Published: November 18th 2012September 12th 2012
“I don’t think it’s safe honey, pls don’t go okay? Safety first. There’s only one you in this world and it’s not like I can buy your replacement in the supermarket he he“ – my husband half jokingly said from the other side of the globe. Now, I’m not necessarily an obedient wife all the time, but he got a point. As per my vaca “rituals” – I typically go out early morning to take sunrise shots. But I’m not comfortable with the fact that I saw too many beggars in the old town & the Charles bridge yesterday. A clearly foreign girl walking around alone when hardly any people around, is… risky… to say the least. Plus, I’m so blonde when it comes to navigation. It’s not funny to get lost. And robbed. Or worse; combination of both. It’s cloudy anyway. So I decided to crawl back to the comfy bed and try to get as much rest as possible. I don’t know what to expect in tonight’s night train to Budapest. Not sure whether I would get quality sleep there.
When the check out time is almost near, I half-heartedly walking out from my room & store my
a city best visited with your loved ones
bags in a “cage” that looks like the one they used in dog pound. It’s cloudy and besides I don’t know where else to go. Originally the castle complex was supposed to be for today. But somehow managed to cover both the old town and castle complex in one day. I know that people say you need at least 3 full days to thoroughly enjoy Prague. But maybe I’m a “topline” kinda girl. To me, 1 full day with blue sky can already give you a proper taste of Prague.
I finally decided to go to the Jewish Quarter for the quest of halal restaurant. It’s almost 2 weeks since the last time my tongue hits a slice of beef. But when we got to the address, the place was nowhere to be found. This area seems posh. Many branded chains & fancy cars. There was a long queue to the Jewish Museum & Cemetery but I decided to give it a pass.
Finally ended up in a Belgium restaurant (yes, Belgium restaurant in Prague) after tired walking around aimlessly. An old lady in the next table almost dropped her plate and I managed to catch it. I
must’ve said few lines in English just out of spontaneity. For some reason, she was surprised that I can speak English (?) We ended up chatting with the couple and apparently they’ve spent the last 3 weeks cycling across Czech Republic. Yes, manual tandem bike – that is. Not the one with motor. Well, I guess if you’ve retired you have more options to venture out. I giggled as the pair thought that we were another couple and the lady actually feels bad that M & I live 4000 miles apart. She said “Oow… that must be hard”. I kept quiet as I didn’t want to confuse her more. What’s the point of explaining yourself to a person who most likely you will never ever meet again?
To fill up some time, decided to go back to the castle complex. Apparently you can enter St Vitus Cathedral for free. Yesterday we only go up to the tower but did not go inside the chamber. Took few pictures although for some reason it doesn’t turn out as good as I thought. Not even close to my idol photographer Lucie Debelkova. Took tram to Strahov Monastery where M decided to have
Impromptu Street Concert
the one consolation for the night
his own agenda and split. To enter Strahov, apparently need to pay hefty price to go inside. And on top of that need to pay extra to take pictures (!) which I declined. As nice as the murals on the skylight are, I just don’t find it value for money. There’s only like 2 rooms, that’s it. Plus, not being able to take picture sucks. I actually enjoy the view from their vineyard more. Yes, apparently they have a nice deck facing a small vineyard at the back. It gives the view of the city.
I took tram back to the old town to meet up with M. Before that, I stopped by Vltava river to take picture of the bridge from the other side. Apparently this is the spot where they took those postcard pictures. Iconic view, I would say. Too bad the weather is not supportive. Surprisingly there’s a guy fishing down there (PS: hours later when I went back, he’s STILL there). I should go back at night, must’ve look better. M was mumbling that had he has more time; he would’ve want to check out the night life. I don’t want to stand in his way so I let him be & we split again. Yes, again.
It’s funny but in a way I’m happy that it’s only 2 days in Prague. I would not know what to do with myself with an extra day in Prague. I explored the old town again to spend time. This time I checked out the souvenir shops more. But then as pretty as it is, it’s getting kinda boring actually. After having a long early gnocchi dinner, I marched back to the bridge to get some shots. I miscalculated my time and the blue hour already passed. Hhh… too bad. The crowds are getting thinner as it’s getting dark and the rain won’t stop. I took few wrong turns couple of times and ended up in strange alleys. I didn’t pay much attention on the route because earlier I just followed the crowds. Now with the crowds getting thin, I lost my directions. And my feet are increasingly hurting.
And then… From afar I recognize a Britney Spears Toxic song being played by string quartet! On the street side! I got excited and there’s already a small crowd gathered. Apparently they are street performers in their 20’s. Quite handsome I should say ha ha… One of them looks like that guy who plays Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. But I think this one is straight though. But seriously – they play REALLY good that I would let them play in my wedding. I think they must be part of the indoor orchestra and just play on the street in their spare time. They played many songs from classic pieces, folk songs, up to top 40 songs (including Call Me Maybe). Strangely, I’m having so much fun! Ironically, that was my highlight of the day. More people are watching now and even the hobos are clapping and dancing. I don’t know how long I have stood there. I basically stayed there until the band packed up their bag. Afterwards I enroute back to the hotel to pick up my bag & met up with M.
M apparently still hold his grudges dearly as he gave a postcard with sarcastic message. All because of some lame joke I made months and months ago that I can’t even remember. God knows what else he holds against me. I toss the postcard aside and hulled my big backpack. For some reason it seems to gain weight on its own. It’s almost time to catch the night train to Budapest. As I walked out of the hotel – I took a last look at Prague and all its glory. This time I stopped hiding behind my hoodie, looked up to the sky and let the rain dissolve my tears. I’m so ready to say goodbye. And I’m not referring to the city.
Unfortunately in life, you don’t necessarily get what you give.