Eleea’s Journal: Prague

Eleea Navarro

By Eleea Navarro
17 Dec 2018

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Prague was always described to me as a romantic city, almost like Paris’ Eastern sibling, contesting it for title of the ‘City of Love’. With its medieval architecture and skyline full of terracotta roofs, it’s hard not to fall for this beautiful place. Whether you’re walking hand in hand with your lover, having a laugh with a new friend you’ve met, or having a quiet moment by yourself, enjoy wandering the streets, taking in the sweeping views and feeling like you’ve been transported to another time.

Rain, Treats, And The People You Meet…

Once we’d settled into Plus Prague, the squad and a few friends we’d met on the bus headed for one of the best viewpoints of the city – The Metronome. You can choose to sit on the main viewpoint, with power lines adorned with shoes dangling above you. Alternatively, there’s a great beer garden (Letná Zahradní), where we sat and watched the sun go down. After sunset, we wandered into the OldTown Square to see the beautiful gothic church lit up at night. Although we didn’t have the weather on our side the next day, Faith and I went out to explore this stunning city. On our way, we picked up a trdelnik, a dessert made of rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, grilled and covered traditionally covered in sugar.

As we sheltered from the rain to eat our treats, we started chatting to an eccentric older American lady who grew up in Czechia until she was five, when her family fled to the United States so that their lifestyle and safety wouldn’t be further affected by communism and the Soviet military presence in Prague. After WWII, Czechoslovakia became a communist country, as the Soviets had liberated them during the war. She remembers the threats and fear associated with the communist coup and it was really interesting to hear the personal effects that a situation like that can have on a young child. Growing up in anything other than a safe, democratic society is so foreign for most Australians in my age bracket, so I really appreciated her sharing her story, and it was a great reminder to talk to strangers as often as possible during my travels.

Enjoying Prague’s Highlights

Faith and I continued on our way and visited the graffiti ridden John Lennon wall; the quirky John Lennon Pub; across the 14th century Charles Bridge, and back to the Old Town Square to start our Sandemans beer tasting. Considering Czechia drinks more beer than any other country in the world (per capita), you can consider a beer tasting a cultural exercise, as well as a fun night out. From your standard Pilsners, to higher quality Trappist beers, you’ll be saying “Na zradví” (cheers) all night long! In fact, we ended up finishing the night off in Karlovy lázně (200 Czech crown entry), the epic five story club with floors dedicated to different music genres, and an ice bar underneath it.

Considering we were up anyway, we went to the Prague Castle for sunrise, then retired back to Plus Prague for a morning of relaxation. Later that day, we went to one of the many rooftop terraces, where you can have dinner or a coffee and be treated with incredible views of the skyline; but ended up going to a more budget-friendly restaurant to try local dishes, such as goulash (a beef stew in a tomato based sauce), and fried cheese with boiled potatoes.

A Castle, A Church, And A Crazy Czech Monk

After our carb overload, we worked it off by heading back up the stairs to the impressive castle – the largest coherent castle complex in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records! This time, the gates were open, so we could walk through the palace grounds and and into the neo-gothic St Vitus Cathedral (free entry), which is just as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. There is an interesting circular arrangement of stairs, that if you stand directly in the centre of it, you can hear your own voice back as it sounds to others – a bit of a funny experience (especially as I sound like a chipmunk!).

Standing at the top of the city, I couldn’t help but reflect on my time in Prague last year, when I stayed with a friend and saw some of the other sights. One of the highlights was a day trip to Kutna Hora, where we saw the Sedlec Ossuary, an insane old Roman Catholic church, creatively decorated with the bones of over 50,000 people. Supposedly decorated by a vision impaired monk in the 16th century, you will find a huge coat of arms, goblet, mounds of skulls up to the ceiling, and a chandelier that contains every bone in the human body! Don’t worry, at least you won’t hear any organs paying while you’re in there…

Lost in my thoughts and memories of my two amazing visits to this city, the squad and I stayed at the lookout long enough to see the sunset over the church spires, orange rays mixing with orange roofs. Prague is definitely a city that surprises and entices you and will never disappoint, whether you’re visiting for the first time, or coming back again.

The Recommended Hostel: Plus Prague Hostel

Some of the recommended accommodations really blur the line between hostel and hotel, and Plus Prague is definitely one of them. Filled with funky chill out areas, and offering facilities like a pool, gym and sauna, sometimes it’s hard to get the motivation to leave and explore the city! The rooms you’ll be staying in are spacious, with high windows to filter the natural light in, and comfortable beds.

If you’re after a good time, the bar here is huge, with fun activities on and new coaches rolling in every night with loads of new friends to meet and party with. The hostel is a little bit out of town, but it’s conveniently located right near a tram station, so it’s easy to go out and see the beautiful city of Prague.