I travelled to Prague for 5 days, back in February. I remember hearing about it as a common stag do location and didn’t really think much of visiting, until I saw a couple of youtubers videos of their trips there. It looked really beautiful and as I’ve started being a lot more ‘I don’t care about the money, I just want to travel and have the experiences’ I decided to go.
Sorry bank account, you know I really do care.
Booking the trip:
As I’m restricted to only being able to go away in the school holidays, flights and hotels are always extortionate and finding good deals is not a fun task. I stalked skyscanner flights, trying to find good deals, but nothing was anywhere near what I would be willing to spend. Out of curiosity I decided to look on lastminute.com and the prices were surprisingly good. We are always last minute planners anyway and I think we probably only booked 3-4 weeks in advance. It was all going smoothly until something happened that completely threatened the whole trip… all will be revealed later on.
We stayed at the Hotel Ametyst, which was about a 20 minute walk to the city centre, where the main tourist attractions are. This was ideal for us as we don’t mind walking and it meant that the hotel price was a bit cheaper than if we had stayed right in the centre. We landed in Prague at about 1pm, navigated the bus/train network, found the hotel, dropped our bags off in the room and headed out to explore. On the first day I like to just wander around and just figure out where we are and what’s around. We walked to Old town square, with the Astronomical clock, Cathedral and other really pretty buildings. I was blown away by how beautiful all of the buildings were. After strolling around a bit more we found our way to Charles Bridge. Luckily for us, the sun was setting so the views were incredibly beautiful. We stayed on the bridge, taking awkward selfies for a while and then headed down, under the bridge and saw all of the swans, which was also very picturesque.
We got up early, had breakfast in the hotel and headed out to explore more of Prague. I wanted to see Prague castle so we made our way there, first thing. We seemingly went the longest and most up hill route possible, as we had already clocked up the steps by the time we got there. We walked around the grounds, rather than actually going inside, as I had read reviews that the outside was probably the main attraction. We stumbled across signs to Petrin Hill, which has a look out tower, similar to a mini Eiffel Tower. We started the walk up the hill, which was already awarding us gorgeous views of the city. The walk started pretty easy but then got a lot steeper just before we reached the lookout. We decided to climb up the lookout to see the views. I’m not normally scared of heights but this time was a little different. The climb up the steps was quite open, in the sense that it wasn’t enclosed and with the wind blowing, this did make me feel a little uneasy. The views from the top were beautiful and were worth the achey legs. We spent the rest of the day exploring more of the city and headed to a cute looking restaurant for dinner. The restaurant had such a cosy vibe, with faux fur blankets over the chairs, fires dotted around and pretzels to snack on. I’m not a big drinker at all, but it’s worth mentioning that the beers were very cheap and came in cute glasses – which to be honest was what mostly attracted me.
This was the day that Jamie was most looking forward to as we were going to a shooting range, to shoot guns. I’m always game for trying new things but I was definitely going just doing it for him. We were picked up from our hotel at 11am and driven outside of the city to a very rural area. We were then greeted by two gentlemen who would be instructing us. I had absolutely no idea about guns and had never even been close to one before, let alone shot one, so my first shot was quite scary. The instructor gave us a very quick briefing about how to shoot each gun and then it was our turns… I was just thinking, what an earth are you talking about, where am I looking and oh, how do I even hold this thing?! I managed to at least hit the targets (most of the time) and did get better as we went on. When it came to shooting an AK47, it had such a strong kick back (is that even the term?) and I couldn’t work out what I was doing with it so I told the man “okay, I’m done. J can do the rest of these shots.” He just went with it. Overall, it was a great experience but man those guns are heavy! we were given sandwiches and a beer (such a typical man’s day) and then dropped back off at our hotel. We then headed back out to continue exploring the city. We walked to John Lennon’s wall and quickly took photos and left as it was really busy. We then walked to the Museum of Communism which was interesting. I always like to go to museums, especially ones that help you learn about the country that you’re currently in.
