Now in Germany
The Prague blog... written on a train to Munich. We just got to our hostel and are about to grab some beer soon.
Ok, so I know I didn't update this at all while we were in Prague, but we kept pretty busy while we were there and I didn't like sitting around on the netbook while there was beer to be drank. Prague was another stop where we pretty much held to a strict liquid diet, as people say, Czech beer is good... I'll give them that, but it's not really anything to write home about. Personally, Anthony and Cliff both make better beers... but telling the Czech's their beer isn't totally awesome would probably open up another war or something crazy like that, so I'll just say, the beer was good enough. For the most part we drank Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell... Not the Bud we get back home, but the actual original Budweiser that was started here in the Czech Republic, they taste nothing alike. Beers are served with a huge head on them, but the glass usually has beer up to the .5 liter mark so it's ok... Apparently some of the American folks don't like that much head... once I figured it was supposed to be that way, it was cool with me.
So, our first night in Prague, we get in late because trains don't know how to be on time, ever. So our train left Budapest an hour and 30 minutes late, which got us into Prague around 11pm. We decided to see if we could find something to eat but again, only one meal that day since everything close to the place was closed or no longer serving food. Unlike the states, when it's late, bars stay open and serve alcohol, not food... they know their role it seems. We went to this place called music and blues bar... A joint owned by some old dude who was hanging out with his wife at a table, with another couple Englishmen sitting at another table. We had just went to an ATM to get some Czech currency and picked up 3000 Czech Koruna, the exchange rate is around 20-1... so 3000 Koruna was around $150, we both picked up this much and now have some left over, for 3 days in Prague, I figure that's pretty good.
The bar we went to, that was practically empty, and had no actual music anywhere in the vicinity... was actually a pretty neat place. The walls had framed pictures of the Beatles, BB King, and many other big artists that have come along.... along with a few instruments hung up on the brick. So, we stopped in there looking to find the Candle-light type of place in Eastern Europe, we've still yet to find it. Since we'd just left the ATM, and each had 3 1000 Koruna bills, we ordered our beers, the choices were Light or Dark...lol. When we went to pay with a 1000 Koruna bill the bartender/owner of the bar said he couldn't make change. So now you've got us staring at two full beers after an entire day on a train thinking, shit, we can't even drink... :-( But the guy was cool and said to have the beers, so we did. We sat there for awhile and when we left we told him we'd be back and we tried every day for the next three days to see if the place was open at all, and it never was again. We can't say we didn't try to hook the guy up, we really just wanted to pay what we owed and buy the man a beer for showing us the hospitality. I think our good karma is still intact enough though, even though we never did pay the guy back, since we tried so many times to do so.
After that we went back to the hostel, a huge one... pretty much a big ass party every night. Prague is a young person's party city, in every way. Kids can drink beer at 16 and hard alcohol at 18, so as one can imagine, the bars will have a much younger clientele in some cases. Our room was filled with 3 English guys, a guy from Amsterdam, and as funny as it sounds... A guy from Tennessee, Franklin, TN to be exact. Random, I know. We got in fairly late but sat on the porch of the hostel drinking budweisers for 30 Koruna, about $1.50 for a half liter, 22 ounce beer. Pretty good deal if you ask me... The hostel sold them out of a fridge that you just pull it out, pop the top off of it, and throw the guy working there a few coins... it was a sweet setup. That night we pretty much sat around in the outdoor party area drinking with people from pretty much EVERYWHERE. One guy we hung out with was an Englishman, who lives in Australia, who is in the end of a trip from China, to Russia, through Poland, and through other parts of Europe, before going to Greece and catching a plane to the UK to see his family he hasn't seen in ages. I thought our train trips were long, but he was catching trains that his ticket would say shit like 29 hours of travel time on one train...crazy.
We are now on the train from Prague to Munich, Germany... a 6 hour trip which is why I'm blogging the hell out of some stuff right now...lol. The Czech countryside is a beatiful scene from the train, Anthony's passed out again, imagine that.
Our first full day in Prague was spent doing all the touristy shit that the city has to offer, which is cool except for the fact that the only people we ran into, were tourists... which I don't care much for. Everyone pretty much spoke english there too, so no language barrier again. The hostel had a bbq for free, so as you can imagine, all the kids who are traveling with a small amount of money were there for some free sausage and rye bread. There were a ton of English guys, bunch of Americans, two Swedes, a few women from Canada, some Germans, and a few other people littered in here and there from all over... After the BBQ we went to have some real food, 2nd meal of the day if you add a sausage on a piece of bread together with a kabob we had earlier in the afternoon...lol. The only day in recent memory where we've eaten more than one meal. :-) Then we went to this bar that a bunch of people from the hostel were gonna meet up at... It's a karaoke joint, owned by a guy from Indiana, and the bar is ran by a big, crazy bastard from Amsterdam. I think it'd be a cool place if you want to feel like you're back in the states... because everyone there was a regular and were from the US. When the hostel crowd left the hostel and made their way up to the Blind Eye tavern, we were pretty beat so we ended up leaving... it seemed like too young and loud of a party than we wanted to deal with after the looooong day of sun and walking we'd endured up to that point. It was beautiful weather, but when running around in the hilly, cobble-stone streets of the city, can make it unbearably hot. We did get to a huge stairway that goes up to a castle... when we started up the stairs from Hell, I looked to my left and saw a quaint little pub/restaurant with two rocking chairs and a table in the shade. We decided to have a beer... or two. It ended up being a great spot. We saw all the tourists come around a corner and almost every time say, "shit", "oh God", "noooo" and pretty much all those other words that describe something you really don't want to do.
