We went on a vacation to Prague!
Emily hopped on the train from Germany, where she was for work, and Olivia took on a plane from France, where she was visiting family. Neither of us had been to Central Europe before this trip, so we were very excited to explore Prague.
We spent a lot of time in the Ambiente restaurants — Lokal and Cafe Savoy were two of our favorites, and were recommended to us over and over again. The first day we were there we went for a long walk and ended up at the Kampa Museum, which was a fantastic mix of modern art. We discovered some Czech art that we had never seen before!
The next day, we walked up to Prague Castle after lunch here, but there was a lot of activity going on throughout the city — it was the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Suddenly, a HUGE mob of people chanting and marching down the main roads of the city passed us along the river! There were hundreds of people, from families with little kids to rowdy, gothy teenagers, to older people holding hands. We had no idea what was uniting the group, but we could tell they weren’t happy about something. Naturally, we got distracted from the castle and took a detour.
After a while, we resumed our original quest to the castle, only to find that the tower was one of the only buildings still open for the day. We climbed up the spire, wanting to get at least a bit of culture for the day. The views from the top were incredible … but then the protest started storming the castle!
We certainly got some culture. A friendly Czech person explained that people were angry at the Czech president and wanted to make a point of it on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. It was amazing to see such a huge group of people gathered together for a common cause — even if it did feel a bit out of Game of Thrones for us to be viewing it all from the room at the top of the highest tower.
We went for a walk and found a jazz band playing in a square, wandered through the fancier shopping area of town, and peeked into the Old Jewish Cemetery. We settled in for some beers and had an early dinner at one of our favorite places, a tiny, literary themed Irish Pub with delicious Indian and Thai curries. Yum!
We knew we wanted to take a day trip, since we had a whole week, and we had trouble deciding between Pilzn and Sedlec. After four days of gorging ourselves on (delicious) Pilsner Urquell that really was cheaper than water, we decided to hold off on the Pilzn breweries and to go to Sedlec to see the Sedlec Ossuary instead.
On the foggiest day of our trip, we walked to the train station from our apartment. We tried navigating the all-Czech train station by ourselves, but with no sense of the end-destination of our train, we ended up missing ours. We had to ask for help and explain where we were trying to go to a ticket salesman who spoke no English, and waited an hour for the next one. This ended up being just fine — we got coffees and found a random health food store with goat milk yogurt, so we loaded up on some delicious snacks for the train!
We went to the Bone Church, a tiny little chapel covered in garlands and other decorations made out of bones! It was a great thing to do on a rainy, creepy day. We had never seen anything like it!
After walking through a few more churches, we wandered through the town and had lunch at a great restaurant called Pivnice Dacicky, which looks kind of tacky from the website but was actually one of the best restaurants of the trip. It felt very medieval, with beer served in metal steins. Olivia had goose, and I had Svíčková, which is beef with root vegetables and whipped cream on top! It sounds crazy, but it’s amazing.
The last few days of our trip, we felt like we wanted to see more of the city, so we wandered down the river and hung out with some pretty swans. Then we wove our way through the city and out of the center of town. On our long walks, we discovered the wonderful paper and design store Papelote, and a few other great shops. We ended up at the cutest wine bar ever.
Our last night, we went to the Meet Factory to see the Tuneyards play. It wasn’t exactly the most local crowd — we ended up hanging out with some other people from Brooklyn — but it was great fun, and lots of dancing (and more beer)! We rode back into town with our new friends, and then headed to one of those famous, giant central european dance clubs to end the trip with a bang.