Week 2: Praha

Ciao Ciao,

Reporting to you live from my slightly comfortable bed in Firenze on this wonderfully rainy Monday evening. I’m sure you are all very anxious to read about my travels to the Czech Republic. Lets just start off by saying how grateful I am that I chose to study in Florence. I never thought I would be so relieved to come back to Italy, but after 4 train rides totaling almost 5 hours and 2 flights on Czech Airlines, I guess it makes sense. Takeaway #1: In the future I will be flying out of the Florence airport because Milan and Rome are not as close as they seem. Even though a lot of time was spent getting from place to place, I am very thankful that I have travelled alone so often back and forth to Michigan because it really has prepared me for traveling confidently and comfortably.

In other news, we arrived in Prague Thursday evening and I was pleasantly surprised with my hostel. However, even though I was impressed with the cleanliness I still used my sleep sack and microfiber towel because bed bugs are a legitimate fear – to the point that my roommate claims I slept-talked about bed bugs. She also claims that I also shouted in my sleep “I feel so successful, I booked my appointment!” There’s no significance to sharing that, I just thought it was funny and so me.

Anyways, Friday marked our first full day and we started with a tasty brunch at Bakeshop followed by a walk to the Old Town Square, where we took photos and climbed the astronomical clock tower. In case you are wondering, I made it to the top without the elevator OR my inhaler. Rock on. After we climbed the tower we walked over to the Charles Bridge for another photo op, and then found ourselves at the Lennon Wall, which was definitely underwhelming at first. Once I really got to look at it, though, it became much more interesting to me and the smaller-than-expected size didn’t bother me anymore. My friends and I took a few basic pictures (see above for a solo photo shoot photo), and then it began to rain so we walked back over the bridge. There, we got “Trdelnik,” which is basically a cinnamon thing lined with chocolate that is the shape of a giant piece of rigatoni (you can clearly guess where my head’s at right now). It was really great even though it was slightly nauseating because it was so sweet. Don’t be fooled, however, because the food went downhill from here. After a quick nap and a little Netflix viewing on my phone, we went to a vegetarian restaurant called Radost for dinner. Being a veggie myself, I was super excited to order what I thought was going to be sautéed veggies over mashed potatoes, but ended up being veggies drowned in cream sauce over enough mashed potatoes to feed a small country. It wasn’t horrible, but it was not what I expected and was definitely not nearly as awesome as the food I’d been eating the past 2 weeks here in Italy. Friday night we went out to Lucerna, which is actually an unreal club. They play 80s and 90s music, and it was so much fun/overwhelming seeing every single person I’ve ever met in my entire life in one place.

Moving on to Saturday, after getting past our initial exhaustion, we ate a pretty solid brunch at Globe Café and then stopped off in the Jewish quarter, which we briefly got to explore despite the area being pretty quiet because it was Shabbat. We then started walking to the Prague Castle. After quite the strenuous climb, we arrived at the top where there was awesome views and a really beautiful palace/cathedral (guilty that in Europe I have a hard time telling the difference). We took more photos, of course, and then on the way down we stopped at the Toy Museum. It was very small, however the second floor of the museum celebrated 50 years of Barbie (even though the poster that said “Happy 50th Barbie! was printed in 2009). I’ve never seen more Barbies in my life, and they had Barbie versions of everyone from Sandy to Yoda to a pregnant Barbie whose stomach could be removed to find a baby inside, because that’s totally how it works! All in all, the castle and museum were both pretty cool places and I got corn on the cob on the way down, so I can’t complain. Once again we all went back to the hotel for a snack and an afternoon nap, and then we went out to dinner for the worst sushi of my life, where I was fortunate enough to be the kosher vegetarian girl who found shrimp in her miso soup. They also apparently serve Edamame frozen in Prague, even though the menu clearly said “Boild,” but I guess it’s my bad for expecting much with spelling like that. On the way home we stopped at a weird convenient store that sold everything from winter hats to swords (not kidding) to chocolate bars and then went out, only to give up waiting on the line and come back home to sleep. Speaking of sleep, as I sit here in bed coughing like a barking dog and wishing I had a nebulizer, I’ve learned my lesson that a human being such as myself cannot sustain partying 4 nights a week. You’re welcome mommy.

Overall, there were many ups and downs in Prague and I’m grateful I had the experience of traveling to the Czech Republic to see the beautiful and historic city. I am also appreciative of how much leaving Florence made me appreciate it here, and how it really is true that it does feel like the closest thing you can get to a home away from home.

Check back in next week for updates on my upcoming weekend trip. Next stop: Switzerland. I’m expecting to have some awesome Swiss cheese, chocolate, and great skiing, but after my sushi experience in Prague I think I’m better off going in to future trips without expectations. Bye for now, and hope you liked my blog enough to get this far.





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