After what feels like forever, Chris and I were finally reunited on Friday morning. We hadn’t seen each other since I came to visit him in Copenhagen, and that was over four weeks ago! That is potentially the longest we have ever been away from each other. I know, our life is crazy like that.
I took it upon myself to plan out the weekend for us, and we started off with a walking tour of Prague, based upon a map I received. One of our first stops was Petřín hill, somewhere I hadn’t actually been! Rather than take the tram to the top, we thought we would walk up. I personally felt a lot of regret towards this decision when we discovered how steep it was, but it was beautiful to walk up through orchards and forests.
At the top of the hill is a viewing tower that was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The views we had seen on the way up were enough to satisfy our desires, so we stayed on the ground.
We wandered down from the hill to have a walk around the Strahov Monastery, and stopped for a beer and snack at a cafe with the most spectacular view over the city. Sure, there beers were a bit more expensive here (by Prague standards, though in reality they were still like $3) but it was beautiful to sit there and take it all in.
I took Chris through the Royal Gardens, similar to the adventures I had the other day, before walking back down past the Jewish Quarter in the main city. I haven’t had a chance to go into the Jewish Quarter yet, but I have plans to go with friends soon.
After dinner, we walked along Charles Bridge (which was still overflowing with tourists) and found a secluded dock on the edge of Kampa Island. It was amazing to sit there and take in everything about this beautiful city.
After some shopping on Saturday morning, we jumped on the train to Plzeń; a city about an hour away from Prague. This city is renowned for being the home of Pilsner Urquell, arguably one of the most popular beers in the Czech Republic. I had planned this trip for us after discovering that Saturday was “Pilsnerfest”. It was a great free festival at the brewery, featuring local Czech food, live music, barrel rolling, and – of course – beer.
Czech food is essentially cheese, meat and potatoes. We ended up trying some kind of bizarre, salty cheese and a potato and paprika dish. Half a chicken and deep fried bread didn’t sound so appealing!
There was no shortage of people when the time came for the crowd toast. We were lucky enough to be one of the few people to score a free can before they were all distributed. Na zdraví! (which literally translates as “to health”).
I was determined to feed Chris some Czech food, so after a bit of hunting we managed to find a Czech pub that wasn’t overflowing with people. Goulash and dumplings went down well, and Chris was practically in hysterics when he discovered how much the bill was ($20 for two huge meals and beers).
I start classes more officially this week, and after all the tears that were shed trying to work out my subjects last week, I think things are finally going to be okay!