Our long weekend trip to Prauge is soon ending. As I am writing, we are waiting in the Praha Holesovice station for our overnight train back to Paris. We left on a thursday night train, and it took us 18 travelling hours, including transfer and layover, to get here in Prauge in a bright and beautiful friday morning.
We were lucky enough to get in the bunk bed compartments this time. I would like to advice a quick travelling tip for other bear travellers out there; This is a sincere warning to all who travels in Europe; if you are planning to go on an overnight train ride somewhere, try to get a bed, really. It is a little more expensive then reclining seats, but its way worth it. Our last trip to Berlin was also an overnight train but the bed space were sold out, so we had to go with the reclinings. It was a DISASTER. The design of the compartment is absolutely ridiculous. Trying to squeez 6 people in a tiny glass cube is not the best solution for an overnight train ride. So get yourself a bed. We got the ones that are in the six bed compartment. It’s not the most luxurious but the cheapest and gives you a humane space to sleep, a BED.
Our adventure in Prauge begins right after we settled our luggages in the hostel. I was stupid enough not to bring my camera with me for the first day when we went to most of the important sites. But oh-well. I got the rest of the days covered.
Our traveling kit
The city of Prauge is picturesque. Everywhere you go, if you put a frame aroud, it it’s a painting. Wandering around the city, mainly the historically preserved zone (probably circled in green on your tourist map), its hard not to run into one of those lively public squares, intricately detail building facades, glorious clock tower, or monumental medival architectures. One of those always pop up just about every other corner you turn.
But once awhile you would encounter with some rare modern architecture poping out in a line of traditional buildings. Mr. Gehry, what a pleasant surprise to run into you in such old charming city of Prague.
We’ve crossed the river many times during our stay and we decided to get on a peddle boat for a little while in the afternoon and get a good view of the city on water.
We saw the ugly duckling!!
There are plenty of museums in Prague. Some small, such as the Museume of Torture, Museum of Wax we went, which I don’t really recommend; some prestige, like the Museum Nationale, which unfortunally was closed for construction during our visit. But in the museum hall there are mini classical music concert being held every other night. It was not an extremely formal concert. Seats were set up on the grand staircase of the entrace hall of the museum. We went to the one of Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, and Dvorak by the Prague Instrumental Soloists group. It was professional and worth it only for the view of the interior of the museum.
And finally there were musuems that were bold and modern, such as the Artbanka of AMoYA Museum of Young Art and the DOX/Centre for Contemporary Art. The later which I highly recommend is a farely new museum, but the exhibition space was very interesting.
Restaurants and Recommendations! It is always my favorite part of writing about restaurants because I can go back to my yummy pictures and re-experience my deliecious moments.
Cafe Savoy, serve some exepctiaonal czech inspired cuisine, lured us to visit twice, once for breakfast and the other dinner.
Sear Tuna with Beets
Strawberry Czech Dumpling (dessert)
Cafe Imperial, it is a cafe/restaurant located in the Imperial Hotel. We only went for breakfast, which was cheap for the kind of atmosphere. The entire interior of the cafe were covered with some very delicate tileworks. It looks like they serve fine meal for lunch and dinner too, but we didn’t have the chance to experience it.
Sir Toby’s Hostel. Again, for budget travellers, this one is highly recommended. The atmosphere of the hostel is great with unique deco. We reserved a double private chambre (toilet shared with one other room) this time for a decent price. The room was decorated very simply and with vintage touches. A very cozy lounge located at the basement where they serve drinks and food, and you can also just relax and chill if you want to. A Huge kitchen is open for everybody to use provided with some basic ingredients such as salt and pepper and other seasonsings. A cute backyard where they host parties and free barbuecue in different days of the weeks. Staffs are very helpful, nice, and CUTE! Most importantly, it is very clean through out the entire hostel. Though price is adjusted by seasons, I think the quality of this hostel is WAY beyond a low cost hotel probably in any season. I always think that “better no design than wrong design.” Some cheap hotels or vacation rentals just make you MAD for the kind of interior they put up, trying to put as much crap as possible try looking “luxury,” “modern” or other hotel like discriptions. Quality hostel can really surprise you sometimes with their friendness and unique design.
It was a pleasant journey in Prauge after all. However it is a little off from what both of us were imagining before we saw the city. Aparently we both have very different images of Prague in our head before the visits, but we both touched on the point where we imagined Prauge to be old and untouched everywhere. It was beautiful but it wasn’t as “untouched” as I imagined it would be. We would often see people re-painting building facades and sometimes adding on details. Of cause most of the major historical sites were kept as original as possible, but I cannot help going around wondering how clean and new a lot of the seem to be historical looking building facades were kept. I cannot really tell whether its a good thing or bad thing the way people going around “keeping the building nice and clean,” but I personally would like to see the unpainted version of the buildings, because after all, this is what we are here for, the originality of culture and architecture. The sad part of it is Prauge IS slowly turning very touristy. Like in the old town square, though architectures were beautiful, it is obvious that restaraunts and cafes are mainly doing tourism business, so they don’t care about their food quality. To me it’s almost impossible to find a good restuarant that does not serve tourist food in the square. Shops are almost all souvenir style and none really represent the local culture of Prauge. Within the entire historical district of Prauge, you can easitly witness that everything is tourist oriented. I really hope that the original charm of Prauge will not be lost within all this bullshit tourism cosumer culture. Otherwise it will just be terribly sad and once again proving this idiotic human “ability” to distroy something exceptional that we had once built.