From where I had left off the previous day with Prague (which you can read about here), I was turning in for the night during my second night in the city, after a packed, but productive excursion earlier that day.
Woke up the following day around 7 am, as the other teaching assistant (let’s call her Kristen) and I had wanted to go check out Charles Bridge early in the morning to see the sunrise (which we had heard was a sight to see). But sadly, the skies were overcast, as it was for the rest of our time in Prague, so no gorgeous, sun-kissed view of the bridge. 😦
However, we did go see the John Lennon Wall, which is essentially a whole section of graffiti art on this wall around the corner of Charles Bridge. During the late eighties, youths who were unhappy with the communist regime at the time expressed their grievances on the wall, in the form of graffiti. Today, themes of love and peace (as Lennon himself had espoused) cover the mural.
Afterwards, Kristen and I got some breakfast at a bagel/café eatery, where I had a filling spinach quiche with greens, as well as tried mulled wine (hot, spiced wine). Wake-up call, much? 😛
We decided after breakfast to part ways and do our own thing for the day, agreeing to meet back up at the hostel later at night. Originally, I had planned to go up the hill again to Prague Castle, for Kristen had told me that there was a nice garden ground next to it. But my plans ended up getting changed, as I did climb the hill, but not towards the direction of the castle. Instead, I ended up on Petrin Hill, which is filled with small trails and plenty of parks to relax while hiking up the crazy-steep hill! Whew, it was certainly a workout!
Eventually, I made it to the top, where I saw the Petrin Tower, which is supposed to have been modeled after the Eiffel Tower (could see the resemblance!), as well as another lovely view of the city:
Went downhill shortly thereafter, and decided to check out the Sex Machine Museum that I had come across the day before on my way to Old Town Square. Heard from some hostel-goers that it was, erm, very interesting. Basically, it’s a museum dedicated to the history of sexual pleasure, with relics of prostitute garments, dildos and vibrators, BDSM items, and so forth. While not a practitioner of such activities (at least, not yet), I have always found this particular sector of the adult world quite fascinating, and am glad that there’s a place dedicated to the de-stigmatization of an otherwise taboo subject.
The entrance fee wasn’t worth it (200 Kc), and the cinema room that showed an ancient pornographic video wasn’t working that, so I just visited the displays, consisting of three floors of sex objects (wow!).
Left after twenty, thirty minutes, and just hung around town until 4:00 pm, when I got an early dinner at the same Czech restaurant that I’d went to the previous day. Afterwards, I went to the laundromat, where I’d given the worker my clothes to wash and dry in the morning, to receive them back. The bedbug situation seemed to have been settled- thank god!
Pretty much went back to the hostel after that, and turned in for the night. All of that hill-climbing sure did exhaust me. As well as for the food…
Woke up the next day, and again went out with Kristen a bit to check out the Palace Gardens, which were actually situated below the castle, on the hill-slope. Didn’t find much going on there, as the gardens were just a bunch of stairs and shrubbery. Again, a lovely view of the city from the top, but that was about it. But before that, we had visited the Peacock Garden, which had, well, peacocks. I’ve seen peacocks before, but still, their beauty never ceases to amazes me. And to have a garden filled with them…!
We left, and decided to split again for the day. I walked over to Old Town Square to check out this particular restaurant for lunch, which I’d seen online was pretty good. Ordered fried cheese (a Czech specialty, and a true comfort food), as well as beef goulash again with bread and potato dumplings. Very filling, but definitely hits you with its love. ❤
Decided to do some exploring around the other side of town, as I walked down the long stretch of boulevard filled with department stores and international fast-food chains, aka the shopping district, towards the Narodni Museum, which was actually closed due to reconstruction, I believe.
Feeling rather tired, I headed back to the hostel, where I crashed for an hour or two before deciding the head out to the absintherie to try absinthe (obviously). Crazy enough, Prague has tons of shops which sell that stuff, that along with cannibis items! Not so interested in trying the latter, but definitely was curious in seeing what the hype about absinthe was all about.
Entered an absintherie, and ordered a shot to try out before getting one infused into a cocktail. Perhaps I didn’t have enough, but the absinthe did absolutely nothing to me. Super strong, though, as the taste reminded me of Nyquil, which isn’t very pleasant…At least I can say that I’ve tried absinthe!
Decided to hop over to another bar to get some “regular” drinks. Downed two shots of Finlandia and tried a quite delicious Finlandia-infused cocktail (sweet and fruity- yum!) before heading back, now more tipsy than before, to my flat. Called it a night then, as the following day was my last in Prague, and I needed to pack and check out of my hostel.
Woke up the following morning with a slight headache from the alcohol, but nevertheless packed up and got ready to check out. Kristen had already left earlier before, since her flight was before mine. Checked out, and decided to explore Prague one last time before I needed to leave for the airport around 5 pm. Got a hearty breakfast at this café near Old Town Square, where it served a rather delicious pumpkin-feta quiche. Checked out the Parliament of Prague, which had the rather-nice Wallenstein Gardens:
Also popped into the Shakespeare and Synové bookstore, which had a large collection of international books, in English! Spent about an hour in there reading a selection of what was offered. #bookwormforlife
Wandered around Old Town afterwards, and went towards Narodni Museum again to buy “Czech bread” at the bakery-café next to it. Seriously, it was this huge hunk of bread; quite delicious, but HUGE. It ended up being my food for lunch, dinner, and breakfast the following morning. Carbs…
Any case, I returned to the hostel, where I hung out in the lounge for a few hours before getting my bag and leaving around 4:30 pm for the metro station. Took the metro down to the last line before getting off and transferring to the bus that went to the airport. Got to the airport, checked in, and chilled out until my flight at 8:35 pm. Boarded the plane, took over, and arrived back in Paris at 10 pm. By that time, it was kind of late for me to take the shuttle bus to the center of Paris, where I would have to take the train all the way back to Normandy. So I stayed overnight at the airport, as I’d done on my way to Prague.
However, as I was hanging out in the terminal, a Chinese couple came up to me and asked (in Chinese) if I spoke Chinese. I told them “yes,” and they proceeded to ask me for help. Long story short, they had missed their flight back to Hong Kong and needed to figure out how to get on the next flight back. They spoke neither French nor English, so they were completely lost. So I became their translator, using all three languages (French, English, Chinese) to help them get information from the Info desk on how to get back to China. Ended up staying with them overnight until 5:45 am when the ticket offices opened for service. Eventually, they got tickets for the next flight out, and they were super grateful for my help. They even gave me their contact info (email, phone) and said to let them know if I ever wanted to visit China again in the future. Certainly felt self-accomplished! *self-pats on the back
Said goodbye to the Chinese couple, and caught the 7 am shuttle bus to the center of Paris, where I *briefly* took the metro to Gare Saint-Lazare and bought my tickets for the 8:53 am train out to Normandy. Took the train for two hours before getting off and taking the local bus back to my flat. Arrived home in the early afternoon tired, but happy to be back. 🙂
Alas, we have arrived at the final installment of my adventures in Europe during les vacances de la Toussaint. 😦 But there are still other vacations, other opportunities to travel in the near future during my stay in France.
Signing out for now. Until later, my fellow bloggers! 😀
— The Finicky Cynic
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