Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 - Eastern Europe Day 16 (Prague)

Our overnight train actually includes an alarm which is nice that goes off at 30 minutes (I believe) before the expected arrival so that you can get up and prepare for your day. You can however, request to turn it off. There is one alarm per bunk, so even if you turn yours off, you need to make sure that your cabin mates turn theirs off as well.

Budavar Pension was our hotel in Budapest and overall, I thought it was good. The location is very good and right by the Fisherman's Bastion and a short walk to the local train station which has a Spar supermarket. Viktor was a very good innkeeper and was very helpful. Breakfast was included and it was good enough for a B & B style hotel since their are only roughly 6 rooms. Our room was very large and had a great view of the parliament building. Viktor isn't always there, so you do need to coordinate when you arrive so that he is there. There is no tub here as well (maybe it isn't common in Europe), and there is also no lift/elevator, but Viktor did help bring our luggage up the stairs.
We arrived at 6:45am. I got us a bit lost once we headed outside but unfortunately, nothing is open yet at the train station, so you need an idea of which direction you need to go. After we found our way, we got to the hotel and dropped off our bags and headed to the local McDonald’s for breakfast. Their breakfast is the same as ours, however, we noticed that they have some Mario toys for their Happy Meals and I guess we will be coming back a few times. Tax is included in the price and it was only 45 Kč. Yes, that means that a Happy Meal cost us roughly $2.50 CAD.

National Museum.
Which do I eat first?
We walked the Old Town Square area in the morning and arrived at the clock for the show that takes place at noon and this place was PACKED! Insane amount of people compared to Munich and man, this was a disappointment. It lasted for about one minute and nothing happens. There are some sounds, someone hits a ball and it is over. There is no show like in Munich where figurines move around. I wouldn’t waste my time to come and see this, but it is up to you, if you happen to be here at that time, it is fine (much like we were), but I would feel like I wasted my time if I went out of my way to see it.

Astronomical clock.
Trdelnik, basically a hollow cinnamon roll.
Local crepe, it is a flat rectangular pancake.
While wandering around, we walked past a protest. Yes, a protest, well, actually, what we thought was a protest. Allison asked a police officer what was happening since the protest had police officers escorting them and apparently this happens all the time when their local soccer team is playing. How ridiculous does that sound? There is a huge group just wandering the streets and cheering for their team even though they weren’t playing until later in the day.

Really excited soccer fans.
Riot police.
Made it to the Charles Bridge and crossed it to get to the John Lennon Pub for lunch. The Charles Bridge is a pretty big tourist landmark and it is hard to miss if you are in the area. It is a bit dark and there are lots of tourist stands on it (drawings, paintings, souvenir shops, etc). If you come at the wrong time, it will be packed.

Charles Bridge.
Trying to mimic the portrait.
At the pub, we ordered the Farmer’s Kettle, pork ribs, tomato salad, and the goulash with lemonades which were raspberry lemonades today. They were a bit fizzy which was weird and not for me. We arrived at 12:15pm on a Sunday and surprisingly it wasn’t busy, there were maybe three other tables. Food was okay, I wouldn’t go out of the way to come eat here. Service was fine and they spoke English. Entrees were roughly 250 Kč and cost us 1,053 Kč in total.

Farmer's Kettle.
Goulash in a bread bowl with tomato salad.
After lunch, we saw the John Lennon Wall, took some pictures and headed back to the hotel to rest a bit since we didn’t really sleep well on the train. Ended up at U Kroka for dinner which is on the opposite side of the tourist area and the entrees were really cheap at around 200 Kč a dish and they were really big and filling. Beer still costs roughly the same as a regular drink in this city/country, so I guess I’m drinking again! Ordered the roasted pork, sliced duck breast, and rolled rabbit loin and tried the mixed beer which turned out to be a dark beer on top of a light beer. Food was pretty good, I’d suggest coming although it may be out of the way. Total was 876 Kč.

Local locks.
John Lennon wall.
Local architecture.
Dancing building.
With dinner completed, we walked back to the main train station to buy train tickets for Kutna Hora tomorrow and we headed back to the hotel and called it a day.

Beer #14?
Roast pork.

Duck breast.
Rabbit loin.
National Museum at night.
Tomorrow, we will visit Kutna Hora and explore the little town there.