Back to Prague

Alright, well this weekend was an eventful one. For only being there for one full day (and two half days, Friday and Sunday), it felt like one of the longest trips I’ve taken this year.

I traveled with Mattie, Kranz, and Maya, who I’d traveled in Vienna with, and also Charlie, who’s an engineer.

Anyways, it started off Friday morning, EARLY (as in 6:22 train early), and we got into Prague around noon. We couldn’t check into our Airbnb/hotel yet, so we wandered around the city for a little bit and found a big shopping center, where we ate lunch at a pizzeria called Uno or something like that. It was pretty good, and gluten-free, so Mattie could eat there as well. Something I found out about Prague: there aren’t many gluten-free restaurants, unfortunately; and when there are, they sometimes may contaminate the gluten-free food with gluten (as in bake a gluten-free pizza in the same oven as one that had gluten, so people who can’t have gluten can get sick). So we ended up coming back to Uno a couple of times because it was all safe and sound. But it’s alright, because it wasn’t expensive, and the food was pretty good!

Anyways, after eating, we headed to the Airbnb. We were all pretty exhausted – our bus and train were 6.5 hours, so we promptly took a nap. After the nap, we headed out to get some food, since we were going to do a bar crawl that we were told we ABSOLUTELY had to do later on in the night and we were all pretty hungry as it was. So we ate sausage and bread and loaded up for a long night – however, it wasn’t a lot of food, plus Mattie didn’t have anything to eat (everything has gluten or meat, and she can’t have gluten and doesn’t eat meat), so we ended up being REALLY hungry at the end of the night. But all ends well! You’ll see.

Once the bar crawl came around, at 7:45, it was pretty packed. There were around 50 people from all over the world – we met Germans, Brits, Americans, and more (a lot of people came over to hang out with our little group of Americans, so we called ourselves a collective “Mr. Worldwide” aka Pitbull). Thankfully, it was an organized crawl, so there were guides who kept an eye on everyone to make sure it didn’t get dangerous or anything. So I’m not a fan of bars and ESPECIALLY not a fan of clubs, but having good friends around and being in a supervised environment made it a lot more enjoyable.

That being said, there was a LOT of alcohol. The first bar had an hour of free drinks – those drinks being absinthe (illegal in the US, because of how alcoholic it is and it’s said to be a hallucinogen, but that’s just a myth apparently), vodka (and cranberry juice), and beer. This bar is where we met most of the travellers. They were all super friendly – the group of Brits we met were three girls studying in Manchester, the Americans we met were studying in France (a big group of around 10 people, one of whom went to Cornell!), and some older (as in like 23 years old, so not old, but older than us) German dudes. We got all of their contact information and social media and stuff and we talked for a long while, about school, home, etc. The hour flew by pretty quickly, and off we headed to the next bar.

The second bar was a small little place, but still cool regardless. However, it was really hot and stuffy, so Mattie and I hung out to the sides for a long while. Most of the time we were there actually. Didn’t really do much there, other than a little bit of dancing, but again, it was exhaustingly hot.

The third bar was a pretty cool place – it was all neon and bright blue. We talked to our guide, who was a nice woman from the Midwest. She moved out to Prague to study, and ended up taking the job at a Prague events center/guide thing, where she ended up becoming a guide on the pub crawls, which is organized through a Prague tour group. Anyways, we didn’t stay at this third bar for very long – the fourth club was what was the main attraction.

Now, let me reiterate, I don’t like clubs or bars, or drunk people, or big crowds, or really any of that stuff.

But this place was a ton of fun.

It’s called Karlovy Lázně, and it’s the biggest club in Central Europe. It used to be a bath-house from the 14th Century, and it some original features, like mosaic wall tiling and Roman spa pools which are now dance floors. So what makes it cool?

Thanks Maya!

