to college yet? Damn 18 year olds.
By the time we finished beers, I think it was safe to say Kristy won the game. I don't know if I have mentioned it yet, but that lady can drink a beer. Everyone will be a few sips in and she will have her beer downed. I told you we got along well lol. After a bit at the pub, we were ready to dance. Back to the 5 story club we went, and this time we were determined to go to the ice bar after hearing about Brianna's previous night since she actually made it into the ice bar. We got into the club and immediately headed to the ice bar. I think I have the record for the most photos taken in just 15 minutes. I had to condense so I didn't drive you guys crazy with so many pictures.
After our 15 minutes in the ice bar, we headed out to the dance bar where we met up with the rest of the group. I loved the group we had out this night. It was the usual, Brianna, Lisa, Kristy and me, plus James and Melissa from New York, Ryan from Melbourne (my new gay best friend and protector from creepers on the dance floor), Irish 1 and 2, Jenessa from Canada, Jessinta from Melbourne, and Liam from Scotland / New Zealand. At this point, everyone was sufficiently drunk and dancing; especially Brianna. I have never seen someone move across the dance floor like her. It was a combination of gangam style, Irish dancing (she is a world champion, after all), twerking, and all fabulous. There were tons of peace signs and she kept stealing hats from guys. Before we knew it, it was 4am and time to go home. The next day, I was hurting, but not as bad as others. As I'm getting into the elevator to head to the bus, I see Brianna's roommate leaving her room and ask her if Brianna is still in the room. In her broken English (she is from Japan) she says that Brianna was still sleeping. It was 9:12 and the bus was leaving at 9:15. I ran into the room and quickly woke her up. We packed her bag and ran down to the bus. Holy shit. We nearly left her in Prague. Top fucking night.
I never knew Prague had such epic night life. I guess Wednesday wasn't the best, but Thursday more than made up for it. It is also one of the most beautiful places that I've been to along my journey. My only complaint, which I'm realizing is more European that isolated to Prague, but the indoor smoking is absolutely out of control. My clothes smell awful and I do not have an endless supply. Unfortunately, Lisa left us in Prague, so it was down to just us 3; Kristy, Brianna, and I. Vienna is up next!