Thursday, November 3, 2011

Europe 2011 Day 4 - Backbreaking Prague

Date: 10 April 2011

Our Prague Hotel on top of the dreaded hill

Note: 100 Czech Koruny (Kr) = RM17.00

Our first night in Prague involved some serious discussion. Reality hit us that Prague is not friendly to people with back problems such as slipped discs, i.e. US. Almost everywhere involved walking on cobbled stone paths, some small, some large. And it did not help that the hotel was a good 10-15 minute walk from public transportation, on top of a hill even. These were our choices:
  • Change Hotel to prime location - Lose 4 nights hotel worth €220
  • Hire A Car - Dunno the roads, can't read the foreign road signs, risky
  • Hire A Bicycle - Riding bicycles on bumpy road = Earthquake Backside. Also dunno where to park it, though thanks to Karen who suggested riding it straight into my room
  • Leave Prague to somewhere like Santorini - And waste even more money on plane tickets
  • Take taxis
We settled on tackling the notorious Prague taxi drivers. Since any of the above would involve a lot of money anyway, let's bring on the taxi scams! Many have experienced scams to the extent of swapping notes you gave them with smaller denominations, and driving up to 4 times around the block.

Our first stop was to get some cash. Best rates in town are at the basement of a shopping mall called MY at Narodni Trida. Next up was the Lego Museum! It wasn't an official museum per se, but a single man's collection of Lego since 1984. 200Kr for entry plus 20Kr for photography. Going back to our childhood days, we had a challenge to see who can come up with a better dog. The judge was the shopkeeper and I won! We both received a Lego man as prizes. Yay!

At the Lego Museum

My creation of a dog, which won 1st prize!

HH's dog came 2nd, only because the shopkeeper thought it looked more like a lamb.

Walking again, we finally arrived at the famous Astrological Clock at Old Town Square. Being a Sunday, it was crowded. Waaaaaaaaaay too crowded. I get paranoid of my belongings in crowds and bumping into people. Trying to absorb the atmosphere, we tried some "street food" where everyone was dining at. Roasted pork leg seemed the popular choice, and the sign said 89Kr per 100g and Potato & Cabbage Salad for 89Kr per 100g. Pointing a bit here and there, how on earth did it come up to 450Kr?? Expensive, especially when we had to squeeze our butts sharing little tables, under the hot sun. Yes, I admit, KL people don't like sun. If you're here, do visit a crystal shop called Blue Praha. Prettiest little things ever, wish I had some use for the crystal eggs, 395Kr for the smallest version.

On the narrow streets leading to Old Town Square

This is a week before Easter crowd

Doesn't this look like the Cinderella's Castle?

The Astrological Clock tower with hourly performances
Easter eggs everywhere

Local sugary snack, looked too sweet for my teeth

Looks nice, tasted bland and dry

Where to park this at Movenpick Hotel, I have no clue
By 3pm, we were exhausted and our backs ached! First time ever that we had to go back to the hotel for a nap Hahaha.When it was time for dinner, we finally decided to call a taxi. The most reputable taxi company is called AAA Company, Tel: 222-333-222. The process was easy and they arrived within 5 minutes. He charged me 225Kr to get to Namesti Republicky. Here lies the "biggest" shopping mall in Prague, known as Palladium. This is a very very strange mall, the left and right wing are split into half levels. So there are half lengths of escalators everywhere, so confusing trying to go anywhere. Guess what we had for dinner???

Indian Food! Crazy choice, 450kr for a bowl of fish curry, a bowl of karma veg and a bowl of basmathi rice. Taste 3/10.
Palladium Mall looked promising from the outside

These 3 bowls for RM77, yucks. Who asked these idiots to eat Indian food in Prague

Look how steep the escalators are in Prague, signature of ex-communist countries

Head to the infamous Charles' Bridge at night for some breathtaking views. Walk 3/4 of the way towards the Prague Castle for the best photo spot, and bring a tripod. Taxi back to hotel was only 125kr thankfully.
View of Prague Castle in Daytime

View of the Charles Bridge

Breathtaking Prague Castle at night

If you have missed the rest of this series:
Europe 2011 - Day 1 Arriving Paris
Europe 2011 - Day 2 Cycling and Eating Like The French
Europe 2011 - Day 3 Shocking Ourselves Silly
Europe 2011 - Day 5 Royal Animals of Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 6 & 7 to Cesky Krumlov
Europe 2011 - Day 8: Top 5 things to bring home from Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 9 Guten Tag Munchen
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 1 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 2 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 3 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 13 Munich to Paris
Europe 2011 - Day 14 & 15 Going Home

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