All I kept saying for the 48 hours I spent in Prague was, “This place is magical. It’s like a real-life Disney movie.” And everywhere I walked, I looked up and wanted to take pictures of each building. (And practically did.)
Writing this from equally-but-different-kind-of-magical New Zealand, I’m having a hard time not getting all nostalgic and hearing European music play in my head as I envision strolling down those cobblestone streets–this time, not hungover from drinking like it was 1999, though. (We’ll get to that story.)
The first night I spent in Prague involved a guided walking tour, strolling over the Charles Bridge and enjoying all the street musicians and art for sale (and eyeing up a picture of the John Lennon wall I planned to come back for). And then dinner’s where everything started getting crazy…
In the basement seating area of a Czech restaurant, I recall being served tons of bread, lots of amazing Bohemian stew, and what’s simultaneously more vivid and less vivid is the fact that there was no limit on alcohol with our meal. I should mention that for a month, I was traveling with solely Australians and New Zealanders, who all like to drink as much as my fellow Wisconsinites. With alcohol not included with most of our meals, this news was very welcome. And so, I unclassily began chugging wine in-between rounds of bread and stew, to happily welcome unlimited refills.
What came next, I have no photographic evidence of, but at the end of dinner, the phrase, “flaming absinthe shots” came up. So, naturally, when in Prague… you take the opportunity to try a green liquid intoxicant on fire. (Sorry, Mom.) Fast forward from dinner to more wandering around insanely crowded cobblestone streets, some bar hopping, and then ending up at a five-story dance club. Aaaaaand fast forward even more through all the what-happens-in-Prague-stays-in-Prague stories to: being led home in the middle of the night by your 22-year-old navigationally skilled friend and waking up to the 3rd worst hangover of your life.
Hangover or no hangover, I am stubborn AF and was determined to not miss out on a day exploring Prague. Even though my baby-steps style of walking to avoid the contents of my stomach slushing around was nooot pretty. TMI. Sorry. I pushed on through the heat trekking around with Dee to our ultimate destination: a castle on top of a hill to look out over the city. After being amazed by the view (and seeing this procession of nice-looking, not-hungover people), I was so, so stoked to get to the John Leonnon wall and take a bajillion pictures of its perpetually repainted sections.
As luck would have it, the day of wandering led to an afternoon downpour—like, completely, utterly drenched through every inch of clothing. Just in time to get back to the hostel and quickly change for…*drumroll please*…a pre-paid beer tasting. I’m making all the horrified emoji faces as we speak, reliving the juxtaposition of the THE worst hangover (Ok, 3rd worst…a couple 20-something birthdays definitely ranked higher—er, worst) and tasting THE best beers in the world. Why, cruel world, why… (Okay, I know it was my own damn fault.) I’ll keep this rant short, but I dream of the magical beers I tasted in Prague every single time I’m craving a good wheat beer in New Zealand.) But hey, the ice cream in NZ tastes like the best in the world, so at least there’s that. 🍦
Prague was so great, and I hope to go back to visit (under less ill circumstances). And here’s a fun fact to end on: during this trip, Prague was in the Czech Republic; now, over a year later, the country has changed its name to Czechia. 🇨🇿