|Prague, Czech Republic - day 1 (10.8.2015)
||[Aug. 15th, 2015|04:28 pm]
On Monday the 10th Bert and I got up at stupid o' clock (3.30 am) to be ready for Bert's parents to pick us up at 5.30 to drive us to Brussels Airlines (Zaventem airport) so we could be there well in time for our flight to Prague.
And lucky too that we left so early, because whilst we still got there without a glitch, some time later there was a gas leak which caused a lot of misery. In the afternoon there was also a strike from the luggage personel, so I'm glad Bert choose the earliest flight to Prague!
We set ourselves aside for a bit to get all our paperwork for check-in out, and I decided to take a photo of our bags. Just in case.
Getting checked in was a breeze, it's all automatic now (you can always get human assistance so it's all good) and we still had lots of time to spare on the airport. We had breakfast at Panos, and then went for a wander around the shops. We didn't want to buy anything, but we do like to browse :)
I'm starting to think that Muddy Apes secretly made a sneak-merch deal with Desingual or something haha :)
I really love the look of this bag, but at € 80 it's really far too expensive for what it is.
We spend the rest of our time lounging on the comfy sofas 'till it was time to check in and get on the plane. I pretty much slept the entire plane ride.
When we got in Prague our bags came out pretty quickly, and because it was boiling hot (36°C) and I didn't feel like standing for nearly 30 minutes to get an undoubtedly crowed airport transfer bus, we got a cab instead. Sure it cost more, but at least we got to our hotel in comfort which was totally worth every cent!
We couldn't get into our room yet, but at least we could leave our bags behind and do all the check-in paperwork.
It was really noticeable (from the email communication beforehand too) that when we booked via a travel agent back in 2011 and thus paid more, the hotel staff was significantly more friendly. Now we booked their cheapest available formula via booking.com and they were clearly treating us as second rate guests. They were professional but very curt, whilst they were a lot friendlier to other guests. So not cool. And the luggage clerk was plain unfriendly and surly XD
Having checked in, we walked to the Palladium mall to have buffet Asian food lunch at Running Sushi. Sadly I couldn't eat much, and I didn't much like the taste of a lot of things. Running Sushi is a double decker conveyer belt place, and I was under the impression that they weren't as good as they should have been with taking things back off the belt. Some of the hot dishes were lukewarm, and some of the sushi was borderline too warm. Regardless, we had lunch and neither of us got sick. It was also cheap: 750 CZK for two lunches, one coca-cola and two pints. Whilst I liked the food better back in 2011 the prices at least hadn't gone up :)
Apparently Running Sushi is a bit of a hit or miss, either it'll be fabulous or so-so. Still worth the risk in my opinion so I'd definitely go there again ^^
After food we checked out some shops before passing by bakery PAUL where I got a giant vanilla macaron
and walking back to the hotel. By that time our room was ready, so we got our bags, dragged them up to our room and got settled in and shared the macaron before applying sunblock and going back out to wander through town :)
First stop was the Mucha Museum, where sadly you're not allowed to photograph :(
It's a beautiful museum though.
We got a poster in the gift shop, I wanted to buy Agnes one for her birthday too, but they didn't have the ones she liked so I decided to be on the look-out for something else instead :)
I did buy some postcards :)
We went looking for the big Tesco supermarket to buy more bottles of water and passed by a Sephora on the way. I didn't buy anything, but I did look around :)
It took us a while to find the big Tesco supermarket again, but we succeeded in the end and bought more water. It was so hot, so drinking loads was definitely a good plan!
I took some pictures of other cute drinks :)
Picture for Saltje because she loves Hello Kitty :)
Next to Tesco there was another Sephora, and I can't remember at which Sephora it was, but at one of the two that weren't in the Palladium, I ended up buying some nail varnish (which was more expensive than in France, but both were end of the line and I didn't want to risk missing out) and some golden bronze eye shadow (which was cheaper than in France, go figure) because I'm a steampunk cliché :)
Of course we ended up the Absintherie on the Jilka Street.
Now the Absintherie is, as the name suggests, an Absinthe speciality bar/café and shop. There's two of them, the largest on Jilka Street and the smaller on Franz Kafka Square. Last time we always went to the larger one, so this time we did that as well.
This time however, they started another IDIOTIC custom, and that is adding dry ice to the absinthe water. Which is a chemical mess. I tasted the water and I couldn't even swallow it, it was SO disgusting. And Bert said that the absinthe wouldn't properly thin either. So sure it looks cool, but it ruins your drink, and you pay enough for the French and Swiss absinthes as it is (I personally wouldn't touch the Czech stuff with a 10 foot pole because it's proper dodgy). Needless to say, we always requested without dry ice afterwards!
French absinthe in a King of Spirits (crap Czech absinthe) glass, because why not *eyeroll*.
I had ordered an apple juice, and the waiter gave me the stink eye. So I said I don't drink alcohol, which not only earned me a bigger stink eye, but it also got me an expired bottle. Sadly I didn't know it was expired 'till after I had drank it. It still tasted normal so it was ok health wise, but I thought it was very much NOT done. If it hadn't been for the fact that Bert didn't want me to I would have made a point about it. So basically, if you order a drink at the absintherie, check the expiration date!
At least there was this cool steampunk bike outside the shop. But sadly this douchebag at a table wouldn't move out of the photo. He kept on laughing in a really stupid way too, knowing full well he was in the way in the frame. Jerk.
I don't want to scare people out of going to Prague, because it is a BEAUTIFULL city and well worth visiting, but a lot of people working there are fed up with tourism and are thus not as friendly as they should be. My advise would be to do what we did: ignore them and just enjoy your trip. I just write everything down because I believe in refusing to sugarcoat a trip report :)
It's definitely not put me off going back, although I want to see some other places first before I would because you know: variety is fun when it comes to holidays :)
For dinner I had some sandwiches from the M&S shop at the Palladium, and Bert went to the top floor where they have all the restaurants and food places (I suppose it's the food court) to have a sandwich. The place was a bit weird and to be honest, food safety hazard-y looking, but he didn't get sick so it was ok I suppose. That said, I would go to the sandwich place on the same side as Running Sushi because that looked rather less dodgy :)
I took loads more photos on the second day (although not as many as I generally would because it was just TOO DAMN HOT). In the mean time, all my photos are here in this set :)