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Czeching In

Arriving two hours off schedule, our tour group picked up our room keys right before noon at the Czech Inn. Kenzie was the only person I knew going into the trip, but we were soon acquainted with our hostel roommates, Dena and Chelsea. They were from New England staying with a host mother in Florence. 
After a quick hostel breakfast, we took the bus and metro into the Old Square for our guided tour. 

Jan Hus Statue


Where The Beer Is Cheaper Than Water
Before our first stop in front of the Jan Hus Statue, Kenzie, Dena and I grabbed a pivo (beer) from a street vendor. We caught up with the group with approval from our tour guide, Andrea. She encouraged us all to try the beer, for the Czechs are very proud of their world renown beverage. After debriefing the history about the Old Town Square, we watched the Astronomical Clock Procession. Hundreds of tourists gathered in front of the church to watch caricatures rotate in and out of the clock. I found it stunning, especially after Andrea mentioned that the clock’s creator was blinded and de-tongued by the Czech government to prevent the artist from building a better clock for another country. 
What a pleasant story.

Astronomical Clock


Andrea took us into a few churches while revealing centuries of Czech culture. Though a few hours of fun facts did not give this country justice. The streets of Prague have been through the worse, and we were standing in the middle of history. 
We ended the tour at Bohemian Bagel, a common tourist spot. I planned on visiting the spots my friend Laura recommended while studying abroad this past summer. My hostel roommates and I ventured to a bar on her list called Atmosphere. We drank a few Fenix beers with two baskets of roasted potatoes with dipping sauces, all for around $10 USD.  Near the end of beer number 2, a crowd of loud, drunk men sat down a little too close to our table. They quizzed us on US geography and called me “Dorthy” for being from Kansas. They were a somewhat amusing but we had had enough and left to wander the streets of Praha.

I Got My Fenix, Laura!


The Evolution of The Judicial System
 While checking out the Charles Bridge, we walked into the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments. Three floors of spiked chairs and cages told stories of the prosecuted victims aging from as recent as the 21st century. Historic horror stories have always fascinated me, so I was in for a real treat.
With blood and torture on our mind, we were ready to hit the town for the Pub Crawl.

But Really, Ouch


“Every Bar Sells Vodka”
The Pub Crawl lead us to the Vodka Bar, where we helped ourselves to 90 minutes of unlimited Sangria and beer. For the first time this semester, I watched a beer pong game in action.
I almost got homesick.
The bartenders were a hoot. They played remixes of Snoop Dogg and Dave Matthews Band, which had us dancing all night long.
Or at least until the second bar.
A group of us huddled across a few streets to find a long line at our next destination. The bar was I.D.ing patrons. 
Considering I only carried small change in my pocket, we headed to another place with a live band. Though I had no clue what the lyrics were, I finally danced at a bar in Europe without having to swat away preying men.
After a while, Kenzie and I wanted to return to the Vodka Bar. We asked locals on the street for directions only to hear “there’s vodka in every bar” as a response. *sigh*
After giving up, we approached an open food station. Kenzie ordered the largest sausage I’ve ever seen and I asked if I could “pay for a gyro with euros”. Then laughed at my pun.
Our late night indulgence was quickly burned off during our 30 min trek home. We could not afford a cab and spent a few blocks in the wrong direction, but managed to make it safely back to the Czech Inn.

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