Our series of city trips lead to Prague last friday. At three in the afternoon we arrived at Designhotel Elephant (yep, really), to drop our stuff. We decided to start exploring the capital of The Czech Republic right away.
We walked alongside the river, just meters away from old town, towards the Jewish Cemetery and Jewish Museum. After this impressive sight, we admired the Maisel Synagogue and The Pinkas Synagoge, wondering how such sad artifacts (why did we start our holiday with this again?) can coexist with Dolce&Gabbana and you-name-all-those-brands flagship stores in Josefov, the Jewish district. One could also find Kafka’s birthplace here, but we must have walked past it somehow.
We wandered to Old Town’s square to check out the astronomical clock, stopping at the Charles Bridge (‘since’ 1357), deciding we’d leave that for the next day.
By then hunger was kicking in. Thank glob for Happy Cow and a Loving Hut, only a street away from out hotel! My non-vegetarian friend on his very first Loving Hut experience: “This is what I expected vegan food to be like; a lot of fresh vegetables and rice, tasty, and foremost not greasy.” We had mushroom soup, wonton soup, summer rolls (mmm summer rolls…), kan pao and the vegetable dish. Nom.
Saturday started at the Wenceslas Square, featuring the Wenceslas Monument (a dude on a horse – presumably Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia) and the grand neoclassical Czech National Museum, that has a modern – yet still eastern-European looking – brother, just on the other side of the road.
While wandering towards the Charles Bridge, we were surprised with the amount of shops selling either freaky-looking marionettes or Absynth items. Crossing the bridge, we found ourselves in Malá Strana. After a short stop at Cafe Melvin, we decided to check out the Petrín Tower and Petrín Park. Hiking down Karmelitská we passed the embassies of Italy and Germany, situated in old castles.
Next up was the Franz Kafka Museum, as my travel buddy is somewhat of a fanboy. After a summery pasta at Cafe Cihelna, we spent a hour at the museum and a fair amount of time at the museum shop, picking up two books, two totes and a mug. Carrying all that up to the burrough on the Hradčany hill, using the old castle staircase was quite a workout!
After a refreshing homemade lemonade in one of the tiny authentic shops we made our way to Gopal, another Happy Cow-find. The menu of the day – rice, couscous, carrot curry, salat, apple dumpling – was pretty good. And totally Hare Krishna.
On our detoured way to the hotel we decided to go for a Czech beer at Letná Park, where the cool kids apparently take their skateboards for a ride.
On sunday we spent the few hours before our train left climbing up to a good spot at Letná Park, overseeing the city. I for one, will be back!