The first night was rough.
After crashing at 10pm local time, Ada was awake and crying at 12:30am. There was some reading, some singing, a little Sesame Street, and finally by 4am everyone was asleep again.
By 9am Sarah was awake, and at 11:30am Sal and Ada finally manage to clear their jet lag and wake up.
Our hotel is a few miles outside of the city, which means we need to take advantage of the numerous trams that spiderweb Prague’s streets. Tram tickets are usually available via automated kiosks near each stop, but they mostly only take coins. None of the signage is in English, but its easy enough to match up a sign at the stop with the list of stops each tram makes.
Now that we know where we are, and where we’d like to be, we brave a tram and ride into downtown Prague. We are assaulted by shops, pedestrians, restaurants, accents of every kind, and absolutely no idea where to go or how to start. We’re all hungry, so where do we land? RESTAURANT CAFÉ SAINT WENCESLAS. Of course we only chose this place because we were hungry, lost in Prague for the first time, and the sign read ‘authentic Czech restaurant’. Believers in European advertising, in we went.
The lore of Czech food being heavy, bread-y, potato-y, and sausage-y is, well, true. And delicious. We ate our fill.
The architecture and threaded streets of Prague are beautiful. We wound our way through myriad Christmas outdoor shops, drank hot mulled wine, and landed a three-hour walking tour of Prague. In English!
Ten minutes later, our version of the tour was over. Ada was having none of the cold and turned to crying her way through history-filled anecdotes none of the other tour-goers found helpful. We ejected.
Not to be dissuaded, we had a re-start. Ducked into a hotel lobby, waved at a few people, dried some tears, and started a tour of our own.
Prague is large, very easily walkable, and storied with history. We took shelter in a few cafes for sweets and coffee along the way, but managed to spend the next several hours on a tour of our own and quite seriously mispronouncing as many Czech words as possible.
There were buildings, there was water, we crossed a few bridges, saw a castle, took lots of pictures, and even managed to find our way back where we started. We learned that you tip about 15% on what you’ve eaten, you should have plenty of local cash for walking around money, and a sour cherry strudel is a perfect way to end the day.