The Prag Saga
It’s 12:53 am and owing to my bad habits, I am high on caffeine.
This post was long due (had been sitting in my drive for 2 years now in the draft mode) so I had to change the opening to reflect my present life. Although, it’s pretty much the same, trying to find that work-life balance.
With a two-week Christmas break and being a proud owner of a Schengen visa, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to visit someplace in Europe. How to decide where? The answer to that was pretty simple because Prague is known to be one of the cheapest party places across Europe. Forgive me, I’m a student, and I’m not earning yet. I tried making plans with some of my friends, but nothing seemed to work out, because people either had budget issues or they had folks visiting them. Me being myself, I had to go, even if I had to go alone.
I booked a hostel in the city center and a BlaBlaCar for 29th December morning. The interesting part was that I talked to one of my friends the night before, and he wanted to go too. I was so excited to have some company because yes, I was a little scared of a solo trip. So, he, his roommate, and I packed our bags and had an amazing car ride to Prague.
Prague is a beautiful city, a city with a typical touristy vibe. We roamed around the city, Charles Bridge, Petrin Tower, Castle, Museums, Christmas market, old square town, etc. We kept walking, observing, and feeling the excitement of the city. I would suggest Popocafepetl for their cheap alcohol and lively atmosphere. We went to a lot of chocolate factories tasting chocolates for free (YASS), had amazing Indian food (my friends were really into Indian food, well we don’t have to guess why) and some tasteless (we can agree to disagree) Czech food, went for a stupid (weird?) haunted underground tour but, all in all, had a lot of fun. We also explored Zizkov in Praha 3, which had a typical hippie vibe, ending the night with really good Mexican food (would highly recommend Las Adelitas), and happy lively bars. Freaking go to Bukowski. Period.
The guys had to leave on the 31st, so I was on my own for the next two days. I didn’t visit a lot of touristy places after that, but I did walk around and explore the city with the two new Australian friends I just made at the hostel I was staying at. Ickle and Bickle (had to anonymize the names LOL) are two amazing crazy humans who I will never forget. I met a lot of other people in the hostel itself, Canadians, Germans, Mexicans, Indians, Australians, Americans, etc. Nobody had any plans for the evening, and we were all just hanging out in the common area of the hostel, drinking and chilling. I was literally the only sober person in the entire city that night (new year’s Eve), and trust me, I had as much fun as the other guys and maybe even more. Intoxication is not always proportional to having fun. Also, I didn’t want to get drunk, because it was my first solo experience and I didn’t want to take any risks. At around 10 PM, we got out on the road and just walked towards the Charles Bridge to watch the fireworks. Oh, man! The fireworks were so insane, I was shaking for the next few hours. The bridge got so crowded, that I felt squished, I was shouting (literally) and holding onto Ickle and Bickle. I thought I was going to die that night and I thought that was it. But somehow, we got pushed away from the crowd and I could eventually breathe. I can safely say that it was something I can never forget. The craziness, the drunk atmosphere, the fireworks, the crowd, it was all so thrilling. We watched the fireworks and just took a lot of pictures, hugged each other at midnight. A part of me missed my people who were not there with me to look at the fireworks, to hug, and to wish. We sang we danced, we got back to the hostel, we played pool till 5 in the morning, we talked about life and death and all the weird things in the world. Exhausted, I went to bed at 6 in the morning with a little ache in my heart for I will never see any of these guys again. It was one hell of a trip. I met so many people, learned about so many cultures, traditions, languages, festivals, and drinking habits!
That night was one of the most amazing nights of my life. It was absolutely what I wanted it to be like. Fun and insane. Prague is a beautiful place. I fell in love with the city.
Solo trips are subjective. You might just want to chill alone or you might just want to explore the world or you might just want to meet new people and hang around. Mine had all these things. Being an extrovert, I love meeting people, so that was the highlight of my trip (also chocolate factories) but yes, I would say that everyone should take a solo trip because it will remove the baggage of always finding someone to go on a trip with you, and it will make you realize that having fun on your own is something cool. Not just the city, explore your pure interests. Cheers!
Thank you, Prague :)
Also, thanks to Ronn Jacob for helping me with the editing!