Valentine’s Weekend in Prague
Over the Valentine’s weekend, Tyler and I took a trip to the Czech Republic with a few friends. It was our first time finally traveling outside of Germany, and we couldn’t be more excited. We had to leave the puppers at home with another friend, which sucked, but it was a bit last minute that we decided to go and couldn’t change our hotel to accommodate Autumn. Since we spent the entire weekend in Czech, this post is about to be a mile long. So bear with me.
We left around midday on Friday, a few hours later than we originally anticipated. We had a beer bath appointment – yes, you read that right; I’ll get to it in a bit – that afternoon and were cutting it extremely close to making it on time. The thing to know about driving in Europe is you need an international drivers license – we have a USAEUR license since were stationed here, but it’s only good for driving in Germany. Also, many other countries require something called a vignette in addition to an international license in order to drive their roads. So, we crossed the boarder into Czech, and we didn’t have to present our passports anywhere. I was a little disappointed as we’re trying to fill those bad boys with stamps. Anyway, once you cross the boarder, you need to have this vignette. They’re only about 14 Euro and last about two weeks, so about a euro a day is not bad. We stopped at a gas station where we can purchase one, and our driver realizes he left his international license at home. And he’s the only one who has one. After about a fifteen minute freakout in the parking lot of a Shell, it turns out he didn’t need his international license to purchase the vignette, so we’re good to go! About ten minutes after that, we arrive at our destination: Chodová Planá.
This was our view from our hotel window. I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t take more pictures of where we stayed, but after the fiasco to get here I was more focused on drowning my stresses in a bath full of beer. Yes, it’s finally that time and here you can read about our beer bath. After our appointment, we got dinner, drank a bit in our hotel room, then went to sleep because the following morning we were heading to Prague.
Saturday we left Chodová Planá and made our way to Prague. I was so excited to be there. Probably a lot more excited than everyone else. Here’s a little background – my dad is a bit of a family tree buff. He is constantly looking into the past of our family and finding out where we came from and who we came from. He discovered that on my grandfather’s side, we come from the Czech Republic – when it used to be Bohemia. Some of our ancestors are actually buried in the Prague cemetery! Since we went with friends this time, we didn’t have a chance to check out the cemetery but we’ll make it back!
Anyway, once we arrived, we stopped off at the hotel to get settled in and prepare for the day ahead. We stayed at the EA Hotel Crystal Palace which was right in the center of Prague. Honestly, we didn’t spend much time in the hotel except while we were sleeping. After we changed, we immediately went to explore the city. We grabbed a döner to eat before making our way around Prague Old Town and taking in the beautiful architecture.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I LOVE EUROPEAN ARCHITECTURE. Seriously though, I can never get enough of all these amazing buildings we see when we travel. I wish I got a better picture of the Astronomical Clock Tower, but this was definitely not our last visit. After walking around for about an hour, we stumbled upon a wax museum! We were killing time until dinner, so we thought why not.
We assumed the majority of the museum would be filled with famous Europeans, because, come on, we’re in Europe. Surprisingly, they had a lot of famous American figures, too! Hitler, Harry Potter, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Princess Diana, Edward and Jacob are among the few familiar faces we saw. It was actually a pretty fun way to spend our time and we got some cool pictures out of it. By the time we finished touring the museum, it was time to get ready for our romantic dinner cruise on the Vltava. Do you remember the mishap at the beginning of our trip? Well, that wasn’t the only one this weekend. We got back to our hotel and while I was getting dolled up, one of Tyler’s friends – who had claimed he reserved our seats on the cruise – said they had no more available seats and we had to find a different place for dinner. Fortunately for us, the friends we came with were staying at a hotel that was literally a boat. We decided to eat dinner at their restaurant, so we still got our “dinner cruise.”
The hotel our friends stayed at was called the Botel Admiral and we were a little jealous we weren’t staying there. The rooms were pretty cozy, but the view was amazing. And the restaurant was so fancy! Plus, the food was really tasty. After we ate, it was about time for our pub crawl! We took a taxi back to Old Town and met our group in front of the Astronomical Clock. We went through the Drunken Monkey for our pub crawl. This was the first ever pub crawl we participated in, so we weren’t sure what to expect. It started out at the Drunken Monkey – an underground bar – and we got free beer for the first two hours of our crawl. We played beer pong while we waited to move on to the next place, and we even got free tank tops!
These were the only two pictures I got from that night – it’s safe to say I was thoroughly wasted. I don’t even know the names of the other underground pubs we were taken to that night. But I do know that we got a free shot when we entered a new place. When we got to the last stop of our crawl, it was about one in the morning. This place was the biggest out of all four; it was more of a club than a pub. There was a giant dance floor, Egyptian go-go dancers on catwalks above the floor, and a DJ wearing a pharaoh’s head. It was the coolest club I’ve ever been to. Of course by this point I’m really drunk and finally want to dance with my husband. But Tyler had one too many drinks and was trying not to throw up before we got back to the hotel. Once the night was over – and after fighting the coat check for almost losing my Harry Potter sweatshirt – we took a cab back to the hotel and knocked out for the night.
It was laborious waking up the next morning and I swear the sun was screaming. This was our final day in Prague and to say I was hungover is an understatement. Since all of us were feeling the suck, we decided to hit one place we had wanted to go the day before. It was called the Magical Cavern and, while a little underwhelming for what we expected, was still pretty neat. The woman working was really nice and offered us a little verbal tour of the “cavern” – it was more of a three story shack actually. Downstairs had a lot of sculptures and a few paintings, as well as a sitting room and beverages. They offered sangria and water, and I bet you can guess what I picked due to my massive hangover. Yep, you guessed it – good ole H2O. We meandered around and then decided to check out the top floor, which was adorned with stacks and stacks of paintings. The theme was constant throughout; centering on mystical and magical beings. If we had any spare cash lying around, I would have picked out a painting for the house.
We spent a good hour walking around the Magical Cavern, but were all pretty exhausted so we decided to head on home not long after. The car ride home definitely felt longer than the ride there. But it was such a fun trip and I really can’t wait till we make our way back. Prague should definitely be on the top of everyone’s “places to go” list.
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