Sunday, April 19, 2009


I arrived to Prague very late Thursday night, my flight was delayed…what a surprise. I have noticed that flights are more delayed in Europe than in other places I have traveled…and usually the weather is fine when they are delayed. I had booked a hotel for this trip, I had researched Hostels but the availability wasn’t working out for this trip. The hotel wasn’t close to the center of town but Prague has many options of public transportation. I came to Prague to see the city but also I came to visit a friend I went to college with. I was told that Prague is known for its Beers and for its Beautiful women; I saw a city that had more to offer than that.

It was Thursday night in Prague; we headed out to find a pub. The beer in Prague is cheap and they are served in half liters. The average beer cost around 2 to 3 US dollars near the center and the cheapest beer I drank was under a dollar (Exchange rate was 1 Kroner = 21.50 US Dollar and 1 Euro = close to 27 K). My friend Scott and I found a pub that seemed to go on forever, every time we went into a new room of the pub there seemed to be another extension, it was like a maze! (Wished I remembered the name) We had several beers there, I met an older English guy who was living in Turkey but used to live in Leiden Netherlands so we enjoyed the conversation with him. I talked about Leiden with him and he couldn’t believe that I was out visiting Prague.

Prague is also another city that never sleeps. It was close to 4 am when I decided to turn in and people were still drinking and having a great time in the pubs. The next morning I tried my first Czech breakfast, bologna, cheese, muesli with yogurt, and boiled eggs. Something about this breakfast didn’t agree with me so I spent the first morning in Prague under the weather. I still ventured out but at a slower pace. First day in Prague, Scott and I covered some ground; we went to Hardcany, which is the castle, cathedral, and old royal palace. We made our way up to the highest point in Prague. On top of the hill it over looked new and old town of Prague. On top of the highest point of Prague is a Skate park! It was crazy, one way I sat and watched all ages skate board and do tricks and then the other view was the city of Prague, Scott and I sat up on the hill for an hour of so discussing how nothing in America is close to the history and sites you see in Europe. The weather the entire weekend was perfect, I wore short sleeves and even a skirt one day it was so warm. Close to mid 70’s everyday! I think I might have gotten a little sun burned one day on my arms! It was perfect. It prepared me for spring…Holland never gets that warm. Before we walked around the castle we stumbled upon the Czech soccer stadium, we went inside and it was so cool to sit in the stands and admire their facilities. I wished there had been a game that weekend; I have yet to see a live soccer match. I had my first Czech meal, meat goulash with bread…It was delicious!

Friday evening, we went to Karlovy Lazne, the largest club in Prague. Its five stories and 5 different clubs in one, each floor was a different type of music. The First floor had a Heineken Beer bar as well as a dance floor playing the top 40 hits, it was the smallest space. The second floor was 80’s/ 90’s music, it had a disco floor with the squares that light up, and this floor seemed to be the most packed…Europe loves the 80’s. When we were on this floor we herd ‘Barbie Girl’ and everyone seemed to go crazy for this song. The third floor was Techno and Trance, it had more lasers, smoke machines, and energy than I have seen in a club I had been to. I spent some time on this floor; I love the progressive trance and techno that the DJ was playing. The Forth floor was the hip hop dance level and it was really packed. The fifth floor was the chill out floor, it had trance playing but there were couches, bean bags, and tables to sit at everywhere. It was a really nice floor to chill out drink and talk. Each floor had both walls illuminated with light shows going on. This club had something that appealed to everyone’s tastes. We arrived at 12:30 am and didn’t leave till close to 5:00 am…the clubs and bars never close! We were worn out but had such a fun night dancing to every type of music on every floor. I turned into my hotel and watched the sun rise from my room. The sunrise was really gorgeous.

