.:||—When in: Prague, Czech Republic—||:.
First stop to the voyage: Prague, Czech Republic.
10 Quick Wiki Facts:
- Formerly known as Bohemia (Čechy)
- landlocked by: Germany to the west and north-west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north-east.
- Prague is the capital and largest city, with 1.3 million residents.
4. It is not Czechoslovakia people: Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and a multiparty parliamentary republic was formed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
5) The Czech Republic also ranks as the ninth-most peaceful country in Europe
6) The Czech Republic has one of the least religious populations in the world. Historically, the Czech people have been characterised as “tolerant and even indifferent towards religion”: According to a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, 16% of Czech citizens responded that “they believe there is a God” (the lowest rate among the countries of the European Union), whereas 44% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 37% said that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force”.
7) The first brewery is known to have existed in 1118 and the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. The famous Pilsner style beer originated in the western Bohemian city of Plzeň.
8) Most bums in the streets bow down in order to receive..
9) They play Kanye West’s, “I Knowwww your tireddddd….” Bound 2 song way too much. In every place imagineable.
10) Some vocabulary:
Introduction to my Prague experience
On my own. I am 24 years old and still this sense of making every single decision on my own is a bit frightening. Yet exhilarating. And about time. With that said, I felt a lot of pressure to not have anything go wrong. I am naturally a very laid back person and when unexpected circumstances hit, I have a solution ASAP, or a justification for not caring. But with a good majority of people worried about me…I really didn’t want anything to go wrong. I flew from San Diego to London Heathrow. Heathrow…? Where have I heard that before…Anyways, I missed my connecting flight from the Heathrow airport. Then I remembered. I did a case study in my MBA program on how bad the Heathrow airport sucks. How they have basically the worst queuing system of all time so numerous planes don’t have a place to land. Which occurred to my plane. I had a 1 hour layover and we landed 25 minutes late. We circled the Heathrow airport for 25 minutes. Customs took about 2 hours. I met a really cool girl named Emma who was on her way to Prague as well so we raced through the airport together. She made the plane, I didn’t. I was not going to let this stand in my way of having the best trip of all time. I had already rationalized I would have to drop a few thousand to get another flight. To my surprise, British Airways is the best. They gave me free food, free drinks, and a free flight. Missing my flight was actually the best thing ever. They even threw in a free paper about Manchester United. Boom. Living the life in the airport like Tom Hanks in The Terminal.
I caught the next flight and would arrive in Prague around 1230am. I arrived and made the awesome mistake of calling the Czech Crown, a Czech crown dollar bill. I was attempting to get coins for the bus system. That didn’t fair well for me. Until I met this slovakian guy who literally spent 25 minutes at the bus fare station helping me understand czech and the machine. He helped me onto my bus and told me where to get off and everything. I got off at the suggested stop and I looked around and found that the turn he said to make was not there. Unless this was some Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform wall I was supposed to go through. He told me to get off at the wrong stop. Oh well. I figured I just had to jump back on for one stop. Then I saw him running by frantically and I said, “Hey Lukas!” He ran all the way back from his stop because he realized he told me to get off at the wrong stop. This time I got off at the right stop. Lukas and I had more time to talk about his adventures and despite being super cool, I am not as daring as he is. His friends and him went to Chernobyl for 2 hours with someone who pretended to be a scientist. Was he pulling my leg? Was this just a really clever reason for why his hair was thinning because of the radiation? I don’t know. But I believed every minute of it.
I probably walked 6 miles at 130am back and forth looking for my hostel when I finally found it! The Art Hole. I was exhausted. I checked in and went to my room. I passed out within minutes. I woke up to a massive man snoring in the bed across the room. I can sleep through anything, so you should know that this was basically thundering and my bed was shaking. He was a bear of a man. Or man-bear. I don’t know. He eventually woke up from his own loud snoring and told me that he was from Peru. In usual style I name-dropped. I said that two of my friends were in Argentina playing with the Peruvian Women’s National Team. Before he could even answer, a girl from the other side of the room popped up and said, “Grace Shevlin?” Holy cow. Yes. Grace and Caroline Shevlin. She knew them. I am halfway across the world and I meet a girl that went to SDSU. Ivonnie was a solo traveler like myself, and happened to know a ton of my closest friends from home like Sean Rodriguez, Julian Jollon, Zach Porter, and more. She was a rad girl into the film industry and I wish I had more time with her!
I checked out of the hostel within the next few hours and headed to the hostel where my friend and old college roomie of like 4 years, Alyssa Benjamin and her little sister Becca would be meeting me. Ritchie’s Hostel. Closer to all the craziness that is Prague.
I dropped my stuff off at the hostel and decided to walk around Prague. 10 miles later. 10 hours later. I came to the realization at the top of a hill that this was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. This moment was one of the most miraculous and picturesque. The buildings were grandiose. I have now learned that Verdigris is the “ common name for a green pigment obtained through the application of acetic acid to copper plates or the natural patina formed when copper,brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time.” This green atop many buildings made the city pop. I walked back to my hostel and found a alley way covered in artwork. Obviously, I decided to take a detour. I found the coolest patio café. It looked as though it was closed, but a man was smoking in front of the doors. He didn’t speak good english, but we talked for a few minutes and it turned out he was the owner. He sat me down at this incredible seating arrangement and got me coffee. For free. I sat there and he told me about the Czech Republic. 1) Everyone loves James Dean 2) Everyone loves American music 3) Most people hate Americans 4)Bums sit on the street in a really weird position (downward dog-like position) 5) Beer and coffee are really, really, good.
I got back to the hostel after 10 hours of walking and I passed out in my bunk bed. I woke up to Alyssa and Becca. The video above should depict what came to follow. Prague, I love you.
Alyssa and Becca, I wish the best of luck to you on your new adventures in Colorado. I had a blast with you guys and I know great things are coming for you in that snowy city.