I liked Prague a lot. I met some really nice people at my hostel and it was a very relaxing stay, which is just what I needed after being in Berlin during the World Cup. Everyone in Prague walks slow and talks slow and are so nice. In fact, next to Ireland, I think these are some of the nicest people I’ve met.
The directions for the hostel were really crappy so I walked around for an hour trying to find my hostel that was only supposed to be a 5 minute walk from the train station. I walked into a local shoe store and asked somebody (that I thought worked there) for directions. She told me that she didn’t know but she would call information. As she was on the phone with information, a sales gal came out from the back and gave her a pair of shoes to try on…turns out she was a customer. I was pretty embarrassed when that happened and apologized to her. She smiled and assured me that it was no problem and that she was happy to help. When information gave her directions, she left the shoes, told the clerk she’d be right back, and walked me to the door of my hostel (which she graciously admitted was very hard to find). Sometimes I’m still amazed at how far out of their way a person will go to help a tourist.
My first day I walked around the whole city and took some pictures. I found some really cool street markets where they sold artists original art, so I decided to go back the next day and get myself a nice painting or two. I also had to pop into an art store to buy a small portfolio type case so that they wouldn’t get messed up on the rest of my travels.
I also went to Prague Castle, which is has been their seat of government for over 1000 years. It’s also the largest continuous castle complex in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Next to the Castle is the Royal Summer Palace and the Royal Gardens. It was a lot of fun to poke around.
View from the Castle:
I found the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments that I was very excited to go to. According to my guidebook, ‘the collection and highly detailed explanations are sure to nauseate.’ What can I say, I’m a very curious person. They were also supposed to have an exhibit of spiders and scorpions. I stopped by after leaving the Prague Castle to check on the price even though I didn’t have time to look around that day. I talked to the guy at the counter and asked him if the price included both exhibits, to which he responded, “No spiders, just torture.” Unfortunately, they’d closed the spider and scorpion exhibit. (Although, I know my sister is relieved as she’d freak out if I posted spider photos on my blog.) I had planned on going back the next day for the rest of the museum, but I ended up shopping with some girls I’d met at the hostel. At least I’ll always have that catchphrase to remember it by.