Well, it has 5 stories, each of which plays a different genre of music – the first floor is “Mainstream,” so like radio music. There was an oxygen bar (vaporized alcohol or something. I don’t really get it, oh well) and it wasn’t very busy. There was also an ice bar, where drinks were served in glasses made of ice! Didn’t go there either. But it seemed like a cool idea!

The second floor was “Dance Music,” so like electro and pop and stuff. The DJ was a robot, and there were laser beams and fog and stuff. It was pretty cool. The dance floor used to be a Roman bath/spa pool, so it was built into the ground. Wild.

Thanks to Charlie for the picture!

The third floor is where we spent most of the night, aside from looking around on the other floors. It was the “Oldies Floor.” It was way more mellow than the other floors, and it played anything from the 50s to the 80s. Unfortunately, as it is a club, people spill their drinks.

A lot. The floor was disgustingly sticky. Gross. Every time you’d step it’d actually be a physical act of pulling your feet off the ground, rather than just walking naturally. Hopefully that makes sense and accurately conveys just how sticky it was.

Despite this, the Oldies floor was my favorite. There weren’t as many drunk creepy people and it was much more relaxed – just lighthearted fun and singing our hearts out to classics. However, there was one creepy older guy who just kept looking over Kranz’s shoulder at her phone. Mattie has a video of it, but I won’t include it here. But just know: it was weird. We all kept an eye on each other though, thankfully, so nothing bad happened.

Thanks Maya!

Anyways, the fourth floor was “Hip Hop/RnB.” This one was definitely the most crowded, by far. It was definitely the most “club” feeling floor out of all of them, which is why I didn’t stay for long. Like stripper, packed dancefloor kind of “club feeling.” But there was a really cool rainbow light set up that looked really futuristic and covered the wall and the ceiling. Wish I had gotten a picture of it, but I hid my phone because I didn’t want to get pickpocketed, so I didn’t take any pictures the entire night. However, Maya got one!

Thanks Maya!

The fifth floor was the “Chill Out” floor. I planned on staying up there for most of the night, but it wasn’t my favorite, so we ended up spending most of the night in the Oldies floor.

Anyways, it was a really fun night, even considering how much I hate bars/clubs. For as worried as I was going into it, it ended up being very worth it. Lots of singing, dancing around, and talking. Great memories (or lack of memories I’m sure for some people), great friends, and overall a great time. Plus, it was cool to meet new people while we were there!

Anyways, I was exhausted and totally ready to leave, and it was almost 3 am (remember, this had started at 7:45), so we STARTED to head out, but Mattie and I ended up getting split with the others when they went to go pick up their coats from coat check, and we ended up finding everyone else at the Dance Music floor so we hung out there for a little bit while the rest of them danced. Eventually though, we did leave, because with our small dinner earlier, we were all pretty hungry.

As much as I hate getting American fast food while in Europe, it was the only thing open, and since we didn’t have much to eat earlier, and we had walked 8 miles/danced some of it, we were all starving. So we picked up some fries for a quick little “dinner substitute” and we headed back to the Airbnb afterwards and all headed to sleep.

In the morning, we woke up and immediately went out to town – thankfully, no one was hungover! We grabbed lunch at Uno again (I had a delicious Schwarzwald ham and garlic gnocchi), then we went to Old Town and the main square, then to Charles Bridge and the John Lennon Wall.

Thanks to Maya for this picture!
I found this from the last time I was there!
This one is from the last time I was in Prague, in October!
The whole group, thanks to Kranz!

After checking out the main touristy areas, we went to this little café that Maya knew of called the Rainbow’s End Café. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall café that’s decorated with colorful rainbow Christmas lights, the walls are all painted in rainbows, and there is colorful art decorating pretty much every surface. There’s an “art garden” in the courtyard outside – there are sculptures and a fountain and colorful lights. The architecture felt a lot like a Hobbit’s house – it was kinda small and arched on the inside, but it was really cozy and a REALLY cool little café. The people that worked there were all very friendly – even when we were walking through the alleyway leading to it, workers popped out of the windows and doors with HUGE smiles and they kept welcoming us and greeting us with the friendliest attitudes – plus they were all wearing rainbow beanies. It was probably the coolest café I’ve ever been to, and the drink I got (which was a peanut butter-chocolate smoothie thing) was also really good. We spent a lot of time at this café, and it was a really entertaining time with good people.

