New Years Eve in Prague!

I hadn’t traveled a lot before hopping aboard a flight to Albania. My list consisted of Mexico (Although, lets be real, I’m not sure an all inclusive resort counts) and nine states in America. But as I made my way through college, I started to get the so-called travel bug. One year after graduation, I took a leap of faith and moved to a country I had never heard of. Now, I find myself living within an hours flight of Italy, among other amazing places; and I am loving every minute of it. However, I do have a few things to learn. This was quite apparent on the morning we were heading to Prague.

Andrea in the ticket office

Andrea in the ticket office

Ready to leave!

Ready to leave!

We headed to the station with forty-five minutes to spare before our train was supposed to depart. I didn’t realize that we would have to wait in line for around forty minutes to buy our tickets. My friend, Andrea went outside to buy us some snacks for the ride. When I had finally gotten our tickets and snagged her from outside, it was 9:22. Our train was leaving at 9:25 from Platform 6. For some reason I thought that platform 6 was located outside so we started running towards the rear doors. We were running next to a train that was getting ready to leave. As this train closed the five open doors that we had run by, and proceeded to leave the station, I had a sinking feeling in my gut. We stopped near an attendant who had been watching us for the last few minutes and he confirmed our  fears, we had indeed been running next to our train. I uttered a few swear words and then we both started laughing at how ridiculous that was. The attendant must have thought we were stupid, crazy or both, because he quickly walked away, leaving us standing there like idiots. Luckily, another train for Prague was leaving in two hours so we sat in KFC (Andrea’s choice and it had terrible coffee!) to waste time until we left.

Made it!

Made it!

DSC02514

Yay!

Yay!

We like to color

We like to color

DSC02519

We got a little bored on the 7 hour journey to Prague!

We got a little bored on the 7 hour journey to Prague!

DSC02528

With our little mishap at the Budapest train station behind us, we safely made it to Prague. From the train station we had to search a little longer than we would have liked for our hostel, but we found it! The hostel we stayed in was built in the 17th century and it was full of old world charm. And not to brag, but it had an amazing shower with heated floors!

Prague!!

Prague!!

DSC02547

The subway

DSC02545

IMG_1110

Hostel room

The following day we had scheduled a tour that showed us the most popular tourist attractions of Prague.

Good morning!

Good morning!

Our hostel!

Our hostel!

DSC02552

Had to start our morning off with Starbucks!!

Had to start our morning off with Starbucks!!

STARBUCKS!

STARBUCKS!

DSC02557 DSC02558

Our first stop of the trip was visiting the Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, which sits atop a hill overlooking most of the city.

The Castle

The Castle

DSC02581

The Cathedral

The Cathedral

DSC02584 DSC02588 DSC02590DSC02596 DSC02598

After a few hours touring the buildings around the castle, we headed to a restaurant nearby to try some Czech cuisine.

Overlooking Prague

Overlooking Prague

IMG_1119

Typical Czech cuisine. Roast with cranberries and dumplings.

Typical Czech cuisine. Roast with cranberries and dumplings.

IMG_1121

After lunch we continued walking through the streets of Prague and visited a church, synagogue, museum and even had mulled wine on a boat.

DSC02612

Looking towards the Charles Bridge

Looking towards the Charles Bridge

DSC02618

Write your names on a lock and throw away the key for everlasting love...

Write your names on a lock and throw away the key for everlasting love…

Hmmm...okay

Hmmm…okay

John Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

A church

A church

Synagogue

Synagogue

Boat Ride!

Boat Ride!

DSC02642

Our tour ended in Old Town Square where we stopped to enjoy the Christmas Markets. They had an incredibly beautiful Christmas tree that stood against the highlighted medieval looking buildings. It was one of my favorite places in Prague, you couldn’t help but be affected by the Christmas spirit as you stood in the center!

DSC02649 DSC02651 DSC02654

Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon Bread

DSC02661 IMG_1186

The tour helped us decide what we would like to see more of over the next few days. There is a lot to do in Prague and we had a little difficulty narrowing it down. Ultimately, we set out each morning and let the wind blow us whichever way we felt like that day. As you will see, most of these things involved food.

DSC02671 DSC02672

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

DSC02673

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square

DSC02678 DSC02682 DSC02683 DSC02686 DSC02688 DSC02691 DSC02692

Beer tasting!

Beer tasting!

