The Road Less Traveled in Prague (Part I)

This weekend, I finally got to go to Praha!

Many people think that Prague is just its Old City (Stare Město), but in fact there are a lot of cool outer neighborhoods an easy metro ride away.
Many people think that Prague is just its Old City (Stare Město), but in fact there are a lot of cool outer neighborhoods an easy metro ride away.

I have another orientation there in two weeks, so I wanted to do some of my own exploring beforehand. Prague is a 3.5 hour train ride away, so it’s quite a commitment.

However, when you get to Prague, you can feel pleasantly surprised that the subway (AHEM…metro. This is Europe) is clean and efficient, with a grand total of 3 speedy lines, helpfully color-coded!

A (green), B (yellow), and C (red) lines
A (green), B (yellow), and C (red) lines
Taking the metro to the hostel from the main train station.
Taking the metro to the hostel from the main train station.

I also got to have that exciting experience of taking a picture in any European metro and being so obviously a tourist.

Photo credit to uktravelroom.co.uk
Photo credit to uktravelroom.co.uk

I got to PLUS Prague Hostel in Praha 7 late Friday and decided to stay in and plan my weekend, with the help of some brochures and this amazing Culture-ist guide by Sarah Lambersky.

The hostel was the cheapest around, about $15/night for a room, and clean but I’d recommend it for bigger and louder groups, party types (there’s a bar, pool, sauna…)

When I woke up on Saturday (9/6), I was REALLY ready for breakfast, so I headed over to Muj Šálek Kávy in Karlin (Praha 3). This café may be the only thing to turn me hipster. They serve whole wheat “pancakes” – actually crepes, here – with fruit and creme fraiche, and also fresh juices; I got ginger, but I was feeling too self-conscious for a picture.

msk sign msk restaurant

This experience was so amazing that I repeated it on Sunday morning with my fellow ETA Arica. (That’s her latté and carrot cake on the right.) I ordered an Ethiopian coffee – they do pourovers here – but they had just made a tasting tray of their Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Bolivian offerings, and gave me the extra for the same price as one coffee.

Mango-lime cheesecake and sage lemonade
Mango-lime cheesecake and sage lemonade
My "degustation"/tasting tray.
My “degustation”/tasting tray.

***COFFEE NERD MOMENT*** This was the absolute purest coffee I’ve ever tasted. I could actually isolate all the flavors described on the coffee profile cards. For shame, Brooklyn coffee snobs.

After that, I headed into Praha 1 (the city center) to check out the Museum of Communism (and get an awesome Thai Massage afterwards). Here are some highlights:

Czech women greeting Soviet soldiers after the Nazi liberation.
Czech women greeting Soviet soldiers after the Nazi liberation.
An example of Soviet propaganda in support of the Vietnamese. Racist and upsetting on so many levels!
An example of Soviet propaganda in support of the Vietnamese against American democracy. Racist and upsetting on so many levels!

From there I met Arica and we did some sightseeing and eating.

david cerny

This is a famous (and controversial) sculpture by artist David Černý of St. Wenceslas, the seminal figure in the establishment of the Czech nation, upside down on a dead horse in Lucerna Hall.

Then we had a meal at one of Arica’s favorite restaurants, Lokál. I got a traditional dish, svičkova na smetany, or beef tenderloin in a vegetable cream sauce with bread dumplings- made slightly differently no matter where you get it:

lokal svic

Good job at giving vegetarian options, Czech traditional cuisine...
Good job at giving vegetarian options, Czech traditional cuisine…
We did abysmally at being Czech.
We did abysmally at being Czech.

Yep, that’s a bill just for beer. Czech restaurants actually have very different and effective ways at keeping track of what’s been ordered and who owes what.

Later, we met up with a previous ETA at U Fleku, a brewery-restaurant; then went to the Globe café and bookstore, an expat hangout; and parted at the National Opera Hall, beautifully lit at night.

Globe bar
Globe bar
It was karaoke night!
It was karaoke night!
Opera National Hall
Opera National Hall

Then Arica and I ended the night at this super-cool industrial bar/dance club called Cross Club:

cross club

On Sunday, I was feeling a bit sick, so we kept it low-key, going to Kafka Bookstore in the Old Town Square and a Prague Starbucks. I still got to see a few of the major sites (though not Charles Bridge or any of Prague’s great parks yet):

Streets leading into Old Town Square.
Streets leading into Old Town Square.

old sq1 old sq2 old sq3

Prague's Astronomical Clock (there's also a beautiful one in Olomouc that wins out for me)
Prague’s Astronomical Clock (there’s also a beautiful one in Olomouc that wins out for me)

If you think that clock is cool, CZECH OUT my post about Olomouc.

I am obsessed with these beautiful buildings! Like I said, I’ll be back in Prague shortly for another orientation and will hopefully get to follow up on what I didn’t do this time around. Until then…

prague souvenirs

Categories PragueTags , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Public Room

Mengasah Rasa dan Bahasa

GOOD BLACK NEWS

Your Source For The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World

Expat Panda

A south african teacher's adventures in & out of the global classroom

An Irish Explorer

From China And Beyond: Adventure Of A TEFL Teacher

Unicorn on the road

Let's explore the world together

Sara Dorner

Rockford, Sleep Deprivation, Children and Donuts...

A Scandi Life

A lifestyle blog about all things Scandinavian

The Nordic Light

VAA ERIKSEN PHOTO

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close