I cannot even begin to describe how excited we were while we were planning our trip to Prague (Historical clock! Historical square! Historical bridge!!). What I cannot describe even more, however, is how disappointed we were when we left Prague. Too many bad experiences, rude people, and heartless scammers.
I know, I know.
I can hear the collected gasps already – what do you mean you were disappointed! Prague is BEAUTIFUL. Prague is MAGICAL. NO. Prague is not magical! If anything it was mean 😦 *runs crying to the next room*
Disclaimer: This very biased opinion is based purely on my own hapless experiences. It appears much of the human population has (fortunately) not experienced Prague the way my travel buddies and I had, so we shall remain wallowing in our little puddle of self-pity alone.
Nevertheless, we surged onwards bravely to revel the scenic views Prague is so widely famed for.
I am endlessly fascinated with the tram lines running like spiderwebs over much of the city! Isn’t it amazing?? It’s a mad intricate network of lines and wires everywhere. It spells TROUBLE in my head (WON’T IT BREAK??), but somehow the Czechs make it look so clean and effortless.
We spent about half an hour admiring the astronomical clock tower. The clock was actually rated one of the world’s most overrated tourist attractions, but I LOVE IT. I did let out an unintentional “huh this is it ah” when I first saw it, but after the tour guide told us about the legend of the clock, I was sold. Let me tell you the story…
In 1410, a skillful clockmaker by the name of Master Hanuš created a clock so beautiful and intricate, that it was installed at the town square for all to admire. Soon, word spread of this beautiful clock, and people came from all over Europe to witness its fine work and unparalleled beauty.
The leaders of Prague were extremely happy with the visitors, as it helped the city prosper. However, Master Hanuš was gaining great fame for his splendid work on the clock tower, and the wise leaders became fearful that he would create another grander, more beautiful clock in another city. This would bring away the visitors, they decided, and this could not do.
So one night, they invited Master Hanuš to the castle for a grand, private banquet to celebrate the success of the astronomical clock. As he settled down and began feasting, the wise leaders held him down to his chair, and two of the leaders quickly grabbed red-hot fireplace pokers, and burned both of Master Hanuš’ eyes out.
Now blinded and unable to make anymore clocks, the wise leaders kicked Master Hanuš out of the castle, and left him to die on the streets. However, Hanuš – now desperate and furious at the betrayal – got his loyal servant to bring him to his clock tower in the town square. He told his servant to lead him up to the highest level of his tower. Once up in the tower, Hanuš spared no hesitation and jumped down into the gears and mechanical clockwork of his tower, stopping time. With his corpse now wedged tightly within the gears, the beautiful astronomical clock could no longer work. Visitors stopped coming to Prague due to the broken clock, much to the despair of the wise leaders.
OMG SCARY STORY IS IT NOT??? I was like homigod and I was too chicken to climb up the clock tower after that.
(Imagine my own despair when I realized it was just an urban legend. Toopid tour guide lied to my vulnerable heart). BUT SERIOUSLY THOUGH. I am amazed at how painfully intricate and detailed the clock is. It is dead accurate with its current time/old Czech time/time of the day/zodiac/place of the sun/place of the moon/day of the week/earth’s position in the solar system thing. Heck, it can probably predict who will win the next World Cup.
How on earth did people make this kind of thing back in the 1400’s??? I live in the 21st century and I need a few seconds to differentiate between my left and right.
Old Town Square was incredibly vibrant.
Vibrant with tourists. You see buskers of all kinds at all corners, and the bustling, touristy atmosphere there was truly infectious (in other words, it made me wanna buy unnecessary stuff).
In all honesty, I find Prague just a tad too commercialized – too many souvenir shops, too many tourists, too many buskers, and way too many people pushing their products in your face.
I cannot deny that it really was a pretty place though.
Also worthy of mention was my dinner at U Fleků! (Holy mama it has its own wiki page).
Famous for its beer, Shirlynn and I were basically forced to buy two. Hahahaha or we were just very noob Asians la ok. The conversation went something like this:
Waiter: Hello there ladies! Care for a drink? *gestures towards huge tray filled with what looks suspiciously like stout*
Us: Uhh… *looking nervously at each other* No thank you!
Waiter: *stops, midway through putting down one mug already* Are you sure…? We are famous for our beer you know?
Us: Uh. It’s okay! We are not very good with alcohol.
Waiter: *walks off, throwing us weird stares*
People next to us: *stare*
Us: Did we do something wrong.
Five minutes later, the same waiter waltzes to us again, huge tray and all.
Waiter: HELLO THERE LADIES. So. Drink??
Us: Uhhhhhhh… Okay…….. maybe we will have one to share…?
Waiter: OK. *one beer is already on the table before we finish*
Waiter: *plonks second ginormous mug in front of Shirlynn* Have a nice day!!!! *waltzes off*
Shirlynn: Did we just get conned?
I am not kidding when I say it was a ginormous mug. Also I think it was quite strong, because half the mug already got my ears all red and buzzing o_o Meanwhile, the couple next to us were already on their fourth mug….
WELL THE FOOD WAS GOOD, I must give them that. I ordered some kind of Czech beef with bread pudding and potatoes, and oh my goodness was the beef heavenly. Kind of small though. Shirlynn’s pulled pork was equally, if not more, tender. Can you say mouth-watering?? The gravy was out of this world too!! Beef + gravy… OMG. Ok I need to stop I’m getting hungry.
That night, while heading back to our hostel, we managed to catch the Charles Bridge all lit up against the slowly dimming sky. It was truly, truly beautiful. It almost made up for how COLD we were (it was 9 degrees that night, and all we had were thin jackets and scarves). In fact I think I deserve a pat on the back for taking this shot despite not being able to feel my fingers.
Next stop, exploring Praha across the Charles Bridge!!