A little foreshadowing to how our Czech Republic adventure went:
To understand what I’m about to tell you, you have to know that I am a World-Class Procrastinator. I will put off anything until the last possible minute, but that especially goes for visiting the doctor. So, here goes… I injured my leg at one of those places where the floors are all trampoline and surrounded by pits of foam for jumping into. Sounds fun, right? Well, if you are as accident prone as I am, they are a disaster waiting to happen. After feeling (and hearing) a horrible pop, I knew something was wrong… So, naturally I limped around on it for three months; going on hikes and further damaging it. Finally, the week before we leave for Europe I decided I better go get this thing checked out. Lo and behold! I had torn the muscle connecting my achilles and
my calf muscle and was immediately put into a walking boot and told I must wear it for two months, including this grand adventure of walking all over Europe. After nearly crying at the medical bill and leaving the office I called Maria and gave her the great news. And thus our journey began….
Arriving in Czech Republic to a not so smooth landing, our wonderful luck kicks in. We are the first ones off the plane and the
last ones to make it through customs. We rush to the exits thinking we missed the shuttle to our hotel. All we wanted was to rest for a bit after such a long flight and days of sitting and sleeping in airports, but immediately we are thinking that we have to find a map and figure out where we are in location to said hotel. Ten minutes of sour tempers and blaming the customs officer, we realize our shuttle hasn’t left yet. First stroke of luck. Sort of.
After making it to our hotel, we take a quick nap and are ready for exploring. We eat at a quaint local restaurant and wander the streets. If you’ve never seen Prague at night then you have no idea what you’re missing. Once we are back to our room and ready for bed, I realize my knees are horribly swollen. Which was strange that I didn’t really feel discomfort in them until I knelt down, but there they were big and oddly out of proportion to the rest of my stick legs. Apparently, walking/limping around in a foot brace on cobblestones is the perfect way to have your knees fill with fluid and age you 60 years. This is when we learned that there are no ice machines in European hotels (thanks for spoiling us, America). I slept with pillows under my knees to keep my legs elevated like a 85 year old women with arthritis.
Physical ailments aside, we woke up the next day ready to continue our explorations. We saw some of the most beautiful buildings, streets, and parks. The entire city won us over. Of course, we would stop whenever possible to let the old woman elevate her legs and rest. One of these pit stops happened to be an adorable little coffee shop. We haven’t been in the city long and I’m thinking I’ve already figured out the currency, so I send Maria to the counter to get us a water. I hand her 500 CZK and she brings me back 135. I told her water was only 90CZK and asked what happened? She looks extremely confused and bewildered and I naturally second guess my abilities to understand foreign currency…. until later. Turns out the man behind the counter saw an opportunity to keep a little tip for himself and Maria ended up paying about $15 USD for one bottle of water. We kept the bottle for the rest of our time in Europe as a reminder that people aren’t always so honest and we aren’t always so bright.
After a long day of wandering about we decide to take a nap before resuming our adventures to the local vegan restaurants and a nearby bar that we looked up while we were planning out our trip. Well, we sleep so long that by the time we wake up everything is closed and we are too tired to wander very far in search of food. So, we make our way back to the room and snack on vegan beef jerky, that quite frankly we are getting tired of since it’s about all that we have eaten for the last few days. Any backpacker knows that after eating processed snacks for an extended amount of time, all you can think about is a nice big meal with a nice big beer. Hungry, sore, jet lagged, and a little grumpy we lay down and try to get some rest before continuing our travels the next day.
Despite all the mishaps, which are always expected anywhere we go, we had such a wonderful time in Czech Republic. Everywhere you go, there is something beautiful and photo-worthy.
Fun Fact: the pets there are so well trained and we saw several dogs walking with their families unleashed. If only our Mister was so cooperative when out and about in a place filled with a myriad of smells and activities that entice little puppy dogs.
Prague is definitely a place we will be revisiting in the future.
A few more photos from our adventures in the Czech Republic/Prague: