It was mid October 2014 when my boyfriend asked me where do I want us to travel that winter. Despite the fact that I had a full month and half to finish school and exams, I was already half-foot in Europe; I bought my plane ticket and I was ready to fly across the ocean, back home to Serbia. So, when he sent me that message, I seriously thought about searching up a time machine on Amazon. So, I asked if Prague sounds okay and we sealed the deal. Yep, just like that. I was beyond excited, people,because Prague was on my bucket list for a while.
We ventured to adventure just after New Years and packed our backpacks with food that could have lasted us at least two-three days, but we ate almost all of it on our 12 hour bus ride. Don’t judge- buses can be really crappy and food makes you happy. Plus, we had a 3 hour delay at the border. Just saying.
A few tips for those who choose the bus as their travel transportation:
1. a PILLOW,
2. a blanket and
3. A LOT of food and snacks.
And this stands for any duration of your travel; Whether it is a 3 hour ride or a 13 hour ride, these are the essentials that will make your life so much easier. Also,
4. charge batteries on your phone(s) to a 100% ( it is not fun when your gadgets die and all you are left with is staring at other bus passengers and judging their every move, because you are bored and people-wathing is somewhat amusing (?) )
5. Wear incredibly comfortable clothes, even if it looks like something you pulled out of trashcan, thinking it is a very cool outfit.
6. The last thing is, if you are in any way similar to my boyfriend and can fall asleep whenever, wherever- SLEEP, because not all of us are that privileged.
7. And if you cannot fall asleep while traveling, get a good sleep the night before, so you are not all cranky and annoying to everyone around you, because you feel tired.
And, I mean, these are pretty much the essentials for any type of traveling, no matter the vehicle or the amount of hours, but buses can be especially exhausting. In general, I dislike them the most.
To continue, we reached our destination (finally) around 4pm the next day and got to a really decent room with comfy bed and more importantly- a shower. After we satisfied our basic human hygiene needs, we were, guess what?
The weather was pretty awful that night. It was half-snowing, half-raining, and there was wind and all that beautiful January moments, but, boy oh boy, did the city make up for it. All I saw was endless streets of golden buildings, exhaling that old European soul out of them. I am not lying when I say that it felt like magic. Despite the fact that it’s all just concrete on concrete, it felt surreal. Like that kind of feeling one gets when seeing the ocean colliding with the sky. I wanted to catch it and keep it in a jar and then go back to it whenever I want. But, all I could do was take pictures and try to inscribe as much as possible into my tiny brain. It kinda sucks-all that time-thingy, you know.
Anyhow, we ate in KFC, because we spent too much time being overly impressed with the city and walked around in circles searching for who knows what,enjoying the smell of unknown freedom, until our stomachs just couldn’t starve anymore.
Tomorrow was even better.
Before I say anything else, I have one thing I NEED you to do- Drop everything right now and go have an incredibly cheep mug of beer and some funny moments in Reggae Bar Lounge on Aneska Street, near the famous Charles Bridge. I promise you the best experience in there, from entering to leaving. You will most definitely meet interesting waiters and their even more friendly guests. It’s just something one needs to do when in Prague.
Prague is one of those cities you could walk over millions of times and still find something new behind some randomly hidden corner.
Especially, food places!!!!!!!
If one word could describe my experience of the city, it would be: circling. And no, I am not joking- we literally circled around endless squares and similar streets, trying to figure out where we are going. Mostly we just walked and walked, until we remembered to remember that we don’t even know where we are going. You walk and walk and BAM, there it is, yet another square. So many squares- just keep that in mind! It will help you if you try and orient yourself around one and then stumble upon another similar one and end up standing there, all confused with life and all its mysterious squares. I mean, I know, we could have used a map or something civilized, but where’s the fun in that?
Now, for the Prague city transportation- All I can say is: APPLAUSE. Seriously, very cheap and very well organized. So, before you worry about the taxi money or having to walk to save money- stop,because, Prague Street Cars got you covered. And you should also know that you can ride with one ticket for days, before anyone comes and checks if you have one. Yay, Prague!
