Prague, Czech Republic
We took an overnight train from Budapest into Prague which was a unique and fun experience! Our cabin had a bunk bed, water bottles, outlets, and even a sink. It was amazing being able to lay down and sleep away the time. We were woken up by the car attendant at 6am with hot coffee and croissants before arriving in Prague! It was definitely worth a little extra money to have a sleeper car and not just a regular seat for such a long and overnight train ride. We hopped off at the Prague central station and began exploring the next city.
We weren't able to check in to our Airbnb until 1pm so we locked our bags in lockers at the train station and left to walk around the area. It was still only about 7:30am by the time we were walking around. It was a weekday so we figured people would be off to work and things would be open, especially coffee shops and cafes. I guess they don't start their days until quite a bit later because nothing was open!
The only place we could find was a McDonalds McCafe. I was impressed by how nice and clean and not McDonald's-y this little cafe was! We stayed here for a while because we got free wifi and good cappuccinos.
We finally decided to get up and explore some more. It was crazy how many more people were up and out just a few hours later.
When we first arrived we passed a big stack of painted bricks. There were bricks from all over the world and all different languages. We even spotted a Colorado flag brick! You could paint one for €6 and all the proceeds went to a local charity for disabled children. After getting our coffee and wifi, we still had some time to pass. We didn't want to go too far exploring because we still had to go back to the train station to get our bags. So we decided to paint a brick.
By the time we were done painting, it was almost time to check in so we picked up our bags and walked towards our Airbnb.
The host Vincent had his assistant Lindsey check us in and show us around. We talked to her a bit and found out that her family is from Pueblo and she went to CSU. She ended up in Prague because she had always wanted to move to Europe so came here to teach English 3 years ago. She was very nice and the apartment was nice and clean!
As usual, we took a little nap before dinner. We found an outdoor cafe for dinner just a few blocks from Old Town Square.
Afterwards, we walked around and ended up on Charles Bridge. We watched a group of performers playing music for a little while. A big group of English boys came over and started singing along to all the songs. I think they attracted a lot of the crowd to the performers because they were so much fun to watch singing and dancing, and butchering most of the lyrics.
We ended the night with banana and Nutella crepes in Old Town Square.
Both of us have had several friends study abroad so we've gotten lots of recommendations of things to do and places to eat, drink, and visit for every city we've visited. We got recommendations for Prague from our friends Tucker, Haley, and Lindsey.
We started our morning at a place called Bakeshop that Haley recommended. We didn't make it before 8am, but if you go before then you can get fresh warm croissants. Their cappuccinos were really great too!
Our first stop was the John Lennon wall. We were surprised when it was in a quiet secluded little area and wasn't as big as we thought it was. There was a street performer playing guitar and singing and I told Luke he would make a lot more money if he started playing Beatles songs!
We walked up and down the wall a bunch, each time noticing something new.
Finally, the performer started playing Beatles songs!! I was so happy. I could've stayed at the wall all day long if I had Beatles music to listen to. I teared up at least 4 times while at the wall just because I loved it and the Beatles so much. I rarely give street performers money but I gave this guy €2 because he made my experience at the wall so much better than it would have been without the music. We both wrote on the wall to leave our little mark on Prague.
Shortly after I wrote on it, the performer played "Here Comes the Sun". Commence tears again. I could've died happy right then. I went back and gave the guy another €1.
His sign in his guitar case made me smile too so I felt I contributed to a good cause.
A girl asked me a to a picture of her and her friends so we started chatting with them. Turned out that the girl was from Denver too! She had just graduated from CU in 2014 and was in Prague for work. I have a PopSocket on the back of my phone and most people who have taken pictures for us have been really confused by it. She's been the only one who knew what it was since the company is Boulder based. Visit PopSockets.com if you don't know what they are!
We finally left the wall and made our way to a John Lennon Pub just a block over.
We sat and had a beer while listening to some more Beatles music before heading uphill to the Prague Castle. There was even a Starbucks at the top of the hill right by the castle.
Both Lindsey and Tucker said we had to go get a beer at Letna park overlooking the city.
Haley recommended Fenix beer and said it was like the Czech version of Blue Moon.
We went and had dinner in Old Town Square and ended up sitting next to an Australian couple. On the other side of them was a couple from New Jersey. The couple from New Jersey was trying to take a picture with a selfie stick and we all were in the background so they woman told us all to just get in the photo and smile. After a few attempts, we all made it in the picture!
We talked to the Australian couple a lot. They were on a retirement trip and had been going around Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, and a few other places for the past 6 weeks. We joked about how every city had THE clock tower, THE square, THE castle, and THE church/cathedral that you just HAD to see and how they all started to blur together and look the same. After they finished a bottle of wine, they called us darlings and wished us well in life and on the rest of our trip. We wrapped up a great dinner and headed home.
Since we didn't make it out the night before with Elizabeth, we really wanted to go out tonight. Haley, Tucker, and Elizabeth had all recommended several bars and clubs so we did a little Googling to decide where to go. We ended up at a place Haley told me about called Chapeau Rouge since it was pretty close to our apartment. It just have been Latin music night on the first floor of the club because the music was almost all Spanish and several Pitbull songs made appearances. There's one Spanish song that we've heard so many times all trip but I haven't been able to figure out what it's called! It's so catchy and gets stuck in my head so I need to figure it out soon!
We got up and packed up our backpacks and made the walk through town to the train station. We had time to get some quick coffee and a muffin before jumping on the train to Berlin!
When booking trains in Europe you have the option to buy either just a ticket, or a ticket and a reservation. It took me a while to understand the difference. A ticket is like a general admission pass to the train - you can get on the train but don't have a seat. You can sit in any open seat but if that seat is assigned to anyone for any portion of that train route, you have to move and find a new place. Reservations reserve specific seat numbers in specific train cars for you so that you don't have to move. Some trains don't have the option to make a reservation, but when given the option I'd definitely recommend doing it!