Sunday, January 29, 2006

From “Old Europe” to New

I took my first trip out of Germany this weekend-- heading east to visit Christina, a college friend, in Prague. Though I visited the city during while studying in Freiburg, I was looking forward to stepping outside of the tourist zone a bit and getting a better sense of the city.

We grabbed dinner the first night at a great vegetarian restaurant near Christina’s house (not typically Czech but vegetarian and Czech don’t easily find their way into the same sentence.) Afterwards we met up with her boyfriend and some other teachers from her English school. What a riot… you bring together 2 Brits, 2 American gals, a guy from Northern Ireland, another from Wisconsin and throw in a Pole for good measure and you’ve got yourself an entertaining evening. I guess a few Czech beers were thrown into the mix too☺ (As a side note I learned that Czechs out perform Germans in beer consumption each year. Who would have thunk it!?) Christina is also pleased to announce that she currently holds the record for keeping me out late (2:30am.)

Saturday was filled with sightseeing—Prague castle, the Charles Bridge, the Strahov monastery and library, Old Town Square, Wenceclas Square and the astronomical clock. It was FREAKING FREEZING so frequent warm up breaks were also required. Old Prague reminds me architecturally of East Berlin in many ways. My favorite teeny-bopper movie, “The Prince and Me,” was filmed in Prague, so it was also fun to recognize some of our sightseeing stops as scenes from the movie.

Christina had picked out another super vegetarian restaurant for dinner on Saturday (I had my first eggplant parm since leaving the US in August—my fav!) We met up with her boyfriend later in the evening at chatted at a local pub. I thoroughly enjoyed his accent (and all of the other teachers’ accents for that matter.) Even more enjoyable, Christina now seems to be speaking in a normal/West Virginia/British accent!!

Since I couldn’t convince Christina to shop for amber jewelry with me, I headed out on my own this morning. I didn’t find anything that screamed “take me home” but enjoyed walking around the old town area some more. My final meal in Prague was Czech (so I am told.) For about $1.50 you can get warm breaded cheese in a bun with mayo—heart attack on a plate, but man was it good!

Děkuji Christina


At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Erin,

Thanks for posting info about the vegetarian restaurants. I am visiting Prague in couple weeks with my wife and a 14 yr old daughter and her friend. Could you post the info about the location of the restaurants, other vegetarian place you may know. Any other tips will be appreciated.


Davy, CT USA

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful! I can't wait to see both of you soon. How did you travel to Prague? I am trying to think of economical and efficient ways to travel around the continent.


At 4:16 PM, Anonymous tanya said...

Great pictures from Prague!

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Hi Davy,
The two dinner places I mentioned are Radost FX Cafe and Retro. If you google the names with the words "vegetarian" and "Prague," reviews and their addresses pop up. Retro is not actually vegetarian, but they had 4 or 5 veggie entrees. Radost Cafe is all vegetarian. There are also two Indian places that have veggie options: one is near the Strahov monastery and the other is near Old Town Square. I don't remember the name of either unfortunately. If you are up for a bit of exploring though, I can tell you that the one near Old Town Square is on the left behind the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, past the Bric a Brac antique shop (which is also worth a look.) The Indian place near the monastery is between the Castle and the monastery, I think on Uvoz street.

Other veggie advice... some of the restaurants serve Balkan cheese, which reminds me a bit of Feta. It's really good and a Prague/regional specialty.

Other random advice... the first time I was in Prague I really enjoyed taking in a couple classical music concerts that people promote on the street. They ususally take place in cute churches and you get a flare of the music that came out of the city. I would also recommend a day ticket for the subway/trams or buying extra single use tickets because I found that some of the tram stops didn't have ticket machines and riding illegally always makes me nervous.

Have a great time in Prague! Hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it was for me last weekend!


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