Next stop: DRESDEN
Dresden definitely surpassed my expectations!
On the first day, we arrived pretty early, dropped our bags off (at our kangaroo themed hostel) and walked to the old town.
We went to a beautiful castle.
We were pretty exhausted from the early morning, so we went back to our hostel. We’d been told about a free walking tour that started at another hostel, so at around 6.30pm, we walked down.
Turned out it only started at 9, so we went for dinner. We shared Indian aloo potatoes (entree) and chicken with mint and vegetables (and rice and naan). It was really good and super filling!
As we sat there eating dinner in our shorts and t-shirts, we realised we had not dressed for the weather because we were freezing our asses off!!
We fast walked back to our hostel, put some long pants and a jumper on and fast walked back.
The tour was interesting, but there were times I got a little bit lost as the conversation (too) often veered into politics as a certain member of the tour kept asking questions.
At the first bar, we had a shot of something amaretto-esque (sickly sweet and a bit sickly), the second alcohol was this disgusting shot of something that was apparently ‘Jagermeister’s cousin’ and the third was vodka (I think).
We saw quite a bit of street art and learnt about the micro region of Neustadt.
At about 12pm, in the last bar/basically the end, A and I excused ourselves as the alcohol and polticis had finally gotten to us.
Day 2, we took a tram to the terribly named Hygiene Museum.
Just in front of the museum were market stalls: mostly fruit, but we found these delicious things called langos – deep fried dough of some kind, served hot – and I had melted cheese on mine. SO GOOD!
The hygiene museum should’ve been named ‘the human museum’ or something not so stupid. There were seven rooms, and everything related to humans in some way: disease, pregnancy, sexuality, family, how we move, food and nutrition etc. For the Melbournians, it was a more information heavy adult version of Science Works. Unfortunately, a lot of the information was in German, but we still read what we could and did all the interactive stuff.
Went to the supermarket on the way back from the hostel – and after being annoyingly indecisive for too long, I finally (with the help of A), chose dinner ingredients.
I ended up making crumbed (with paprika chips and an egg) chicken and zucchini with garlic and butter. Had a new Sommersby flavour (blackberry), which was quite nice (as ciders go).
Next morning, we bought more Sommersby for a later stage, packed our bags and walked to the pickup point for our drive to PRAGUE.
The drive was quicker than expected, so we got to our hostel earlier than we thought. Walked around a bit, and introduced ourselves to traditional Czech food: donut cones. We both had one with nutella in them – very good, but very rich.
Had dinner – pasta with a packet spinach and cream sauce (better than expected AND leftovers. Bonus!) Got ready for the pub crawl: black jumpsuit, hoop earrings, black $4 Kmart shoes, hair up and I was ready for the night.
Walked to the meeting point, where there were 100+ other eager pub crawlers. We got our wristbands, got told the rules (1/have fun and, 2/get f***ed up), and we were off!
The first bar had an hour of power: free shots of absinthe and cranberry/vodka and cups of beer for an hour. Little bit dangerous.
We drank and danced and then it was time for bar/club #2. We each got a free shot as we walked in the door (I asked what it was and the guy replied with ‘alcohol’. You don’t say???). Felt a bit sick (and they don’t have tap water), so we took a glass and filled it with water from the bathroom. Sat outside for a bit.
Club/bar #3, I just went inside to buy water (which I wasn’t even allowed to bring into the next place) – and sat outside the whole time. I definitely wasn’t feeling my best.
The best place was club #4: a 5 storey club with different kinda of music on each level: radio hits, golden oldies (which I’m pretty sure which actually 90s, but okay), EDM etc. We went to all the floors (90s was definitely my favourite).
We left at around 2am and walked back to our hostel. It was a good night.
Day #2, we wanted to go our for breakfast, but there weren’t many actual breakfast places (definitely miss Melbourne’s great array of cafes), so we had Burger King (they have rad crispy chicken burgers).
Had leftover pasta and a pastry for lunch. Planned to go on the 3pm free walking tour, but 5 minutes after we got there we were told it was cancelled. We just toured ourselves!
We went to: a chocolate shop (no free tastings) and the astronomical clock in the old square.
We went to the Jewish quarter (reminded me of Tzfat a bit), where we walked around the stalls a bit and then went into the shule Jewish cemetery (that had a tombstones from 1493!)
We also saw artwork from kids that were in Terezin.
Walked to Charles Bridge – and found a lookout by some swans to take some well angled photos.
Started Making a Murderer and made dinner: salmon with garlic and soya sauce and mashed sweet potato.
Day 3 began with me being grumpy because of lack of sleep because of the abundance of snorers/old people in the room.
Had provided breakfast, and walked to the Prague Castle (up many (many) stairs). Lots of lookouts onto the red rooves of Prague.
We continued walked up to the stunning castle! It was medieval design – something, in our viewing of what feels like 100 churches, we haven’t come across to often, so that was nice.
Now that a ‘sufficient’ number of days had passed, we could feel less guilty about buying another tradelnik donut: this time with ice cream instead of nutella. It was good (but I did prefer the nutella one).
Read book at hostel (Lies we tell ourselves), and went out for dinner. I had beef goulash with horseradish, red onion, a pepper (which I thought was a tomato) and bread dumplings (which are not the Asian style dumplings we know). It was very filling (struggled with the last mouthfuls), but also very good.
