Dave came to visit this weekend and I was SO happy to see him! Two weeks is a long time to be apart and it was so good to be together again. He got in on Friday evening and we started the night off right away- drinks with everyone from the Hotel! After a few ice cold pivos and some shots of a traditional Czech liquor, Vaječný Sen (translation: Egg Dream) we headed up to meet the rest of group downtown. We ended up spending most of the night at a club in Wenceslas Square, sharing some beers and Absinth shots. The rest of the group headed to another club around 1:30am, but Dave and I headed home so we could get enough rest for a full day of fun on Saturday.
True to plan we woke up early on Saturday ready to get in some sightseeing. Of course- we had to stop by Bohemia Bagel for a post night of drinking breakfast (delicious as always!). After breakfast we walked through Old Town Square, checked out a cute street market and then jumped on the 22 tram up to Pohořelec. I wanted to look into to visiting Strahov Monastery, but it was closed for lunch break. Rather than waiting around we decided to venture up Petrin Hill and visit the observation tower. Basically we did the reverse of what Maddie and I did last week. Last week we walked up the hill and then took the tram back down. Dave and I opted for the easy ride up and a stroll down (much more my style).
After our lovely and lengthy stroll we headed into the city of Prague to check out some of the biggest tourist attractions. Since we’ve both been to the city before we were able to be a bit more relaxed about our touristing (but I still managed to get in some good photo ops! We stopped on a park bench for 45 minutes or so, soaking up the sun and watching locals enjoy the afternoon. We made a slight detour to the Lennon Wall, walked over the Charles Bridge, back into Old Town Square and then made our way home. We saw a lot, including something I hadn’t seen before- the Love Lock gate. Legend has it that when you find your true love you carve your names on a lock and lock it onto the gate. You then throw the key in to the canal, “locking” your love forever! We overheard a tour guide telling her group that the locks started appearing in 2009 and have grown in popularity since. I thought it was a romantic and touching site. Dave and I didn’t have a lock on us, but I found one lock in the shape of a heart with the words, “For lovers only” and decided it could be our symbolic lock. Maybe one day we’ll go back and add our lock to the masses!
After a long morning of walking and taking in the sites we came back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. Instead of napping I found out that South Park Studios (the official website will full length South Park episodes) plays full episodes in Europe! So of course I had to catch up on the new season…For those of you who haven’t traveled internationally- most free streaming sites, like Hulu, NBC, ABC etc…don’t work in Europe. So finally finding a way to watch high quality episodes of my favorite shows was a fantastic find! We didn’t have much time though because we were meeting up with about 10 people from our group for an evening soccer game (or “football match”) between AC Sparta Prague and Mlada Boleslav. The game was a lot of fun, though Sparta was suppose to win and got their asses kicked! We got half litre beers and sausages for 75 korunas (a little less than $4 American) and noticed that it cost 80 korunas for the soda and sausage deal. Man I love being in a country that takes their beer seriously!
The game ended around 8:30 and Dave and I departed from the rest of the group for a late dinner. We stopped in at a fantastic and traditional Czech restaurant a little outside of Old Town Square. I got goulash (my 5th plate in two weeks?!) and Dave ordered something called the Peasant Plate, which was essentially a pig knuckle, i.e. a giant pig knee. I was a little nervous to try it, but it was pretty delicious. I love my adventurous carnivorous man- always getting me to try new things!
We wanted our final day together in Prague to also be low key. Since we both love zoos- when we lived in D.C. we lived only a 15 minute walk to the National Zoo and walked through about once a week- we decided to check out the Prague Zoo. We’d heard good things about the recent renovations and were not disappointed! The zoo is huge, well priced and beautiful. We spent more than 3 hours wandering around, checking out animals and enjoying the beautiful Fall day. My favorite animals were, of course, the elephants. Dave was excited to see the moose (a Maine thing I guess), but unfortunately they weren’t out. Luckily he was greatly impressed by the polar bears and claimed they made up for missing the moose. We also both loved the seals, mountain goats, gorillas and birds of prey. In the birds of prey area they have a spot for visitors to view the animals with no net or fence. Because they’re birds of prey there was some pretty rank smelling rotten meat carcasses lying around their pen, but they were fascinating to watch. The only part of the zoo I didn’t like was the free roaming bat section. You walk into this spooky, dark cave (for nocturnal animals) and in one section bats are able to fly freely around your head. Needless to say I was not impressed and made a beeline for the exit. Dave thought it was pretty funny, but we’ve had two experiences in the past year with bats in our room/house and I’d be happy to never see another one again!
After the zoo we ate a hearty Czech lunch consisting of many beers and some fried cheese. Later that night we went out with a few people to catch the Patriots v. Steelers game at an “American style bar”. This place was more like the basement of a dirty frat house, but it did have the game. Though the end result was less than ideal (the Pats lost), it was still a lot of fun to get our “real football” fix. We got back pretty late, but because Day Light Saving Time took place across the EU this weekend the game ended an hour earlier than usual- just for this week though!
Overall it was a wonderful weekend and it was so good to be together again. Dave left early yesterday morning and by time I woke up I already missed him. Only two more weeks until we’re reunited forever! Good thing we’re both loving our programs and are super busy- the next two weeks are going to fly by!