Prague was easily one of the most culturally picturesque places on our trip, it had the most GLORIOUS opera house I had ever seen (the big old picture above) and again I would recommend everyone to visit at some point in their life…but I am overwhelmed with the desire to rant and go off on a tangent about how diabolical our hostel was. (I promise that I’ll have my winge and then return to the usual chirpy, over exaggerated clichés). Please feel free to skip the hefty paragraph!
Old Prague Hostel. Well. Despite everything, this hostel was in a perfect position, you couldnt get any closer to the centre, however for me it’s prime spot got cancelled out by…Firstly, for every hostel, we had made sure that we knew whether you could pay by card or not so we weren’t ripped off by a naff currency exchange and this hostel’s website assured us that you could. From my tone, you can hopefully infer already that we couldn’t. We had to draw out our money instead; which was super wonderful because this meant that we had to pay 20% more for our stay than we had budgeted for because of their laughable exchange rates. THEN we were surprised with an overnight city tax per person per day, which was great! Oh and you know when a hostel promises wifi, so you can contact your family but they don’t tell you that the wifi only works in the first floor (: and your bedroom is on the third (: OH and when the only way you can move in your room is by playing some sort of jungle run because the 4 sets of bunk beds are squeezed so tight you can’t actually get in your room unless you clamber over someone else’s bed…I also didn’t appreciate 4 of our rooms mates pairing off and having a ball of a time in the bunks below. Not that I’m holding a grudge…but I guess it’s just one (a lot) of those things!
Despite this! I genuinely did love Prague, I wrote in my journal: ‘a real city vibe with a quick escape after crossing the Charles bridge into a land of history and castles.’ We could have spent so long just pottering across the Charles bridge as there were so many handmade jewellery stalls, artists and musicians but oh my GOODNESS it was awfully busy. The kind of busy that all you can really think to do is look and walk forward in the fear of getting trampled if you strayed.
We visited to the John Lennon peace wall, which seemed to come out of nowhere, so obviously I made my mark. The colours and detail in the wall would have taken weeks to look at properly, so much love on one wall – it was really something.
We also (after my incessant begging to Simon and Noah) managed to get tickets for a black light theatre show called ‘Afrikana’, which was such an experience! I’d been researching this kind of theatre before we left Britain and made it my own personal mission to get to a showing… If you google black light theatre you’ll get what I mean when I say, ‘I didn’t know whether to be intimidated or captivated’.
Our last day was spent ogling over the beauty of Prague castle and its views. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Noah will never be thanked enough for making me and Simon climb up another mountain every day because the promised views really did live up to the hype. The architecture and preservation of the grounds was amazing, the golden lane was part of the miniature village where the workers and their families lived, which so reminded me of a colourful Sylvanian family village. The Cathedral had so many stain glass windows that reflected so much omnipotent light, it was one of those places that you felt you had to whisper whilst walking round, it was insane… If ‘insane’ is a justifiable word for it.
I think the most prominent aspect though was the torture chambers. Talk about shivers. Steel body suits hung from the stone ceiling to crush its prisoners with the gravity dragging them down, a stretcher, a chair of nails, cages, a cage suspended over a fire pit to slowly cook the person inside… It was all rather intense. It’s one thing learning all about it in school, having the boys call out ‘EWWW YOU CAN SEE HIS BRAINS’ but seeing the actual instruments in real life, a few hundred years later…it’s something else. That sounds so cliché but it really does affect you.
So much more happened in Prague but I think Prague castle was such a highlight and I’ve waffled on for far too long…I’d love to return to Prague and experience the city from a more rested and optimistic point of view, I think an Airbnb would be on the cards.
So, here’s to our second to last stop, Berlin!