Prague reminded me of a cleaner version of Belgrade. It has that same Communist feel to it, full of culture and rough around the edges. The city relies on its tram network to get around. They are always on time, surprising for vehicles that look ancient. English is not a popular language so it may be difficult to communicate, but it isn’t impossible to find your way around the city.
As most people know, Czech Republic has fantastic beer. My host, Ben, and I went to a pub that sold about 30 micro-brews on tap. They had everything under the sun, it’s really a shame that the same beer isn’t available anywhere in Toronto or in Ontario for that matter. The food on the other hand isn’t as amazing. While it may be cheap, it is bland. We went for dinner at a typical Czech, family-type restaurant close to the apartment, where I ordered a pork filet dish covered in gravy sauce (that resembled jelly), with mashed potato, and bread with a berry sauce on the side. It was interesting, but definitely something I would get sick of very quickly. When it came time to pay. the waiter told us our 10% wasn’t enough, and was forced to give more or less I couldn’t leave. I was extremely offended after that and I still can’t believe it happened. I realized after that the people there are very hung up on money and will do anything to get as much as they can. I would love to say that this was the only rude person I met in Prague, but honestly most people there don’t smile and are not very friendly in general.
The historical centre of Prague is very compact and has a lot to see in a very small area. Right in the middle you can find the Astronomical Clock and Tyn Church, whose towers resemble the ones on the Vecchi castle in Florence only these are more Gothic in appearance. In this square there is also a very large horse and rider statue where you can find tons of tourists taking a rest. On one of my days there I took a trip to the outskirts of Prague to Brenov Monastery which is a Catholic monastery that has its own brewery. I had a pint of some fantastic dark beer before heading out on a walk again through the nearby neighbourhood. I stopped at a little bakery and got some typical Czech appetizer, some sort of pastry with jam. The filo pastry was so soft! I made my way from here up to Prague Castle and it’s cathedral. The guard was changing upon my arrival and it was nice to see a tradition that is performed is so many other countries that still maintain the Royal family and their grounds. The castle is gorgeous, situated up on a hill overlooking the city. The walk is scenic and all downhill from here into another part of the city across the river from the centre of Prague. I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee here before heading home for the evening.
When the time came to leave I took the yellow bus company to Budapest. This bus company has cheap tickets for youth under the age of 25. The bus ride was about 7 hours long with a couple stops along the trip.