It was my first time in Prague but I hope it won't be the last. I've covered a lot of the world in the last 10 years, but not much of Eastern Europe. And predominantly I travel for work, so if anyone asks me about holidays or weekend getaways, I rave about my bed and sofa in London. But ever since I randomly decided to tick off opera houses and ballets around the world (80 might not happen this year, but I’m hoping for a round 20), I’ve finally started exploring places just for myself and ended up at a few new airports.
Prague was love at first sight. Genuinely refreshing and way more exciting compared to seemingly more popular European capital cities I’ve lately visited. It also felt close to home, to Poland. That’s geographically speaking, but also in terms of its Slavic vibes. It does have a subtle Germanic touch (well, Prague lies not far from the German and Austrian borders and historically has ties to them), but food, people and language, they felt familiar.
Yes, I came here to see an opera. I frankly need a bit of a break from all the cat screeching arias (hence I try to pick dates when the ballet is on), but Narodovi Divadlo only had an opera on the the day. So be it. I’ll write about that separately, because I’m sure you are dying to know what I thought of ‘The love for three oranges’ (one thing for sure, Prokofiev must have been smoking something if he created a whole piece centred around a fruit). The libretto slightly differs from the usual love, hate, revenge, someone dying combo, which was overall a positive change. Something to keep me awake...
I had only one full day to enjoy Prague so here’s what I saw (or mostly what I ate)
Mezi Srnky. Tight squeeze, but worth the food. Long queues, but I 'created' myself a seat by the till, which the waiter agreed to (well, I have a nice smile, it works wonders). I love a proper breakfast, fresh bread with half a kilo of butter slathered on top, scrambled eggs, salad. These are the little big things that make me happy.
I then followed a swarm of 50mm Canon-owning pilgrims towards Charles Brigde / Karluv most. I actually ended up getting the best view of it from the watch tower just beside it. You get there via a small, unassuming entrance door (it's a BIG tower though), but most tourists just miss it or are not willing to climb the 136 steps plus pay 70 koruna. Super worth it, you can see the whole city in one go.
Café Savoy. 10min by foot from the bridge. A bit on the touristy side (but what the hell, I am a tourist after all plus it lashed it down). I did my ‘table for one, appetite for two’. The café boasts a beautiful ceiling and a decent, traditional sweet and savoury menu. I single-handedly devoured a whole tatar with all the trimmings and had place for dessert. I went for a wander around the old town straight after to burn of the excess calories.
Next, you guessed it, I'm eating again. Lokal for broth and fried cheese, unfussy afternoon snacks. Looks like like a big canteen and reminded me of polish milk bars with simple, local, honest food at a good price. With the addition of as much Pilsner as you can handle.
I ran back to the hotel to change into something more appropriate for an opera (yup, I still fit the dress, shockingly) and headed back to Narodovi Divadlo (National Theatre, bloody hell, that name sounds so ridiculous in Polish). Just in general guys, Czech is fairly funny/awkward to a Polish speaker, it's a mix of the pronunciation and using similar words in different context.
Here's a glimpse into the opera house, but I'll write about that separately.
I know you can't believe it, but I left after the first part and ubered it to the other side of town to have knedliky in Krystal. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Sweet and fluffy, just like me. Enjoy ;-)