Anyways, afterwards, we wandered around town a little more. We wandered up a hill and stopped in some shops to check out what they were selling, but it was getting dark and everyone’s feet hurt (as we found out later, some of our feet were literally bleeding because of walking so much) so we headed back to the Airbnb for a nap. However, on the way back, we passed a little waterside park thing, which had a cool view of the Charles Bridge, and there were tons of swans, beavers, and ducks – a TON. In this video, you can only see a few – there were HUNDREDS of birds/other animals there. It was pretty crazy.

Thanks to Maya! You can see some more of the swans. I was terrified.
Prague Castle

Once we got back to the Airbnb, the issue that we had was in finding gluten-free restaurants that worked for people who can’t eat gluten (as I mentioned earlier, not all gluten-free restaurants are safe for people who can’t eat gluten because of contamination). That, combined with the fact that feet were bleeding and it hurt to walk since we walked so many miles, meant that we ended up ordering pizza in from a place we knew was safe. We hung out in our Airbnb and spent the night eating, playing cards/games, talking, and listening to music. It was a lot of fun – yet another good night spent with wonderful people.

Kranz and I having a “whip off,” part 1 (thanks to Maya!)
Part 2, thanks to Maya!

So the next morning, we woke up early because Charlie wanted to go to Mass at the church on top of the Prague Castle. However, he left earlier than us, so we checked out of the Airbnb and wandered around the city, then met up with him when Mass was over at the Prague Mall. We then all wandered around town, back through the Old Town Square, across the Charles Bridge, and then up to the Prague Castle. On the way, we saw a man walking wolves! Wolf dogs? Wolfdogs? It was pretty cool!

Thanks to Maya!

The walk around town and up the hill was pretty unfortunate – there was a lot of snow, black ice, and slush, so everyone’s feet were cold and soaked, and there was a lot of slipping around on ice. However, we made it safe and sound to the top!

We saw this on the walk over, thanks Maya!

We even got to see a changing of the guards!

Anyways, we also stopped in a café for a little while, only to warm up, and we headed back down on the other side of the castle. Funny enough, I ended up being at Prague Castle at exactly the same time as one of my old coworkers, but we didn’t bump into each other and I only found out afterwards. Anyways, we ended up stopping for a bite to eat, where I got a spicy beef and cheese panini. From there, we sped-walked/tried not to slip on the way back to the Airbnb. We pretty much immediately picked up our stuff and headed to the train station to catch our bus. The bus was pretty smooth, but someone got stuck(? Trapped? Potentially no one was in there at all?) in the bathroom for like an hour, so no one could use it, but someone kept knocking loudly to try to wake up/alert whoever was inside (if anyone was even in there), but no response. Don’t know what happened. Oh well.

Anyways, we ended up getting back to Salzburg an hour early because our bus went faster than expected, which was pretty nice.

And that’s about it for our trip to Prague. A great time with great people. And a gorgeous city.

So what’s coming up in the future? Well, I’ve said Slovenia for the past like 3 or so posts, but hopefully this time will work out? I’m not sure. But I really want to get out there. Then, as I’ve mentioned, we have spring tour to Italy and Greece. I’m pretty pumped.

Well that’s all for now.

The song is “V” by Pinegrove!

S láskou z Prahy/Mit Liebe aus Prag/With love from Prague,

Cal

PHRASES:

Prosím = Bitte = Please

SONG:

“Freakin’ Out on the Interstate” by Briston Maroney. It was on our road trip to Slovakia playlist, and I loved it.

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