Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting before I visited Prague. The last time I was in Europe, was when I was a little kid, and I was well-tucked under the wings of my parents.
This time around, I went to Europe as an adult. A working adult, expected to make my own decisions and navigate my own way.
When I got off the plane, I started to get nervous. Here I was in a new city, in a different county, on a different continent; I was across the damn ocean!
But wait, let me back up a second. I flew in on Air Canada, and somehow was upgraded to what they call ‘Premium Rogue’ which is pretty much first class. Have you ever flown first class?! It’s seriously a whole new world.
Fun side note, I am currently writing this on a Delta flight, sitting directly next to the bathroom. Quite the fall from grace!
When you fly first class you get treats like sleep masks, ear plugs, and headphones and you get an amazing meal. And you get it served to you with wine and bread. I didn’t take a picture of the meal on the way, but I did on the way back, and brace yourself, this is not your 90’s airplane meal.
They also served orange juice with mint in it, super swanky.
So let’s fast forward back to Prague. When I stepped out of the airport onto my first Prague sidewalk, I didn’t know what to do. Usually I’ll rent a car and be on my merry way, but in Prague a North American drivers license is as useless as…I don’t know, something that can’t be used as intended. You can only drive a car in Prague if you have a European drivers license.
Because I didn’t know what to do, I just walked straight across the street, looked at the busses and the people getting into cars, and walked back to the airport. I’ll admit I was hesitant to ask someone what to do because, even though everything I read said that most people in Prague speak English, I didn’t want to assume. And then I didn’t want to be caught in a situation where I was expecting someone to speak English and they didn’t. Hashtag ugly American, you know?
I went back into the airport and tried to get a bus pass, but the machine didn’t like any of my credit cards, so I walked back out onto the sidewalk and saw a line of taxis. So I took a deep breath, and talked myself up, ‘woman up, girlie, you’re a well seasoned traveler, an independent woman, you can navigate this!’ I tried to get into the first taxi I saw with a woman driver, and she pointed up to the car ahead of her. Then I went to the car ahead of her and that driver pointed out to the car in front of him. Finally a kind gentleman walked up and said, “taxi?”
“Yes, please!” He walked me to the front of the line, go figure, and asked where I was headed. I showed him the address of my hotel, on my phone, and he assured me that the driver could get me there. The driver walked up and took my bag, put it in his trunk, and I got in the back seat.
Let’s take another quick detour here. I don’t Uber. Or rather, I didn’t Uber, before Prague. My boss asked me why I regularly expense $200 charges for parking at the airport, saying “it’s 2018, why don’t you Uber?”
I told him that my parents taught me not to get into cars with strangers, and he laughed and said ok. Thought in all honesty, I’m not joking! The though of getting into a car with a strange person, and essentially being at their mercy, is terrifying to me. I am a control freak, I need control, like at all times. And riding in an Uber with a stranger is giving up an awful lot of control.
However, in Prague, getting around is next to impossible without public transportation. The ride was perfectly uneventful, and by the time I got to my hotel I was calm.
I checked in without a hitch, and after dropping off my luggage, I got breakfast. I had left New Jersey in the morning and arrived the next day at 7am Prague time. My plan was to get breakfast and have a regular day, this way I’d go to sleep at a regular hour and beat the jet lag. How adorable that thought was.
OK, so I was staying at the Marriott. Have you ever seen bread and cheese like this at a Marriott? This was my first introduction to European food. There is bread and cheese everywhere, and it is so good.
I ordered an omelette with mushrooms, spinach and Swiss cheese, and then when I got up to get coffee they cleared it!
So I got some humble eggs as a back up. But seriously y’all, even the eggs are better in Prague. The eggs, the bread, the cheese, good God. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was able to wander around for about thirty minutes before my body started to give out on me.
I was running on more then 24 hours of no sleep, and I was not going to beat the jet lag by staying awake, so I went back to my hotel to sleep for a few hours.
Three hours of sleep was all it took to make me feel a lot less like chewed up bubble gum stuck to the shoe of a North American tourist.
I met some coworkers in Old Town Square to do some site seeing. Prague is divided into Old Town and New Town. Old Town is home to the Prague Astronomical Clock which is one of the locations on every guide-to-Prague I read. Unfortunately the clock is currently under construction, and we didn’t see more than a shrouded area with the slightest of peaks into the gears. It was as if the clock went to bed, and we had to tip toe around it in order not to wake it. Apparently the clock will be back up and running in October 2018…so close.
I went to Prague, unsure of what to expect. Whenever I told anyone I was going Prague, folks told me how lucky I was, but I didn’t know why. I asked what was so special about Prague, and everyone said that it was just a beaufitul place, especially the architecture. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been excited about architecture and It wasn’t until I saw Prague for myself that I completely understood why everyone I know wants to go, and honestly, I can’t wait to go back!
I absolutely loved Prague, the architecture was so beautiful, the food was so delicious, and the experience so intoxicating. Here’s a few more moments from my trip.
These were taken from the clock tower. Even though the clock was covered for construction, we could still climb to the top of it. And by climb, I mean take an elevator.
Tiramisu for dinner.
I didn’t actually eat this, but I had to take a photo. It’s absolutely absurd! Prague is big on Pork. If you are a fan of port and beer, you will be in your happy place.
These were absolutely amazing. They’re simple roasted almonds, but they tasted somewhat magical.
This is the very same sammich, at the very same spot, that Anthony Bourdain visited in 2010. This sandwich is a fried cheese patty, topped with mayo, on a bun. In all honesty, I was not drunk enough to enjoy this sandwich. Having drank nothing but sparkling water all day, it would take quite a bit to get me drunk enough to enjoy this sandwich. But I’m glad I got to partake in some Bourdain culture.
This is Prague castle. Literally everyone in my group gasped when we saw this up close.
Prague chocolate. Do yourself a favor, and if you are ANYWHERE in Europe, load up on chocolate.
Did I mention the food?
Have you ever been to Prague?