Sunday in Prague, Scott and I had planned to see a few more things in the city and then that afternoon we were getting picked up to see his town about 40 miles away from Prague. We both decided we wanted to see the Astronomical Clock; it features a mechanical performance by Christ and the Apostles. It hangs on the Town Hall. This is also located in the Staromestske Square; it’s the city’s main square and market. It was full of people enjoying the weather as well as the Easter weekend festivities. It was time to head to Louny. I was very excited to see outside of Prague. Once we were picked up and in the car outside of Prague, the landscape was hilly, green, and just full of small towns scattered along the way. Arriving in Louny Scott showed me around the small town, and then it was time for lunch. I GOT MEXICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, it wasn’t authentic Mexican food but it was the closest thing to it, and I was completely satisfied! I ordered chips and salsa as well as a pork and chicken burrito; I was all smiles after this. I had gotten some Mexican food in Europe! There is a story about paying for lunch as well, both of us had been out late the night before and neither of us had checked to see how much cast we had on us and well we came up short when the bill came…Scott had to run to the ATM while I stayed as collateral for the meal. We both felt horrible but we laughed it off after. After the fulfilling meal we set off to see where Scott was working, the baseball field in the park. Scott is coaching baseball in Louny. It was a good day in Prague. In the town of Louny Scott is one of three Americans, many do not speak English so he had to learn a lot of Czech before coming over. He also is teaching English as a side job. I was really impressed with his Czech speaking skills. That evening we went to the other coaches house to meet his family and have a BBQ, I was so full from Mexican I couldn’t eat but I ate anyways. Meeting Peter and his family I was so grateful for the hospitality they offered me. The evening consisted of great traditional Czech BBQ, tasting of many Czech alcoholic drinks and Vino under the stars. They were so interested in my studies as well as how Scott and I became friends. It was nice to just sit around a grill and have a few drinks and spend time with such great people. Reminded me of home, it was nice to feel at ease with complete strangers. The next morning I woke up preparing to head back to Prague. We had looked at the bus schedule and decided to get the before noon bus into the city, so I could see more of Prague and have time to pack cause I had a 7:00 am flight Monday morning. Due to it being the day before Easter and Sunday the buses were running less frequently, we waited at the bus terminal in Louny for 4 hours for a bus. Both of us were worried there wasn’t a bus coming, but finally we were able to catch a bus. Back in Prague I packed for my trip the next morning and then it was time to head back out into the city for my last afternoon and evening in Prague. We went back towards the Astronomical clock and sat in the square and enjoyed beers and a small snack. That evening we wanted to get either Thai food or Asian cuisine. We found neither that was in our price range. But to our advantage we were walking down one of the many narrow streets in Prague and both herd some familiar music playing. We walked closer to hear nothing but Reggae playing, both of us were automatically sold on walking into this place to have a drink. Scott and I have always had similar likings to music and we both were very satisfied with our choice of stumbling into this pub. The restaurant/pub was set up with booths and tables but with a very chill atmosphere, warm colors and pillows scattered about. We picked a corner spot and ordered some house wine. I am becoming a wino. We ended up having food and a lot more wine in this pub. It was called Ethos Restaurant and pub it had been open for 19 years. We decided to just continue to talk and enjoy the music that night, I wasn’t in the mood to go out and party hard for my last night in Prague. After leaving the Ethos restaurant I wanted to walk across the famous Charles Bridge, it was beautiful the castle on the hill was lit up along with the entire city, I was able to capture some awesome night photography here. This was defiantly the best close of a trip, South African Wine, Reggae, and great conversation with the only familiar face I knew in Europe!


I headed to Dublin on March 20th, 2009. I went with a few of my fellow University students on the short trip to Ireland. We stayed near the Temple Bar area at a very nice hostel called the Four Courts Hostel. I had many firsts on this trip, my first good hamburger (I don’t eat much meat but the burgers in Europe aren’t to my standards). I tried my first Guinness, and I loved it! I had my first viewing of Irish men wrestling on the floor of my hostel at 3 am when I am trying to get some rest. I was able to visit Meath and Newgrange… A burial tomb that is older than the pyramids. Ireland was a busy city, full of TAXI’s which was very strange. I was able to see Trinity College as well as Dublin Castle both were very cool to walk around and observe. We as a group realized we were in Dublin when the Rugby Grand Slam Tournament was happening. Ireland is exceptional at Rugby and was playing in the tournament undefeated, if they won the last match they would be the champions as well as undefeated and this had not happened in 61 years. Turns out that Ireland won and Dublin was in complete celebration all night! It was epic to watch and be apart of. We made a small train ride adventure to the neighboring village of Howth which is a port on the coast of Ireland outside of Dublin, it was beautiful. I ate fish and chips while watching the seals and the sun set. Ireland was a great trip to follow up from my Spring Break in Rome.