So Prague: Wow! Any of you Instagram followers will have seen that it was pretty amazing and we had a v. good time during our four days there. No big surprise then that my next blog post would be a collection of my favourite things on our trip, but y’know, I can’t be this mysterious sass queen all the time – or ever really (I’m working on it).
When I was planning the holiday and seeing all these amazing reviews about architecture in Prague I was thinking “ok cool but what, am I gonna just stand and look at a building all day?”, it was more of an added bonus in my mind rather than a highlight. But damn the Czechs know how to construct some nice stuff! The Charles Bridge, the Castle, the Cathedral, the Astronomical clock and literally everything in between was stunning, every time I saw the cathedral I was like “woow”. All very gothic as well so Prague is a very different city to anywhere I’ve been before, which made it all the more beautiful. Our hotel (the Grand Majestic Plaza FYI – told you I was working on my sassiness) was located right in the Old Town of Prague so this beautiful architecture was right on our doorstep, which was ideal because every day we could have a nice walk through the Old Town Square and see it all without really trying. My photos probably don’t do it any justice so go see this city for yourself, it’s stunning!
Before we went I didn’t really have a clue what people ate over there, or if it would be nice, or if they ate weird stuff, like horses, but not tell you so you find out later and think “oh god. My life will never be the same.” (I tend to exaggerate. It’s called anxiety.) But oh my god their food is amazing! Very warming, cosy food to keep your temperature up as it’s bloody freezing over there – people said to us “oh Scotland? Ooh that’s cold”. I thought “Ha. Scotland is effing tropical compared to this! I can feel my limbs in Scotland!” The Czechs probably need all the carbs and hearty food they can get to keep warm, so a lot of beef/pork stews with dumplings (kind of like sticky bread?) featured on the Czech menu. Most Brits go to Prague (or anywhere really) to get chronically drunk or “get on the lash” as we say. And we were no exception. We did get on the lash – the goulash that is. And we did it two nights in a row because we are absolutely wild. The wild boar goulash I had at the Old Town Brewery was 100% one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and that’s not one of my exaggerations. I’ve never felt a satisfied, cosy food coma like it. And the Czech’s aren’t just good at the savoury stuff – their hot chocolates are literally hot chocolate. I didn’t know whether to drink it, have a fondue with it or get freaky and put my face in it. Holy crap it is soo good but so sickly so we stuck to a “choco shot” after I made the mistake of ordering a whole mug of it. No regrets though.
I know what you’re thinking. Beer? You? Yes. I’m a sassy little blonde who loves fashion and girly stuff and I’m starting to enjoy beer (I told you I’m working on being mysterious). Fun fact: The Czechs drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in the world. Beer over there is cheaper than water! So on our last day we went on a micro-brewery tour which became a very exclusive affair as we were the only people on this tour, and it became a very Scottish affair as our tour guide was from Dundee of all places! This guy lived and breathed beer – ok not really because he wasn’t hammered – but he was an encyclopaedia of all things beer in Prague. Our first brewery was a fairly new one built in 1998, where we tried eight different beers from a little shot roulette type paddle which brought back some very drunken memories. Given the fact it was only midday and I’m a fairly new beer drinker I started panicking thinking oh god what if a) I get way too drunk after a couple of these because I’m a massive lightweight and b) what if I don’t like them and can’t pretend I do. But craft beer has a way of surprising you – the dark beers tasted light and the bright green potion had no hops in it whatsoever which is kind of essential in brewing beer. This was nettle beer, being Scottish and having a childhood of nettle stings made me reluctant to try this, plus it was bright green goddammit! But it tasted like good beer with a hint of “green” and I genuinely enjoyed it.
Brewery two was the longest running brewery (est. 1499), and brewery three was the oldest, being opened in 1466 but not ever since then (long story short – communism was a bitch and this brewery had to close but got re-opened after communism fell). This last brewery would be completely overlooked if you weren’t a beer geek as it was in a dodgy looking shopping centre next to a KFC. I’m not even kidding. It was so small it could only seat 40 people but the best part was that you could literally see the beer being brewed through the glass window, with a tap coming straight from the barrel. The freshest beer you will ever drink! (And yes after 11 different beers I was very boozy by the end of this tour).
I scrawled through so many “top things about Prague” pages before going and, like the architecture, the history of the country kept cropping up but was something I initially overlooked. One thing I learned though was about a big red stick on top of a hill that kept moving like a ticking clock. I couldn’t get a good photo of it as it didn’t look like much and to be honest I didn’t really notice it until we were on a boat trip along the Vltava. The tour guide explained that during soviet communism, a massive 17,000 tonne statue of Stalin stood on this hill for seven years. After Stalin’s regime fell and because he was such a bastard the statue was blown up, and years later in 1991 a red metronome was put in its place to connect the tragic past with the present and future of the country as a symbol of time and democracy. It was one of those little things that made me feel a bit warm inside, and a reminder that we’ve got it not so bad these days and we maybe ought to remember that more often. And also to remember that you can’t change the past but it’s still part of the wonderful human that you are now and will become later.
So moral of the story; use the opportunities you have to travel where and when you can, try new things, learn, appreciate, repeat. Now go book your flights to this majestic city right now and have a good week!