Monday, May 30, 2011

Living a Fairytale - Prague, Czech Republic

Between the Wacken and Party San Open Air Metal Festivals, we have 5 free days. We could explore Germany, which would be the easy option considering that's where both festivals are. That would make too much sense. Instead we're trekking to a whole other country entirely - the Czech Republic. Prague is calling.

Where we will sleep

Camp Sokol Troja (Campsite)
How long? 4 nights
How much? 430Kc/€19 per night (2 adults, small tent, 1 motorbike) 
Check in? Not specified, but the campsite doesn’t take reservations so I’d say the earlier the better. We won’t arrive until 7pm after an epic 8.5 hour journey from Wacken so hopefully they have room for us.
Check out? Not specified. We will be heading back to Germany for another metal festival, leaving around 8am and aiming to complete 4 hours of riding by 1pm.
Why we chose it? 15 mins from historic centre of Prague, 15 min walk to the zoo, restaurant that serves breakfast for $NZ4, guarded and secure, free wifi, hot showers, drinkable tap water, swimming pool 15 min walk away.

What we want to see

The first thing we noted about Prague, although not a ‘sight’ is that we have to buy a motorway tax coupon (a nalepka) at the border for 100Kc (4 Euros or $NZ8). Without one, there’s a crazy fine. Also, the blood alcohol limit is zero. Fullstop.

The FREE walking tour by New Prague Tours. Their parent company, New Europe Tours, offers tours throughout many European countries, including 13 walking tours through major cities, which are completely free. The tours are apparently very good, as the guides are paid nothing but the tips they receive on the day, so they work for their supper, and they do it well. The Prague tour is 3 hours long and departs Old Town Square at 11am and 2pm. See the website for a full list of the sites you see!

Prague Castle – One of Pragues biggest attractions. It’s free to wander the courtyards and gardens, and there’s a Changing of the Guard ceremony every day at 12 noon.
350Kc (€14) Admission

Charles Bridge – apparently best visited before 9am because the crowds are insane.
0Kc/€ Admission

Staroměstské náměstí – The old town square, which includes theAstronomical Clock, the third oldest astronomical clock in the world (installed in 1410) and the only one still working. Every hour on the hour there’s a show of the figures of the Apostles and various other moving sculptures. 
0Kc/€ Admission

What we are expecting

I’m expecting… not much to do, really. I’ve always wanted to go to Prague because pictures of it are stunning, it looks ethereal, like a fairytale in every way possible. I am in awe of it and I want to be in it. At the same time though, there are no hugely popular tourist attractions akin to the Eiffel Tour or Parc Guell or the West End, things I’ve always wanted to go to and experience. I’m expecting Prague to be amazing to look at, but I really don’t know what activities will fill our 3 days there.