I had a better sleep on day 4 because of the ear plugs A gave to me.
In the day, we went on a tour of Kutna Hora and the bone chapel.
Story time: some guy (can’t remember who exactly), went to Jerusalem and got wind of this cemetery, where, because of the soil, people go to heaven faster. He took some soil (guess there wasn’t much bolder protection in those days) back to Kutna Hora, and sprinkled it in a cemetery. Everyone wanted to be buried there! This was also the time of the plague, and I think there were some battles, so the cemetery kept getting bigger. Someone decided that they should build a chapel, being Christian and all. They dug up many of the mass graves and started storing the bones in the crypt. Finally, the head monk told the other monks to ‘organise them’, and so the bone chapel was born.
Fact: it has 40,000+ human bones.
Unfortunately, they were restoring the chandelier when we went.
We got mini-bussed to the Czech restaurant, where A and I shared a starter (we had actually brought lunch with but couldn’t resist). It was fried cheese (my new favourite thing), tartar sauce and fries (like the tourists we are).
Lastly, on the tour, we went to St. Barbara’s Cathedral, (yet) another church. It was pretty (also medieval), but the Prague Castle was better. We walked around it, went to the lookout, bought a fake coin and sat on the grass waiting for those who were interested in the church to finish looking.
We trained back to Prague and went back to our hostel.
For dinner, I had chicken with soya sauce and garlic with lettuce leaves, roasted seeds (with chili salt), and oil.
On our last day in Prague, we trammed to the Vsyehrad Castle, via the Fred and Ginger Dancing House.
The castle/church was pretty but nothing spectacular. There were a few good lookouts with some pretty stunning views (and there were cute dogs too).
We went out for lunch to a Czech restaurant where we shared a watermelon lemonade and I had duck confit with coleslaw and a variety of dumplings (bread, potato and something else I’m not sure of).
We trammed back to Wencelas Square (where we were staying), and decided to tram to the John Lennon wall. We took the wrong tram, and then took it back, and then just decided to walk – it wasn’t far, we were just feeling lazy.
I’m not sure why it’s called the John Lennon wall: maybe it started out as a JL wall and now it’s just somewhere for all types of graffitti; or maybe it was ‘his wall’ because of his hippie/peace/love vibe.
Bought an ice cream which was quite good.
Walked to the supermarket and bought dinner ingredients. Went back to hostel, internetted a bit and then made dinner: vermicelli noodles with soya sauce beef, cucumber and spring onion. I added lettuce leaves and the roasted chili seeds to mine. It was good and we had leftovers.
At 12.30am, sercuity was called into our room, because some guy (who was staying at the hostel) – high on drugs – had jumped into someone else’s bed. Security kicked him out.
Early wakeup the next morning, and we trammed/walked to the pick up point. Had an insane donut for breakfast – tasted like a koeksister and had white chocolate on it!
Bus ride was short – and we went via a Tesco! First time in a Tesco – and I don’t know if they’re all like like that, but it was pretty great: clothes, toys, food, fruit, bakery section and miscellaneous.
We dropped our bags off at our hostel, and walked around the entire town in about an hour. Very cute, lotsa touristy shops (definitely more than I thought) – where we went into all of them of course.
We checked into our hostel, used their internet and went our for dinner. We found a place that only accepted cash – we walked around for somewhere with card, rejected everywhere else, drew money and went back to the first place.
I had onion soup because I was a bit sick of all the super heavy food! I was still hungry afterwards, and the kitchen had closed so we trawled the main square for an open kitchen. Found a place (with a super unfriendly waiter), and ordered poato pancakes (which tasted like hot chips).
Day #2 in Cesky Krumlov, I had really good apple cinnamon yoghurt for breakfast.
We walked up and around the castle – and of course saw more red rooves.
We walked around the castle grounds and the beautiful gardens.
At the bottom of the castle/when we reached the town again, we both bought another tradelnik donut with nutella in then. These were better than the ones we had in Prague – they were softer and tasted more homemade.
That was ‘first lunch’ so at about 2pm, we went out for ‘second lunch’: I had fried cheese (and it comes with tartar sauce and chips). It was a bigger portion than I thought it would be so I was pretty full afterwards.
After lunch, we put our bathers on, ready for a swim in the moat (apparently it’s not a river or a lake but a real moat!)
It was absolutely freezing, so we walked in up to our ankles and that was enough.
It was beautiful weather, so I lay on the bank for a bit enjoying the sunshine and breeze.
We went past the shops on the way back – we bought dinner ingredients and I bought a banana and more of that Apple cinnemon yoghurt.
For dinner, we cooked pasta with tomato/basil sauce and had grated Edam on top. It was yum.
We went for a walk after dinner to see Cesky all lit up (and to check out the berry/ice cream shop which was closed).
Morning #3, we breakfasted and packed and I went to go see if the berry/ice cream shop was open – they were! It’s a scoop of ice cream mixed with berries and another of pure pulverized berry. So good!!
I have just arrived in Vienna – next is Bratislava, Grünau, Salzburg and then back to Munich! The end of the loop is just around the corner.