With the exception of the disastrous Brexit vote, this summer has been a summer of celebration – Julia and I finally graduated from Warwick, and both of us will be moving to London next month to start our exciting but horrendously low-paying jobs. So, to make the most of our last summer of total freedom, we gathered the Warwick crew together for a long weekend in Prague.
The flight on Friday night gave us our first taste of what to expect when we arrived in the Czech Republic: stag dos. The plane was filled with rowdy guys wearing matching t-shirts and, though hilarious to watch, I don’t quite understand the purpose of a stag do (I mean, you proposed to the woman, it’s not as if she’s the one forcing you to give up your “freedom” and marry her). Anyway, several free gin-and-tonics later, we arrived in Prague, too late to do much other than grab dinner. As there were six of us, we stayed in an apartment block on Wenceslas Square called Picasso Apartments. I would always recommend this style of living if there are more than three or four of you, as you get so much more space than in a hotel room. Our apartment had two double bedrooms and two sofa beds, as well as a kitchen and living area, and it was much cheaper than a hotel room. Of course, it wasn’t overly luxurious, but as students we’re used to basic accommodation.
We woke up early on Saturday morning and joined a four-hour walking tour around the city, to see all the sights, including the astronomical clock, the Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle. The tourist attractions in Prague are all relatively close together. Nothing was more than a half-hour walk from our apartment, and it is the only city I have visited where I haven’t even considered using the public transport. Prague is unlike any other European city I’ve visited – it is immensely touristy, but still remains very cultural. Because the city centre is a UNESCO world heritage site, companies are unable to build skyscrapers and other eyesores, so the landscape is still remarkably rustic for such a popular tourist destination. It is also full of quirky bars, restaurants and cafés, if you dare to stray off the main drag. Julia had heard of a bar called Anonymous (after the hacker group), so on Saturday evening we went to check it out. I have never been to a stranger bar in my life – the staff wore Guy Fawkes masks, and all of the cocktails came with gifts such as postcards and photographs. I tried to be daring and order a secret cocktail, but the bartender bought me a pair of those kaleidoscope glasses that have pictures on the inside and I was too blind to read the secret menu (I’d forgotten my glasses) so had to order off the regular menu instead. Strange, I know.
On Sunday it rained all day, so we spent our time visiting some of Prague’s wackier museums. We started at the Sex Machines Museum, which had some historical examples of sex toys. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the most educational of museums, but possibly one of the most hilarious hours of my life. Next we tried the Ghost Museum, which was disappointing as it was pretty much just some skeletons with ghost stories written on the wall. And finally, we tackled something a little more intelligent and went to the Communist Museum. I hadn’t known much about the Communist rule in the Czech Republic, so it was very interesting to hear about, especially considering it is something so recent within Czech history. I find it so hard to imagine living through the regime, and my heart aches for those who did.
On Monday we had a few hours to kill before our flight. We started the day with the most insane breakfast I have ever eaten (called the “Big Breakfast” – a fry up, followed by a filled croissant, fruit salad, cake, coffee and orange juice for about £6.50), and then headed back to Prague Castle to see the bits we hadn’t seen on the walking tour. Despite being called a castle, Prague Castle is more like a palace and grounds (it is where the Czech President lives). We went into a few exhibitions on armour, into the prison, into the small apartment where Franz Kafka used to live, and inside the beautiful St Vitus Cathedral, before heading back to Wenceslas Square to catch our taxi to the airport. All in all, I think Prague is a beautiful city (if you can steer clear from all the stag dos!), and I would definitely recommend a visit. The two and a half days we had there was enough as there isn’t much else to do, so it is a perfect place for a weekend away with friends.
Anyway, that’s me done for the summer. I have no more plans until Julia and I move into our new house in three weeks time. I’ll try and update when I get there, but as for travel – I am a working woman now and so there will be nothing more until I go back to Connecticut in November to spend another Thanksgiving with Ricky and his family. Thanks for sticking with me this far!