And so it is on to Prague in the Czech Republic! No euros here, only Czech Koruna. At 15 CZK to $1 AUD, it’s an awkward exchange rate, so I decide to just divide by 10 and then it’s a bit less than that. I realise it’s a fairly crude heuristic, but most things are fairly cheap here so it works surprisingly well for the 48 hours I’m here.
We start our walking tour of Prague in the evening, after all this is the party capital of the world, and catch the tram from our hostel into the city. There are people everywhere and the vibe is excellent, if not a little chilly. Step one: beer jacket.
We walk through the old town square and see some pretty epic looking castle spire towers and the astronomical clock at the centre of Prague. After making our way to the river, we cross the bridge and look up at the Prague Castle, high up on the hill. Tomorrow will bring us back here to see the castle for sure, but for now it’s down some quiet streets to the Lennon graffiti wall. At least that’s the plan until Tash decides to roll her ankle...
Thankfully our little Topdeck crew has bonded quite a lot in the last 12 days so every man and his dog with a basic first-aid certificate comes out of the woodwork to try and help. At first I stand back and can’t help but have a little laugh as everyone fights over her. “No she’s my patient / no she’s mine! / let ME do it” etc. This gives me great confidence in my group of new Topdeck friends, until I hear someone say “Does anyone have any RICE?” *literal facepalm*
On to the Lennon wall, and we stand around taking every combination of single / group photo we can until we all start to get a little cold, then it’s on to the party! We go to the 5 story club, apparently the most famous club to visit in Prague. The club has 5 floors, (duh), each with a different vibe, different music, and entirely different layout and styling. We started on the “oldies” floor, basically playing the classic party hits from the 90s and 2000s, which I hate to admit actually suited me quite well.
After a while on the oldies floor we explored the other levels and settled on a floor with steps down to a mosh pit style dance floor, with a robot DJ suspended above. It was your typical club mix, nothing special in my opinion but it did the trick. We danced until about 2:30am and headed home ready for a full day of exploring Prague tomorrow.
Prague, it turns out, is just as beautiful by day as it is by night, but in a completely different way. We’ve traded in the bright lights and grungey shadows of the old town for a beautifully maintained garden in front of the senate building adjacent to the Prague Castle.
After leaving the gardens which we found by accident, we head up the steps to the castle and explore the square and cathedral inside the castle walls. As always, if there is a thing to be climbed, we climb it, so the next stop is the bell tower. A mere 300 steps up a narrow spiral stone staircase later, we find the greatest view over the city of Prague and it is spectacular in every direction.
A lot of the rest of the day is meandering through the old town of Prague before getting street food for dinner and heading out to see a show. Now this is not just any show, it’s Don Giovanni performed by the National Marionette Opera company. Unfortunately I have no photos from inside but the puppetry work was incredible. It feels strange to say, but the acting was what impressed me the most. The level of control which they had over the body and body language of these traditional marionettes was what really made it. The way it was staged, with physical humour and the complete lack of a 4th wall made this an unforgettable experience which I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Prague, but with one caveat. Unless you know the story of Don Giovanni, or happen to be fluent in Italian… buy the program.