Prague - Swordfighting and my body weight in ham
Date: 01 June 2015
Location: An AirBnB, Prague
Status: Eaten a lot of ham
Trip: Europe Summer 2015
Amsterdam's cuisine is exactly what you'd expect for one of the few cities in the world to legalise smoking cannabis. Bitterbollen is a wonderful thing but it's hard to imagine it being created by somebody not under the influence of something stronger than alcohol.
Prague serves exactly the food you'd expect in a country where the average daily alcohol intake for an adult is 1.5litres of beer. And that's real beer, not American beer.
This intake may explain why some interactions with the Czech's can be somewhat stilted, they're in the throws of a multi year hangover. As our tour guide explained "have you experienced Czech service yet? They don't hate you, they're just...Czech."
On arrival I learned the hard way that "not city center" displayed on the side of a bus means "this bus will go directly to the depot, turn all its lights off and the driver will then go to sleep".
After some public transport gymnastics and a not entirely intentional walk along the river, I arrived. Feeling good on a solid one hours sleep, 3 Bitterbollen and a Berroca, the hostel directed me to a local restaurant.
Czech food was created for people who were tired, hungover or had recently been subjected to an Easyjet flight. Most things seem to be variations on stews except for the ones which are giant plates of meat. And it's incredible.
A meal will cost something between two and ten pounds. The price of beer decays exponentially as you move away from the center, peaking at around three pounds with the lowest I've seen being about eighty pence. Admittedly that eighty pence was part way through an entirely accidental eight mile walk so I can't be sure I was still technically in Prague. The locals like to tell you that beer is cheaper than water, which would be funny but for it being fiscally accurate.
Once out of hand, Prague has now taken care of the bachelor party problem by only allowing them into Irish bars. Take a seat near (this is important, near - not in) an Irish bar, grab a beer and indulge in some old fashioned people watching. Once you've had your fill, move twenty yards down the road and you're back to civilisation.
Prague castle is, to say the least, beautiful. If that wasn't reason enough to visit, it turns out that the spectacular lighting at night, was a gift from the Rolling Stones.
This began with Jagger saying to President Havel in a bar "Havel, you have such a beautiful castle up there, but you can hardly see it at night." and the president responding that as a young country, they had higher priorities than lighting up their castle. $32,000 and some moonlighting from the bands lighting designer, and this was rectified.
Yesterday started off with what I can only describe of half a kilo of barbecued ham:
The resulting food coma meant spending several hours sitting on the edge of a square moving as little as humanly possible. Luckily the entertainment came to us. I've no idea what we witnessed, but there was sword fighting:
Quote of the trip so far, aimed at me, around lunchtime; "you haven't napped yet today, hopefully you won't be awake much longer".
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