Highlight: Finding the vegetarian store and cafeteria, and eating their amazing food.
Lowlight: Fighting the crowds at the Prague Castle.
Money spent: 993 Kr
Pairs of clean underwear left: 5
I took my time leaving the hostel this morning, After a leisurely breakfast, I sent a few out a few emails. Then once I did leave I had to return twice: once to get my jacket and once to return my key to the front desk (since the rooms are shared, you don’t take the key with you). But 10:30 I had left for good and jumped on a subway to the castle. Subway tickets are only 14K for a one way ticket – that’s like less than 75 cents. And the subway is new, clean, and fast.
I was largely unimpressed with the castle. It’s an impressive structure and the view from the Great Tower was worth the long line and the painful walk up and down 300 steps. But the crowds were too oppressive to enjoy the place. As with most of these old buildings I’ve been to, I spend too much time wondering what’s behind all the locked doors or down railed off stairways. I’d love to have a chance to have unrestricted access for a few hours to explore on my own. Maybe at night by torchlight. Now that would be cool.
After the castle, I wandered the old square and found a great vegetarian restaurant. I wasn’t hungry, so I killed some time wandering around for a bit before returning. There was a market nearby where nearly every stall was selling identical items. Everything was “authentic, hand-crafted Czech [dolls, toys, puppets, etc]”. Even the paintings at each stall that looked like they were painted by the people at the booths often turned out to be prints that could be found at several stalls. So disappointing. Just mass produced tourist nick-knacks.
The vegetarian place was a cafeteria attached to a health food shop. The food was amazing. I loaded up a plate full of tofu, vegetables, baked celery, roast potatoes, and various items from the salad bar, and paid by weight. After my scrumptious lunch, I bought some groceries at the store – some soy milk and granola bars. I’m looking forward to a good bowl of cereal tomorrow morning. Should be refreshing change from toast.
Back at the hostel I did laundry in the sink and sat in the lounge for a bit, chatting with other guests and checking my email.
At 10 pm a bunch of us headed over to a bar for cheap Czech beer (Pilsner Urquell) and crappy onion rings. Our group consisted of 2 British girls, 1 American guy, 1 Finish guy, and 2 other Canadian guys – one from Winnipeg and one an Engineer from Dalhousie.