Czech Out Swiss Week (Part 1)

While at home for the Christmas break, I was thinking about the Erasmus experience and decided that I needed to take the opportunity of cheaper travel much more than I already was doing. So I decided that I would visit my family in Switzerland for the second time, but also be more adventurous and travel to Prague first. This worked out quite cheaply and was the first trip that I took completely alone.

To add to the “adventurous” feel I was having, this trip was just 2 days after I returned from Venice, making the week quite an intense one. I left for the airport and flew straight to Prague in the evening, which meant I was just in time for dinner when I had arrived.

I stepped off the plane and searched the whole airport for the coach transfer into the town centre. Being alone and not exactly one that pays much attention to his surroundings, this was quite the challenge, but it got worse…

I eventually made it to the transfer and was at the central station of Prague. I needed to catch the metro but with everything being in Czech, it was so difficult. I even queued up to ask for help for 10 minutes and the lady selling tickets didn’t speak any English. I must have walked the length of the station about three times before I eventually got onto the correct metro. After that, the rest of the journey was easy.

I entered my hostel room that I was sharing with 7 other people and met a South African guy who was travelling to France and quickly became friends with him and a girl from Barcelona. We went for dinner together where I first tried some ‘fried ice-cream’. It was surprisingly really, really good!

The next day, I went into the old town part of Prague and wandered around, taking photographs and just soaking up the Czech culture. It was really nice and there were such a retro feeling to the town. I again went to dinner with the two people I was sharing a room and we shared our experiences of the day with each other.

The next day, I thought it would be time to be a typical tourist and visit all the sites. I first went into the new town area and found a small walk-by bar that sold a drink called “Grog” – it tastes just as disgusting as it sounds. I then made my way up to the top of the town where there was a castle and a place that you could completely see over Prague, which was amazing.

After lunch, I went to the National art gallery of Prague which was exhibiting a photographic exhibition called “Charta Story: The Story of Charter 77”. It showed photographs and stories of the imperative part of Czech history, which have not been seen before. It was such a moving and fascinating exhibition.

On the third day, I then went to see the John Lennon wall but when I got there it wasn’t what I was expecting. It was quite small in size and there was general graffiti covering the wall that ruined the artistic graffiti relating to love, peace and John Lennon. But it was still nice to see and admire. I went to bed quite early that night so I was just slightly prepared to wake up and leave Prague at about 5am.

Even though the weather was gloomy the whole time I was there, Prague was a nice, cultured city that I really enjoyed spending time in. Travelling alone was also a good experience for myself which really brought out my confidence more (especially the journey from the airport). It was also nice to make some new friends. Throwing myself into the deep end was definitely worth it.

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