We left Paris en route to Prague early in the morning. We decided to take the train in order to see the countryside and to avoid getting on another plane because I absolutely hate flying with a passion plus it was cheaper.
Dean and I arrived in Mannheim, Germany by train from Paris to catch our train to Prague. When we arrived, we looked at electronic board that had all of trains and destinations on it but could not find ours. Naturally, we went inside the station to ask and I knew I wanted to find a small snack (because I figured we would get a meal on the train). This is when we were in for a massive shock, we were not on a train to Prague but we were on a BUS!!
So how in the hell did that happen? Well, apparently when Dean was booking the tickets, the only way to get from Paris to Prague was with a transfer somewhere in Germany. For the second leg, when he booked it said BUS on it. It’s an easy mistake to make as when you generally fly, BUS means “Business Class” and that’s what he thought he had booked us was in the business class cabin of a train, and not a fucking bus.
As you could imagine, I was furious and upset at this. We would be on a bus for 8 hours! At this point, we frantically grabbed some food which included a fruit smoothie, a fruit cup and a bottle of water. Thankfully, I had just ate a Quest bar. Then, it was on to try and find a washroom. Much to my shock, you have to pay (with cash) to use the washrooms in public places in Europe. I did not have any coins on me so I frantically had to sprint back to Dean (practically in tears) as I knew we had to go find our bus.
We found the bus and thankfully, it had a washroom on it as it was a large double decker bus. We took our seats and thankfully, we had access to free Wifi.
What we did NOT have was really any option for food. The only food they had was in a vending machine that once again, only took coins that we did not have. We had to go from 1pm to 10pm without hardly any food. It was super!
We left on what would be the longest bus ride ever on our way to Prague. Like most buses though, there are stops along the way to pick people up and let people off. So of course, that adds time. What we did not expect was that apparently it was big holiday in Germany that weekend so everyone and their dog was out on the roads leading to massive congestion. What also added to the fun was there was also a shit ton of construction, making it stop and go for I swear two hours. We both regretted not flying and have vowed to never to this ever again.
We made our way to Nuremberg where everyone on the bus got off it and we were the only two to stay on. I wanted to cry and think I kind of did at that point. We still had a ways to go to get to Prague.
What also added to the fun was that there was a group of about ten young males who were ready to party (and party hard). They were thankfully on the upper level but we could still hear them.
I kid you not when I swear that on the last two hours of the ride (which would should had already arrived to Prague by then), there was no air movement at all on that bus. It was dead, stale and sweaty air. It was disgusting and I felt disgusting.
When we FINALLY arrived in Prague, we were met by military and police (that was super fun). Apparently the driver had called them to deal with the party boys and those guys got grabbed and hauled off pretty damn quick too. I had my passport out and hands up by my chest just to be on the safe side. By this time, we grabbed our bags waited for our ride to show up. We were both exhausted and hungry.
The great thing though is that we were going to be sharing an apartment with Tony Gentilcore and his lovely wife, Lisa, so they were able to pick up some food. We finally made it to the apartment and thankfully, Tony stayed up (barely) to let us in as they had just arrived from Boston that day so they were exhausted. Dean and I chowed down on some granola, I had a shower (as I seriously stunk from sweat) and went to bed. We were both out in minutes. I was in tears from being so happy that was over.
As Dean and Tony had day one of the workshop they were teaching, they were out the door by 8am. I had breakfast, got ready and Lisa and I were ready to start our first day in Prague together. I suddenly realized why people call it “The Paris of the East”.
The one thing I noticed in the first day of being there was that Prague took their coffee and food very seriously. I have to say with 100% honesty that Prague had some of the best food (and cheapest on top of that) of any country I have ever been to! Everything is fresh, you can find vegetable and fruit everywhere and a lot of places offered “paleo” and a lot of “vegan” options. It was amazing! As someone who has to be careful with what they eat due to digestive issues, I had no problem with finding food in Prague.
The following day, I decided to head out for a run (especially after two days of not training) and i surprisingly only got lost once due to taking a wrong turn.
It was a bit of a rainy and colder day so Lisa and I stuck around Old Town Square and just walked around (as the apartment we were staying at was a 5 minute walk from the square). We explored some local shops and I was able to pick up some cute gifts for my nieces and nephew as well I discovered a local skin care shop that sells all natural products. We also explored the National Gallery and then headed home to just chill out until the guys were done.
We were invited over to the workshop host, Tomas Bartos, house for a home cooked meal made by his lovely (and at the time, 9 months pregnant) wife who gave birth to a healthy baby boy the day after we left. We even had some home made Czech “moonshine”. By the time supper was over, I could tell the guys were drained so we headed back to the apartment, watched part of a movie and called it a night (I know, we all party really hard).
The next day, we were able to go work out at the facility that hosted the workshop and it was so good to get a lift in. I had not lifted any weights since before we left Edmonton so I felt better after getting back at it.
Afterwards, we went for coffee and lunch before we made our way to the Prague Castle.
The castle was well worth the long trek to get to. Despite how high up it is, you get to the top pretty quickly. From there, we get one of the best views of Prague.
The next day, Dean and I did our own thing and went back to the gym to get a solid workout in. It felt good to get some sprints on the bike again (even if it was on a spin bike). After, we went back to the apartment for lunch and headed out for the day. I took Dean over to the Charles Bridge and we walked across it. After, we decided to go to the Museum of Medieval Torture. It was as fucked up as it sounds. Seriously, people (especially in Germany it seemed) were really fucked up when it came to torturing people. After, we walked through Old Town Square and decided to climb up the Old City Hall tower by the Astronomical Clock.
Right across in the square, was an art gallery that was featuring paintings from Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol so of course, we had to check it out.
Our time in Prague was coming to a close. We all went out for one last group supper at an outstanding restaurant called Cestr and it was one of the best meals of the entire trip. Shout out to A Taste of Prague for the recommendation!
The next day, Dean and packed up (which I was really getting sick of living out of a suitcase at this point) and got ready to head out to our next destination, Oslo. But not before we had another trdelnik:
Prague very quickly became our new favourite city and we already can’t wait to go back at some point.
We had one last supper at a place just around the corner from the apartment and then sadly headed out to the airport. Check back tomorrow when I recap our time in Oslo.