Anyhow, something everyone is probably wondering about is: Where is the best coffee in the Golden city? Well, believe it or not, I have just the right answer for that question. Behind, one or two or three of those mysterious squares, through the tiny passage, turn left and right across the street you should find the not so appealing outside of the famous Chapeau Rouge. Now, what is it? Is it a bar? Is it a club? Is it an underground rave hole? IT’S ALL OF THOSE and also, one crazy, mad wonderland. Despite the outside look- the inside is indescribable, you just have to go and see it. What makes it that much greater is the feeling it gives the city itself. It takes you out of it, but yet makes you love it even more. With all the crazy-feely-emotions going on inside you, while you are in a unfamiliar place for the first time, Chapeau Rouge takes that on another level. It literally takes you to Wonderland. This is what we did- we stumbled upon it on the second day and sat down on the first level, which is the coffee/bar place. Then we had THE MOST AMAZINGLY TASTY COFFEE in the world. No, I am not exaggerating. Okay, maybe a little, but the coffee is great, I swear. We came back the next day for another one and we also came back to the level number two, which is under the bar, and had a pretty weird and awesome night out. Drink absent! ( Even thought I couldn’t handle more than one. Oh, well. In my defence, I had other drinks before it). So, yeah. Again, it’s just something one needs to do when in Prague.
Once you cross the Charles Bridge you are in for an even bigger adventure. What lies on the other side is even more mysterious than all those squares. And let me tell you, I was as surprised as one can get. Endless, tiny, paving stone streets, surrounded by tall and old Romanesque buildings that make you feel like you are a part of an retro movie, where money was not as big of a deal as it has become and people enjoyed living a simple life over this 21st century chaos. Quite liberating. I still keep that feeling in a corner of my heart, just in case I get sucked into this capitalistic world- I know, one does not want to get into that. However, one has to, because once you clear you eyes and blink few times, you realize that all those buildings are turned into souvenir shops and expensive restaurants. It kinda kills the mood, BUT there are still hidden corners you can discover, if you look closely enough. We found ourself on the other side of the bridge late in the night, when only the Moon was shinning above us and some street lamps were trying to guide our way across the paving stone. I wouldn’t exchange the experience for a daytime in a million years. Something about the night gave it that extra power to leave me breathless. We discovered a John Lennon cafe, where we had the best apple-pie and entered the Red Telephone Box to go and pee. Cool, I know! Then, after making a circle again, we faced the Peace and Positive Vibes Wall, where we wanted to come back and leave our mark, but failed to do so ( Khm, I guess we need to go back now). All was well on Charles Bridge on our way back, as an old man decided to treat the crowd with the pleasing wine glass music. As I stood there, listening to this man, while the Golden City lights shined all around me and the wondrous river Vltava coursed under us, I thought how happy I am to be able to be a part of this magical moment and share it with someone very special to me. As J. Cole would rap it “there’s no such thing as life that’s better than yours”.
As Bob Marley, from the graffiti on the Positive Vibes Wall, says
Now, before you decide you are done with sights and Prague, there is one more thing on the list. Yes, the famous astronomical clock and its tower in the Old Town Square. I mean, the name says it all and once you see the following picture which captures the view from the top of it, I bet you will not fail to miss the climb up. And yes, save this for last, because then you get to see all the places you circled around and got lost from the top and realize you were stupid, because it’s not as complicated as it seems and then you laugh and life is great. Yay!
Also, I should probably mention the trip to Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral, because it’s glorious and the view might even be a bit better than the one from the Clock Tower. Might. But, I guess this place is kind of on everyone’s itinerary, because it’s on almost every Prague picture. Nevertheless, it’s crazy cool and contagious, very quick in getting you to daydream about living in such place and eating sweet watermelons, while smiling at the city under you. Yes, but if you do start to dream about that, remember how it would be exhausting to live in such big place and act all fancy and stuff and you know, just live in a castle. Who needs that? And there are men dressed in military costumes marching around the place getting payed to be serious and important, when actually they just parade those guns in front of you like its cotton candy and make you wonder why and how can they stay still the whole day and than leave the masks behind and go home to be normal humans. Weird, I know.
For everyone out there reading this post, listen to me very carefully:
YOU NEED TO VISIT PRAGUE!
I can not emphasize enough, with just words, how magical this city is and I am sure anyone who did visit it, would agree with me. Sell your kidney if you have to, it’s that much worth seeing. Well, don’t actually do that, but one possibility is going with a tourist agency, like we did- which have amazing cheap deals for many major European cities. We travelled with Tango Travel agency from Novi Sad, Serbia that hooked us up with an incredibly low price that included transport and a hotel room with breakfast, near city centre.
Don’t look for excuses, just do it! Go book your tour dates. GO VISIT PRAGUE! OR MOVE TO PRAGUE! WHY NOT!?
Oh, I almost forgot- PRAGUE STREET HOT DOGS= I still dream about those!
So, yep, there you go. Thanks for sticking with me to the end. I hope you had a good time reading this. Feel free to leave me comments and positive vibes. Stay tuned for more escapades, you never know where I might end up next.
And remember- venture to adventure,