Czech-ing Out Praha

By Blonde Bowhemian - November 29, 2015

Last Thursday, after having returned from Copenhagen less than four days before, I set off to Prague to see Anna once again! After an incredibly turbulent flight and me freaking myself out more than necessary (is anyone surprised...), I was in Prague, realizing I had finally met my match. 

I like to think of myself as someone who has an innate sense of direction, something I think most of my friends would agree with. But omg, staring at the signs in the airport with shockingly small amounts of vowels and unknown accents I didn't even know existed made me realize I was about to embark on my hardest directional challenge to date. How was I supposed to know what Českomoravská or Mládežnická means?! Like, I'm sorry, those are just not things in my life. And, I can't say my skills really improved throughout the weekend, so I'm gonna have to take a loss on that trip and thank Anna for showing my lost-puppy-self around. Ya win some ya lose some, right?

I eventually found my way to the exit by following people who looked like they knew what they were doing, to find Ans waiting there for me! After a bus, a couple metro rides, and a quick stop at the grocery store, we were at her homestay, which, surprisingly, is somewhat in the 'burbs of Prague. Tbh I think I saw my first backyard in three months. 

We settled in, I attacked her homestay family's dog with love, and even became friendly with the cats #thatswhenyouknow. We were supposed to meet up with her host mom and brother to go to the Hunger Games at what we thought was 8:00, but was actually 6:00 (18:00 military time), so needless to say after we (aka Anna) cooked a delicious meal for ourselves, we were waiting around for a while quite confused until they finally returned from the movie...whoops #americanproblems.

Being our usual wild selves, we were in bed by 10:30pm the first night and then up and ready to go by 10am the next day. We metro'd into the center of the city and Anna showed me the main shopping street (she knows me too well) where I couldn't resist popping into a few places (but I didn't buy anything!! even I'm impressed). Then we worked our way to Old Town Square, an adorable Disney-like square full of pastel-colored buildings, churches, and statues. We watched the astronomical clock strike 11:00, a somewhat uneventful thing but still cool.
Disney or Prague?
slightly underwhelming
xmas came early
SEGWAYS. EVERYWHERE.
Afterwards, we walked in circles for a while, got kinda lost, and then found ourselves back in the center and worked our way towards one of Anna's favorite places for lunch. Let me tell you, if this girl knows anything it's where to eat. She managed to find every amazing place in a city not known for its food at all. Needless to say lunch was bomb. She brought me to this adorable little café set in a Pottery Barn-like store and I had an amazing omelet and salad for the equivalent of FIVE DOLLARS. It could've been the worst omelet in the world and I still would've loved it just because of the price. That's the other thing about Prague - it's so cheap. Like it's hard to spend money, and trust me I'm really really good at that.
the price made it that much better
The rain wasn't really inspiring us to look around much more, so we returned home for a bit and began to plan our next trip together, to Amsterdam and London(!!), cringing at how we are def not gonna find 5 dollar omelets in London. Luckily, to distract us from our fears of empty bank accounts, some extended family of Anna's host family came over to hang out, including the most adorable little one year old girl (side note: why are European children so much cuter than American ones? I pretty much always hate children, but not here...). We chatted with them while I continued my efforts to find a reasonable accommodation in London, before giving in and upping our budget.