IMG_1133 DSC02698

Turning into a dark beer lover

Turning into a dark beer lover

Andrea and I have known each other since the first grade. We grew up in the same small town, played on the same basketball team and rode horse together. Now she is in vet school in Kansas and I am living in Albania. As people asked what we were doing in Prague, we explained that she is in school and I am in the Peace Corps. Vet school is no joke and I am proud to say my friend is one year away from becoming a doctor…but that didn’t phase anyone. It’s not every day that you run across an American that is living in Albania and serving in the Peace Corps, so naturally they had a lot of questions for me. Andrea had soon memorized my little speech about Albania and the Peace Corps. I may have had to buy her a margarita to make up for talking all the time.

DSC02709 DSC02711

Peace Corps again?

Peace Corps again?

Yay!!

Yay!!

DSC02758

The mos famous statue on the Charles Bridge

The mos famous statue on the Charles Bridge

DSC02764

Going up the Clock Tower of the Charles Bridge

Going up the Clock Tower of the Charles Bridge

DSC02769 DSC02771 DSC02773 DSC02777 DSC02778 DSC02780 DSC02786 DSC02787 DSC02790

One evening we had one of the most delicious meals I have had since leaving America: SUSHI!!

DSC02670

So happy!!

So happy!!

Another tour we had scheduled was a food tour that brought you to four different places in Prague. It is called the Taste of Prague and I would highly recommend it if you find yourself in the Czech Republic. They keep their tours to six people or under and they explain a lot of unknown history about the city. It also involved delicious food for the entire four hours so we were happy campers!

The tour started off with a sampling of Czech moonshine!

The tour started off with a sampling of Czech moonshine!

delicious!

delicious!

DSC02716

Fresh meat

Fresh meat

DSC02723

The group

The group

The beer is poured with varying levels of foam to change its sweetness. I laughed when it first came out because I thought it was a mistake.

The beer is poured with varying levels of foam to change its sweetness. I laughed when it first came out because I thought it was a mistake.

My favorite dish of the day was a beef tartar. Second favorite was beer ice cream!

My favorite dish of the day was a beef tartar. Second favorite was beer ice cream!

Rotating elevator- it never stops moving, you just hop on and off at your floor.

Rotating elevator- it never stops moving, you just hop on and off at your floor.

DSC02726 DSC02727

An open faced sandwich that is typical fast food in Prague

An open faced sandwich that is typical fast food in Prague

DSC02732 DSC02734 DSC02741

DSC02739 DSC02740 DSC02743

Ending the tour with some wine!

Ending the tour with some wine!

That evening was New Years Eve and we slowly made it back to our hostel so that we could change and get into a festive mood. We spent the evening at some of the most ridiculous bars in Prague, watched fireworks in Wenceslas and Old Town square and eventually made it back to our hostel.

DSC02753 DSC02754 DSC02756 DSC02757

All dressed up!

All dressed up!

Last year, Andrea and I dedicated New Years Day as an “I love America” day. We did all the things we love about America. Since we were once again together on this holiday, we thought we should keep the tradition going. We went out to eat at TGI Fridays, which really made me feel like I was in Fargo, ND again. We ate Subway, we walked around and just enjoyed being goofy together. It was so amazing to have my friend from home with me for this vacation. I couldn’t have asked for a better piece of America!

IMG_1157

Sweet potato fries!

Sweet potato fries!

IMG_1159

Our last day of vacation we took a daycation to Germany. Dresden is a city that is located only a few short hours from Prague. This time we had no trouble finding the right platform and eventually found open seats on the train. I like to think I am learning as I go!

IMG_1165

Andrea thought I should have a picture with this random german man

Andrea thought I should have a picture with this random german man

When we arrived in Dresden we found ourselves to be a little bit lost, true to style of course. Eventually we found our way to the main parts of the city and spent the day exploring this little city of Germany!

We made it!

We made it!

DSC02804

Had to get coffee

Had to get coffee

DSC02807 DSC02810 DSC02813 DSC02815 DSC02822 DSC02823 DSC02824 DSC02829 DSC02835 DSC02837 DSC02838 DSC02839 DSC02841 DSC02849 DSC02850 DSC02851 DSC02852

lunch

lunch

DSC02860

we are never running for a train again!

we are never running for a train again!

My speedy friend

My speedy friend

Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany

Bubble tea

Bubble tea

On the way back to Prague

On the way back to Prague

We spent our last evening of vacation at a Sushi bar. By now, I am sure you aren’t surprised!

Sad that vacation is done!

Sad that vacation is done!

This holiday season, I traveled to five different countries and have realized I have a lot to be thankful for. It may have been hard to say goodbye to one of my best friends, but we now have amazing memories of this trip together. Needless to say, I learned a lot and added a few traveling bumps and bruises along the way. It was a wonderful way to bring in 2014 and I can’t wait to see what this new year holds!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s