May 19, 2014
I woke up this morning feeling wonderfully well-rested, and enjoyed another delicious Eastern European breakfast. Their obsession with meats and sausage made for some great breakfast spreads.
After breakfast, we all walked a couple blocks to the nearest tram station, and headed into the center of town for a walking tour. We started at the famous Charles Bridge, where we had plenty of fun photo opps. There were some absolutely gorgeous views from this spot.
Entrance to Charles Bridge.
View from Charles Bridge, looking back to the cathedral we saw the night before.
After exploring the bridge, we walked down Karlova Street, which is lined with fantastic and fun tourist shops. They had some really unique souvenirs here, including Matryoshka dolls (Russian nesting dolls), gorgeous crystal, plenty of Absinthe, and my favorite, handmade wooden marionettes.
Then, we explored Staroměstské náměstí, a square in the center of the city, which is also home to the famous Prague Astronomical Clock.
Prague Astronomical Clock
By this time, it was around 11:00 a.m., and now we had free time until dinner to explore the city. I wandered off with the usual crew (Pat, Dicky, Kieran, Shandi, Sam, Alex and a few others). Our first stop was lunch at a cafe in the center of the square, Malé náměstí. I wasn’t feeling fantastic during lunch (my cough was out of control and I kept choking on my food because I couldn’t take a bite without coughing), but the burger I had would have been delicious on any other day!
After lunch, we wandered off through the tiny streets and alleyways in Prague, exploring and eating our way through. Then, we stumbled upon a sex machine museum (yes, that’s a thing), so naturally, we wandered in. I’ll spare you details of this excursion, as well as photos, but let’s just say it was a very interesting experience.
From the sex machine museum, we made the trek across Charles Bridge to the other side of the river, where we explored a bit and found the famous John Lennon Wall. The wall was a symbol of rebellion when young people would leave messages of freedom on the wall in the days of communist Czechoslovakia.
After seeing the wall, we went back to the hotel. Some went shopping at the mall next door, but I opted to head to my room for a quick nap and a primping session before dinner. I felt refreshed after this, and went back to Staroměstské náměstí, in the middle of the city. We had some time to kill before meeting the group for dinner, so we went to bed…literally. Bed Lounge was in the square, serving some delicious cocktails, which we drank on beds. I had a ton of fun at this place, sipping cocktails and laying around with friends, including the Canada boys.
When we came out of the lounge, the weather started rolling in. Cloud cover and a bit of rain set in for about an hour or so, and then was gone just as quickly as it came!
Next up was another Optional Extra dinner – a dinner cruise on that Vitava river. The excursion cost 29€, or $39 USD. Dinner was buffet-style, but the food was pretty delicious! Salads, veggies, rice, potatoes, meats, and goulash, a delicious beef stew that I fell in love with on this trip. Then, wine in hand, we cruised around this gorgeous city!
Spending time on deck with Tommy Bahammy.
From the cruise, we were off to another excursion, a Ghost Tour. This gothic city has lots of old legends and tales that would make your skin crawl, so we met with a guide (dressed like the grim reaper), who led us around the spookiest spots in the city, by moonlight of course, and told us scary stories about each. The tour cost only 10€, or $14 USD, and was a pretty good value for the price. There is plenty of nightlife in Prague though, so if you’re looking for more free time, this would be a good excursion to skip.
The rest of the night was ours for the taking…but I didn’t take it. Ha! Everyone split up and went off in different directions to hit different parts of Prague’s night scene, and I actually decided to head back to the hotel with a semi-small group. I was still feeling pretty awful (still hacking up a lung) and I was hoping that another good night of rest would help me push through and finish the tour strong. We had only three official nights left of tour, so I wanted to be able to make the most of the time we had left. Plus, I knew Amsterdam would be something else entirely. Now was the time to rest.
Check out my other Contiki posts:
Introduction: An American Girl in Europe
Day 1: Oh hey, London
Day 2: Bonjour, Paris!
Day 3: Parisian Adventures
Day 4: Lookin’ Good, Switzerland
Day 5: All Things Swiss
Day 6: Switzerland, Italy, France…oh my!
Day 7: Bond. James Bond.
Day 8: Buongiorno Italia!
Day 9: When in Rome
Day 10: That’s Amore
Day 11: Vatican City to Venice
Day 12: The Last Italian Adventure
Day 13: Hop-fer-gerten
Day 14: Soaring Over Austria
Day 15: München
Day 16: Bittersweet Symphonies
Day 17: Vienna to Prague
Day 18: Ahoj, Prague!
Day 19: St. Goar, Rhine Valley
Day 20: Amsterdamage
Day 21: Even more Amsterdamage
Day 22: Back to the Start
Day 23/24: The End of a Great Adventure
Contiki in a Nutshell: Know Before You Go
Contiki: What Should I Pack?