Later, we (Anna) cooked an amazing butternut squash soup that was basically the ideal winter meal and I'd be happy to eat it for the rest of the season. I decided then and there that Anna and I should be roommates once out of college so I can live with a chef...sound good??
so. good.
Later that night, we met up with some of her friends from school and some of their friends at this crazy underground bar thing that was so smoky I probably inhaled the equivalent of half a pack of cigarettes so that's cool. Then we went to this other bizarre but cool bar where there were rumors of there being a giant Irish Wolfhound. It was so so packed and also underground and we ended up sitting on this weird couch thing overhanging a sitting area, kinda like a bunk bed. Let's just say that wasn't the best idea for a bar and one of us (I won't name names) took quite the spill. But, we did find the Irish Wolfhound, aka horse, and he did not disappoint. Then we made our way to one of their favorite clubs. How to describe it... It was basically a mix of American frat stars abroad (saw a Bucknell kid lol) and creepy 50 year old Czech men all dancing to hits from the 80s and getting way too close to 20 year old girls #NOTHANKYOU. Essentially the weirdest thing I've seen in my time abroad and I did not have enough liquid courage in me to accept the situation so I just kind of looked around like "Where am I....." Anna described that club/night as wild and crazy and although it wasn't much by Bucknell standards (#4 party school, right mom?!) it was definitely wild and crazy in a different sense. We didn't last long there before heading home via a 15 minute but only $4 Uber ride - ugh I love Prague.
the things this poor dog has seen
We started out the next morning (at 12:30) at the area by Anna's school, meeting her friend Kara, who Anna had said I would like a lot because she said we're very similar and let's just say I'm flattered because Kara was actually funny and cool - things I like to pretend I am. We began by grabbing coffee at an adorable coffee and gelato shop (and fulfilling my need to find every cute coffee shop in Europe), hitting up a farmer's market on the water, hiking/wheezing our way up to some old church/the location of their school, taking in the view, and working our way back down and along the water to a salad place equivalent of Sweet Green. OH MY GOD. It was heaven sent. I made my own salad with avocado and chicken and pesto and other amazing things I haven't had in way too long. Like, it's sad how happy that salad made me, but at the same time I have no shame. French people put pasta in their salads (criminal, if you ask me) so like I almost cried of happiness at being able to make my own with all my favorite things. Ugh, it's the little things in life. Definitely not typical Czech food but apparently even Czech people don't like Czech food so I'm gonna say I didn't miss much.
pintrest-worthy inspiration for when I open my own café 
farmer's market

some church #historybuff 
frands
so colorful so happy
the best sight in Prague
Afterwards, Kara left us and we continued on across the Charles Bridge, and over to the Lennon Wall, the number one thing I wanted to see in Prague. It was so so cool and there were so many sentiments written about Paris, as well as tons of candles laid out in front the French embassy across the street, which was heartwarming to see. There was also a man singing Beatles' songs, which made the whole experience that much better. We got some pics and then, after asking a nice Asian man to take a picture of us, his friend just jumped in the picture and made us take like a mini photoshoot with him. Not to mention that these pictures were being taken on his phone. So maybe Anna and I are famous now in Asia? I guess our pale skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes really looked exotic to them, you know, as usual... We laughed it off and continued our hike up to Prague Castle, taking in the sunset at FOUR pm, and looking at the castle a bit before my Paris-induced nerves and Janet's warning to avoid crowded places got the best of me and I made us leave.
bridge views
pre-photoshoot 
Prague <3 Paris 
can't beat it
like 1/10th of the castle
Afterwards, we worked our way back to Old Town and Anna took me to her favorite coffee shop, whose ginger tea, gluten-free (!!!!!) muffin, and minimalist chic atmosphere did not disappoint. We hung out for a bit, then worked our way through some more stores before heading to dinner at Anna's favorite tiny vegan restaurant where we enjoyed rosé, and three dishes each for about $10 each, if that. So. Good. Then we went back home, fit in a much needed FaceTime with my parents AND SAWYER!! who I can't FaceTime back in France due to bad wifi (#salty), and then went off to bed.
pintrest-worthy inspo round two
 bliss
round one
round two
round three
:) :)
true love
The next morning, in a fitting manner, we spent our last time together in Prague eating at yet another amazing restaurant. Anna brought me to an adorable brunch place where I gorged myself on mimosas, gluten-free pancakes, and a latte. The fact that "gluten-free"exists in Prague was enough to make me want to stay forever. We hung out there for a while, then she brought me to the bus stop for the airport where we said our goodbyes, but also "see you soon!" At the airport I managed to walk in circles a few times before finding security but eventually made it onto my flight, then my train, and found myself happily in bed later that night. Can't wait to see you next weekend, Ans, and thanks for showing my perpetually lost self around Prague! (And thanks to your host fam for hosting my broke self!)
imu
alcohol and caffeine, my body loves me
see ya soooon
À bientôt!

Joanna






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