We stared at this lady with a paper hat on her head for a while and thought it would actually be cool to have one...lol. We decided we had no need to look that cool though...haha.
Our last night in Prague, we hung out with the dude from Tennessee and went to a local beer garden that was absolutely packed. We ended up at this smaller beer-garden, part of a restaurant that was connected to the big garden. After finding 3 chairs and a place to put them, we started to drink beer, and lots of it, while watching the Spain - Portugal match on a big screen. Myself and the other Tennessee feller made friends with a couple German ladies while sitting there, both very nice and quite attractive. We sat with them for a bit before going out separate ways and making our way back to the hostel. Where we sat around drinking with a new bunch of budget travelers than the previous night. I made very good friends with a beautiful French girl named Lorene, she'll probably be that one chick I'll remember from this trip that I would love to be able to meet again but most likely never will... oh well. We drank til 4am and woke up at 8am this morning to catch the early train to Munich... saying I feel like complete crap is probably a big understatement...haha.
The English guys we met ove the course of being in Prague, all said that the Czech people were always rude to them and didn't like to speak much english at all... after being around them for a few nights, I found them pretty loud and obnoxious (like I hear Americans are some times???) but for the most part, really cool and nice to all of us at the hostel... other than the loud part...haha. They always went on pub crawls and came back around 5am or close to it... sleeping with the window open, they usually woke me up before they even made it off the street to the hostel. Most clubs there don't even open until 1am... all the way through the week. I figure the person who wants to party and go out to clubs every night would be in heaven if they went to Prague.
Our last day, we took a trip on the train to the town of Kutna Hore' where we checked out a big cathedral and "The Bone Church" it was cool and nice to get away from the city a bit.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED.
We're waiting for the train back to Prague, when Anthony and this other guy look at eachother and are like, "holy shit, Anthony?" "Chris?" Yeah... no shit. We'd talked about this the previous day actually... The fact that we haven't ran into anyone we knew yet... since it's been my experience in life to run into random people I know in the strangest of places. So there we are, on a train platform, in a city the size of Forest Grove, OR or Jamestown, TN... and Anthony actually meets someone he knows there. The world is indeed, a really small f'n place. We sat with Chris and his wife on the train back to prague in awe that we would run into someone from the US that we actually knew. They were on their way to Vienna and Budapest and I told them how awesome of a time I was sure they'd have, since Budapest was the coolest place on earth as far as I'm concerned...haha.
While also on that train platform, I was sitting on a bench and a bird was situated above me and decided to piss right on my arm. After being all pissy for a while and using a bottle of water to wash my arm off, we moved to a different bench with no pigeons over head... We did however keep an eye on that little bastard in case he decided to screw with me again. Fast forward about 20 minutes, we're waiting on the train, and these two couple come and sit on the bench next to us... the one with the pigeon above....yes. So, we decided that we are bastards and didn't warn the people that they could possibly be in a pigeon-shit zone if they're not careful. So, we didn't warn them... and I said, watch, the hot one is totally gonna be the one that gets shit on... and then yes, a few minutes later Anthony looks up and says, oh shit, it's turning around... so we start giggling a bit and then see it happen again. Right on her hat, like napalm bird shit covering everything in site...haha. We tried not to laugh but we played it off like we were looking for another one above us.
My final thoughts on Prague:
I thought it was waaaaay too touristy for me, they are fixing a lot of issues with big buildings and bridges, which caused me to get fairly crappy pictures quite a bit... I didn't like that much at all. It is a beautiful city though, I think I'd go again, but I'd still be sure to hit up Budapest first if given the choice. The hostel we were in was probably my favorite part of being there, the common areas always had people around to chit chat with, and everyone was friendly... along with being able to grab a beer and sit around for really cheap. I don't have anything bad to say about Prague, but I thought I'd like it more than I did.
We just crossed into Germany, a place I once called home as a toddler, it's cool to be back. It'll be nice to be able to understand some of the people here, unlike everywhere we've been thus far.
We're now off to Munich, where we have two nights booked at a hostel, then a night in Heidelburg, then two days in Belgium, including the Rock-fest I'm sure I've told most people about... then off to Amsterdam for my 30th birthday. This is the first time we've actually been all booked up for more than a day or two since we started the journey, it's kinda nice, but now it seems like we're a bit limited if we find a place we'd like to be in longer. I'm sure we'll deal with it fine.