I’m slowly trying to catch up with all of my travel posts. This one is only about two weeks late.
By now, we are getting used to the typical Ryanair flight, cramped but on time. It got us into the Prague airport alive and well, which is really all one can ask for. We had about half an hour before our friends got in from Brussels, so we took advantage of the break to change out our currency. We found that €100 gets you over 2500 Czech crowns. (The mental math required to do the conversion - €1 to 25 crowns – isn’t difficult, but takes just enough time to really slow down decision making.) Having met up with our friends, we headed into the city. The bus was easy enough to navigate, but I messed up the directions after we got off at our first stop. Instead of putting us on the subway like I was supposed to, I put us on a tram… We figured that mistake out soon enough, but had to go back to the place where our bus let us off to pick up the right train. At that point I handed off navigation duties to someone else and everything was going well. But as we got off the train, we were stopped by a pair of ticket inspectors. No big deal, we thought. After all, we had purchased our tickets and everything. Except...we were supposed to validate them when we got on the bus. Which we didn't know and hadn't done...we tried the ‘clueless tourist’ defense, but they weren't having any of it and fined us anyway. Not the most auspicious beginning to the trip. We immediately validated our tickets after that.
When we finally got to the hostel, it was well past dinnertime. We checked in and dropped our stuff in the giant 16-person room we're staying in and immediately went out in search of food. We walked across the Charles Bridge (absolutely gorgeous when it is all lit up) into old town Prague and found a nice restaurant for dinner. The food was delicious and surprisingly well priced – a welcome break after Switzerland. After dinner we stopped into TGI Friday to watch the RM-Liverpool game. The drink special was some type of strawberry mixed drink that was very fruity and very delicious! I can now say my first trip to TGIF was in Prague, although I’m not sure exactly what kind of stigma that carries with it. We returned to the hostel just as the rest of our group was preparing to head out. They were going to a cave bar, which sounded pretty cool, so we decided to tag along. In the end it wasn’t actually a cave, but rather a collection of old cellars that had been turned into a bar. Still very cool: exposed brick, low lighting, vaulted ceilings, nooks and pinball machines tucked in corners. Best moment of the night was definitely when I scored over five million points on pinball.