Our last full day in Prague. We decided to go on a walking tour that centred around Prague during WW2. It lasted a couple of hours and was really interesting. We had been walking around the city for a few days but it really demonstrated how much history is in a place, when you start to hear about what previously took place in each location. After the tour we decided to continue our journey into WW2 Prague by visiting the St Cyril and Methodius church crypt where the paratroopers who had been appointed on the mission to assassinate Heydrich hid until the Nazis found them, leading to a long battle and ultimately their defeat. I really enjoy visiting sites where such important events have taken place as it’s fascinating to be where so much went on and it’s difficult to imagine how the individuals at the time would have been feeling. There’s also a film that has been made about it, called Anthropoid – watch it, if only for Jamie Dornan *oh my god, isn’t he perfect?!’
Our flight to go home wasn’t until about 6pm, so we had the morning to continue enjoying the city. We walked over to Vysehrad, which is another historic site. The walk up provided great views of the city and then it was really nice to stroll around the old fort and see the cemetery, cathedral and the other sites. It was much quieter in this area compared to the old square, which made it a great place to walk around. We finished off our trip by walking back into the Old town and wandered over Charles Bridge one last time. The city is absolutely beautiful and offers so much to see. We normally spent a lot more of our time in museums, mostly war/history museums, as J is such a geek, but this trip was really nice to spend most of our time wandering around and actually enjoying the city views.
Overall, I would really recommend Prague for a city break. I think that we also spent just the right amount of time there, so I feel happy that we have seen and experienced what we wanted to do. J is currently in Prague again for a weekend stag do, which I’m sure is an entirely differently experience.
Okay, so onto the traumatic experience that I mentioned earlier…
Friday – we had been out for dinner with J’s family and then went back to his house to get his things to stay at mine for the weekend, before travelling to Prague on the Monday. I quickly reminded J to get his passport so that I could check us in over the weekend. This is when disaster struck. The passport was not where it should have been. We frantically searched the room for about 20 minutes, with no luck. We started to bicker and I decided to go home without him and he would look for the passport in the morning.
It was absolutely awful knowing that we had no idea where his passport was, so close to flying out. A long story slightly shorter and a few hundred new grey hairs in my head later, the situation got worse before it got better as he completely emptied his room and still did not find the passport. I started to face the realisation that I was probably going to have to go alone. All sorts of emotions were running through my head, I’m way too reliant on him anyway, so imagining myself in a new country, with a language that I don’t understand and no idea what I’m doing, was far too much to comprehend. I was also upset that we would lose that time together and I knew how excited he was for the shooting range in particular.
J had been to a job interview a couple of weeks previously and it turned out that they had forgot to give his passport back to him on the day and had tried to send it in the post, but hadn’t informed him of this and the overly relaxed male he is, hadn’t checked. J had received one of the post cards to say ‘sorry we missed you’ but then had something that he had ordered delivered the next day and assumed the slip was for that item. It was only when his nan and mum said to him that maybe he should check with the post office to see if that slip was for his passport, that we started to gain some hope again. It was now Sunday morning (bare in mind we were supposed to be flying out the next day!) J drove to the post office ever hopeful that they would have his passport. I felt absolutely sick to my stomach while I waited to hear the outcome. After what felt like ages, the phone rang and there was a surprisingly chilled J, just casually stating “yeah I’ve got it.” Thank God. 24 hours before we would be landing in Prague, his got his bloody passport. To make matters worse, he nearly cancelled his old passport as he had booked an emergency interview with the passport office and then hopped that he would maybe be able to fly out and meet me during the trip. He was going through the questionnaire to cancel the passport Saturday afternoon, after searching his whole house. At the last stage of the questionnaire he told me what he was doing. Luckily, the genius that I am, said to him not to cancel it yet just in case we do find it at my house or something . Thank God he hadn’t just gone ahead with it as, even when he did then get his passport back he wouldn’t have been able to use it if it had been cancelled. That would have surely felt even worse!
For weeks after that traumatic event I honestly could not bring myself to talk and joke about it; it was that awful that it still made me feel anxious and sick inside, just thinking back to the prospect of going alone and not spending time with my best friend. One of my friends was really unsupportive when I told her at the time. Her response was, ‘Oh a holiday, that will be nice.’ To which my reply was ‘Well, yes it will be nice to get away but I was actually looking forward to spending the week with my boyfriend and doing all the things that we had planned together.’ She’s one of those friends who’s very caught up in only her own life unfortunately and hasn’t actually replied to that message since, so to her I might still be lost and alone in Prague.. oh well.
Anyway, go to Prague! Enjoy.