I’ve been on a roll lately with these blog posts. Innsbruck is awesome and I can’t wait to be caught up on these posts so that I can actually TELL you what’s going on here!! It’s warm today and I went to the top of a mountain but that’s all I’ll say for now. After Paris Chris and I flew to Prague for a few nights and then headed to Berlin, hopefully I can finish the Berlin blog post today as well and maybe even Munich.
Prague May 19-23:
We arrived in Prague on the evening of the 19th, we got off the plane and we were walking to the baggage claim when we came across a sign. It said “Welcome to the land of the 1st Golden Beer and Hockey”. CHris and I immediately laughed and then questioned if we were actually in Czech Republic or home. We were undoubtedly in Prague haha. We grabbed our bags and headed for the exit, this was going to be our first airbnb experience. If you don’t know what it is it’s basically people rentng out their apartments or homes to people for a short period of time. Kind of like a bed and breakfast only breakfast isn’t included all the time. Our host arranged for us to get an airport transfer from the airport to the apartment, which was awesome because it would have been a difficult place to find. We walked out and sure enough there was an older man holding up a very make shift sign with my name on it, he helped us put our things into his unregistered car without saying more than a few words to us the entire time. When I tried to strike up a conversation he merely said he didn’t know English. Not the most welcoming thing since Chris and I only speak English and we’ve never been to the Czech Republic before. We assumed we were almost there as the driver started to slow down, however we were on a very small road with a lot of graffiti on the buildings and next to no street lights. We were slightly sketched out, slightly is actually an understatement. We met the host’s husband who brought us into the building. When we entered the building this man was yelling at his cat, apparently he can’t walk very well and his cat (that used to be on a leash) was running around and up the stairs and the man couldn’t catch him. We started walking up the stairs with the host and halfway up he stopped and said I’ll be right back, he continued up the stairs and retrieved the cat for the man. We got settled into our room, which was not sketchy at all and there was a metro stop conveniently in the mall down the road. That night we got dinner and groceries and then hunhgout and did nothing, it was already pretty late and we planned on making a walking tour in the morning.
The next morning on the 20th, it was pouring rain. We finally got to put our rain pants to use and let me tell you we looked ridiculous. We did a three hour walking tour followed by a three hour Prague castle tour all in the rain. We were definitely prepared for the weather so it was okay. On the tour (the free walking tour) we met two couples also from Canada. In fact, they all went to Laurier, which was so lovely running into fellow Golden Hawks. They told us they signed up for the pub carwl and were doing it that night, we weren’t sure what we were going to do but it was definitely an option we kept open. We went back to our apartment after our tours to relax and have dinner, after thinking about it we realized that it was the best night to do the pub crawl. We definitely need a free day the next day if we were going to be doing this pub crawl that had two and a half hours of unlimited drinking. We gathered our things and obviously we were late once again to this pub crawl. We sat with the two copuples from Laurier and basically bonded about being from the same area. It’s crazy running into Golden Hawks especiallly because they were older than us by quite a few years. The pub crawl was fun, at the first bar we got to drink as much as we wanted and then when it was almost time to leave there was a drinking competition. The girls were up first, we all got handed a half litre bottle of beer (YUCK). We had to chug this beer with a straw, Michelle (one of the girls from Laurier) and I literally chugged the neck and stopped because it was so gross and I couldn’t do it. A few girls from the states were doing pretty well, but our winner was Sarah (obviously a Golden Hawk!). She won a t-shirt and that was pretty damn exciting. We went to another bar after that and unfortunately Michelle and Sarah left because Michelle was sick, two and a half hours of drinking could do that to yuo. So it was just the boys and I. The next bar was a kareoke bar and obviously Chris and I did a number, messed up the words but definitely had a blast. We went to another bar after that I believe and then the last bar. Regardless it was 2an at this point and I was dying. I was still there, which was impressive but gtting home was SUCH a mission. Chris has been our navigator this entire time in Europe (obviously because I’m asian and have no sense of direction), but after the pub crawl it was so frustrating trying to get home, he could not grasp where he was and he gave up and just handed me the phoneto figure out. I got us to the tram stop, but then we didn’t know which direction to go, I had it finally figured out but I think Chris was skeptacle, he kept asking the tram drivers and looking at the signs. We got on the right tram and finally got back to the apartment at around 4:30am.
The next day was actually so rough, I rolled around in agony for a while then got up to shower before napping again. By the time I got out of bed and out the door it was 2:30 I felt so bad because we had wasted half a day because I was too dead to function. We walked around the old city of Prague, across the famous Charles bridge and really didn’t do anything special. We found another island and we walked to it via a bridge and hungout there fpor a while before getting some vietnamese dinner. It was a thing everywhere we went I had to get noodles, I don’t know why. That nght we took it easy obviously and then the next day was May 22, our last full day before we had to leave for Berlin. On our last full day we did something a little different. We visited Terezin, which was one of the concentration camps used in the second world war. It was unlike anything I had ever imagined, in fact it was a lot nicer than I expected. This could have been for a number of reasons, a) people still live in the town today (because it used to be a military fortress before it was taken over by the nazis so people ioved back in after the war) and b) it was used as a propaganda aid to trick the Red Cross. Terezin was beautified and theatric to make it seem like the Jews and others exiled oto these camps were not living in poor onditions. The Red Cross believed that it wasn’t a bad place. Many people may not be aware, but not ever concentration camp was an extermination camp, seems straight forward, but I actually didn’t know this until this trip. Terezon was a holding camp and many people were sent to extermination camps and other camps after only staying at Terezin for a few month. I did not take any pictures because I felt as though it was not appropriate, if you want to see something like this you can do so through a picture, you need to really need to see it and experience it in person. We arrived back in Prague having taken some of the same tracks as so many people during the second world war and after such a heavy day we thought that we should stay in the old town and try to enjoy the rest of our night. We watched what was suppose to be or is the 1st or 2nd most disappointing tourist attraction in all of Europe. The astronomical clock that has moving statues for 5 seconds and a silly little rooster, it was quite entertaining. We had dinner on a litle patio over looking the water and CHarles bridge, it was beautiful. Minus the girls sitting near us playing music and singing awfully, but it wasn’t bad if you forget about that part. The we got these treats, called Tradelinks (i believe), it basically this sweet cake roasted golden and then tossed in sugar, best thing ever. Even though we were so full we ate a whole one each to ourselves and I wanted to die. We went back after that and packed as we left for Berlin at 1 the next morning. We tried to use all of our Czech crowns because there was no use in converting them back, we would have lost money, we ended up having 58 crowns left, 1 canadian dollar is equivalent to 24 crowns, so we didn’t have much at all. I was able to use it allon snacks for the bus ride.