After 14 hours on that train, in that tiny couchette, with the train making stops what must have been every 20 minutes, we were all extremely excited to pull into Prague this morning. We ate a quick breakfast at the train station before jumping onto the metro. We made it to our hotel ( which is a Hilton!) pretty easily and were overjoyed to learn that we would be able to check into our rooms and shower! We were pleasantly surprised to find that these rooms are much bigger than the ones at the last hotel. There is space between the beds, a closet, and a desk!
Feeling refreshed, we hopped back on the metro to head out to the Old Town Square to check out the Christmas market. It was decorated beautifully, tons of lighs, garlands, and ornaments, and a huge Christmas tree in the middle. There were a ton of vendors scattered around the square selling food, ornaments, and other handmade things. We walked around for a while, admiring the pretty things and sampling the tasty things. I had a delicious chicken kabob on a bun and this amazing twisty bread thing that is a traditional Czech food. I decided that I felt much more comfortable in Prague than in Amsterdam. There were less people, and the ones here seemed less rude and frantic. I am still really surprised at how unfriendly most of the people here in Europe are. Maybe I’m just expecting too much Mid-western-ness.
During our wanderings we somehow made it to a very ritzy part of town that featured some very high-end shopping opportunities. We felt that our financial situations at present didn’t mesh well with the prices at Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Prada, and Fendi. So we decided to return to the hotel for some more relaxation, and some much needed wi-fi. At 6:00 we jumped on the metro once more (it’s finally beginning to make sense!) to take a ghost tour of the old city. I was really unsure what to expect of this ghost tour. Gwen (one of the professors leading our trip) told us it wasn’t too scary and that it would be very entertaining. She was definitely right. I had pictured us walking around dark scary places trying to see flashes of light or spooky apparitions. It ended up being more of a short history lesson covering some of the more gruesome and bizarre events in the Czech Republic’s past. It was very enjoyable though and our guide was entertaining. I liked getting to know more about the city and some of the strange things that give it character.
Once the tour wrapped up we were free to go and find some dinner. A group of four of us ended up at this little pizzeria that had great food for cheap. I had gnocchi for the first time and absolutely loved it! After dinner we decided to head back to the hotel instead of brave the cold any longer. We got a little turned around in the train station and had some trouble figuring out exactly where it was we were supposed to exit. We figured it out in the end and were able to come back to our fancy hotel to relax. We are all sitting down here in the comfy chairs of the lobby on our iPads, because this is the only place we can get free wifi 🙂 we are all exhausted and plan to turn in early to get a good night’s sleep. We have another whole day in Prague tomorrow, full of castles, bridges, and New Year’s Eve celebrations! Talk to you soon!