We had modest plans for Prague: hole up in a hotel for the length of our stay, do a couple of Context tours, and spend our last evening with some Kiwi friends. We were going to be wonderfully productive and not very social… we failed on both counts.
We weren’t in Prague to be tourists, rather to fill up the nine spare days between finishing a housesit in Berlin and starting another in the UK. However, at the last minute our friend Charles (who Craig travelled with in the Baltics) invited us to stay with him, and of course we said yes. We also said yes to all his suggestions: meals out, an outdoor movie, a cooking class and a street food festival among many more. It was a delicious time: I especially enjoyed the eggs Benedict at La Gare and the Australian meat pies from a street stand.
We didn’t just hang out with Charles, though. We had a Czech lunch with our Finnish friends Jakko and Rachel, and a Mexican one with Moroni and Mirka. James from Nomadic Notes was in town so we had coffee with him — Craig did a three-coffee tasting, which was fun. Janine and Clothilde arrived on Monday and they joined Charles’s multi-day gastronomic tour of Prague: on the first night we ate at Nejen in Karlin and on the second joined several of Charles’s friends for more Mexican and the worst customer service we’ve seen in the Czech Republic.
Our Context tours were both conducted by the same guide, Marek, who was friendly and informative and took us out for a beer after the Art Nouveau and Modernism tour (so many pretty buildings!). The weather wasn’t nice to us on either day, though: it was scorching for the first one and raining for the second, but we learned a lot about the city and had a good time.
The rain had stopped by midday Wednesday, when our friends Graham and Jon arrived. It was our last day in Prague and their first, and we filled it with a visit to Mucha’s Slav Epic exhibition, a wander around Stromovka Park, and a bit too much beer. Pivovarsky Klub has a menu of over 200 beers, and instead of just ordering one each, we did a kind of impromptu tasting: we chose a style (light, hoppy, dark), asked the waiter to bring us three beers of that type, and then we all had a taste.
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay forever, the next housesit was calling. We reluctantly got up at 6am to head to the airport for our flight to London Stansted, and miraculously everything went well. The Czech border guard was a little confused when he couldn’t find my Schengen zone entrance stamp, but he eventually waved me through, and the border control queue at Stansted was amazingly short and free flowing. I wasn’t too sure how to reply when the border guard told me that she loved New Zealand and would probably overstay if she went to visit!
We won’t be overstaying here in the UK, but it looks like we’re going to have a good time. Our temporary pets Dude the Labrador and Audy the cat have welcomed us enthusiastically, and the weather is better than we could have imagined. Hopefully now we’ll be able to get some work done!