Time for another blog post!! Because instead of traveling on weekends, I now just play catch up on writing about past travels that I’ve gone on. Maybe I’ll actually be able to catch up for once.
This week, I’ll be writing about my trip to Prague.
Prague was such a fun city adventure. I’d highly recommend adding Prague to your list of must visit cities if you haven’t been yet!
Our trip started off early morning on Friday, August 30, 2019. It was probably 4AM in the morning when we were heading over to Geneva airport via train when I realized that I had forgotten both of our passports.
Checking the time, there would be no way for us to go back home, grab our passports, and make it in time for the flight. So we did what any responsible and logical adult would do, try to get onto the plane without passports.
Because we flew quite often from the Geneva airport, we knew which TSA lines to use to not get your passports checked. And with luck on our side, the airline employees checking tickets to board the plane also did not check passports. For any non-Europeans reading this, there’s basically a Schengen Agreement between countries in Europe which states that they won’t have passport control at the borders. Because of this, it’s quite common for your passport to never get checked (but they still do check sometimes, especially if someone freely hands it to them — next thing you know, everyone has their passports out and it’s weird if you don’t).
Making it onto the plane, the next thing we were worried about was if there was passport control to get into the Czech Republic. There was a chance that we would arrive, get caught, and sent on a plane back to Switzerland.
We made it as far as the luggage pick-up in Czech. This is when Erick decided that we should do an exchange for some local currency.
Not thinking twice about the money exchange, I headed over to use the bathroom. While sitting on the toilet, I realized that you usually need a passport to exchange money, oops! That’s when I got a message from Erick telling me to come back. By now, the worst scenario was running through my head. I was stressed.
When I arrived, it turned out that we had to wait for the police to arrive. Apparently, one of the 20 Euro notes that we exchanged was a fake! Our suspicion was that we picked it up from our trip in Ibiza *shakes fist*. The police were on their way to escort us to police station, “interview,” and write up a report.
Upon arrival, they asked for our passports. Erick confidently told them that we don’t have any on us because we don’t need it due to the Schengen Agreement. Somehow, it worked. The police were upset and said, no, you do need it!!! But in the end, accepted our Swiss IDs.
It’s really awkward getting escorted out of the airport by police. All eyes on us as we were placed in the back of a police car. I asked if we could take a picture, they said no.
They only interrogated Erick since he was the one who handed over the bill. The basic questions were where did you get it from, where are all the places you’ve been, yada-yada. The police turned out to be nice as their seriousness slowly melted away.
They said that we got it easy. Apparently the previous day they accidentally arrested the wrong guy, thinking that he was a baggage thief. The guy missed his flight and had to spend the night at the station. When the police reviewed the footage the next day, they realized that they had the wrong guy. Ha, that’s really horrible actually.
To my surprise, after the report was completed, they let us go… Out into the world. Freedom! We were let go by the police, into the Czech Republic with no passport. That’s some luck.
At least now we could enjoy our trip before having to “get lucky” again going back into Switzerland.
When we arrived at our hotel, I went to the front desk lady to check-in. She asked for our passport and when I told her that I didn’t have any, she was super upset and turned off. That feeling when you all of a sudden feel like a fugitive on the run. Turns out that I was checking into the wrong hotel, though. Our actual booking was down the hall.
I knocked on the unmarked door, and within a few seconds, a friendly woman with a warm smile opened it. She had been expecting us, and welcomed us in. The room was pitch dark. The only light that was in there came from the illumination from her monitor. Erick and I squeezed together on the tiny couch, looking around the room stacked with various odds and ends. It felt like we were in a closet. Btw, she never asked for any ID, and didn’t even ask us to pay. She said we can pay any time we want.
By the time we got to our apartment room, it was only 9:30AM. What a long day.
We spent the whole day working (since it was Friday). Except for lunch, we did take a walk around the area to look for a bite. We happened upon this restaurant to get my goulash fix. Looking at the photo, wow, that’s a lot of meat!
The city of Prague itself is quite breathtaking. While walking around Old Town Square, near the Astronomical Clock, my chest was fluttering from excitement. You just don’t know what to take in because all of it is gorgeous.
For dinner, we grabbed some beers and dessert. We were still full from our meat heavy lunch.
But not full enough to be able to pass up on a chance to have some good ramen!
And just when you think that you’re really full, Erick says it’s dessert time again. I took a pass.
For the rest of the night, we just took a stroll around, taking in all of the nightscape while crossing the famous Charles Bridge (aka the Spiderman movie bridge).
All of Prague feels magical. Sort of like a real life Disneyland. I mean, look at the photo of Rieger Gardens below. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that was a statue of Walt himself.
The views from this historic park are amazing. It’s a nice change of pace from Old Town. Apparently, this is the side where more of the locals hang out and live (especially expats).
Going further out past the park, we went to the Trhy Jiřího z Poděbrad farmers market (next to the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord), one of our favorite types of places to be on a Saturday afternoon. I will always remember this, but there was a guy chowing down on a fat a** burger with all of the juices running down his hands, and he had thee happiest look on his face. I couldn’t stop secretly watching, like a weirdo (and apparently neither could the two ladies in the bottom left corner of this photo below).
Our stomachs led us to grab two craft beers and this dessert that turned out to be quite familiar (tasted just like double cream and meringues). The presentation fooled us!! Sitting under the tree listening to some live music was great however.
Right next to the farmers market was another favorite — I love bubble people. Thank you for making bubbles, I support you with my coin.
Not far from here, we were actually planning on swinging by a friend’s restaurant, but were told to go later for dinner. So to kill time, we went to the Atrium Flora mall. It’s been a while since we’ve been inside of a mall that felt and looked just like the kind of malls that you find in America. It was a weird feeling. If you had blindfolded me and brought me there, I would think, wait, did I go on a plane?
At the mall we got Indian food (lamb vindaloo ftw!). So good, would have never expected that.
There wasn’t much more to do at the mall, so we went to a bar and had a couple of beers. Finally it was dinner time and we went to Las Adelitas Mexican restaurant in search for our friend.
The food was great, especially the drinks. This kinda Mexican food is a little on the fancier side for my taste, I like the simple kinds. Something that just feels more like home.
Anyways, big fail! Our friend flaked and wasn’t there. But at least we got to see Krystof again, all shaven and clean.
After dinner, we said our goodbyes and began our trek back towards Old Town. Our walk took us back through the park, which apparently now was the perfect time to be at, sunset. It was poppin’! We sat down to enjoy the sunset too, although we couldn’t actually see the sun from where we sat, lol. There was way more people not pictured to the right of my photo.
I love when the lighting looks like this. What a dream.
Another selfie of Erick and myself before it turns into Sunday.
Saturday night we were kind of exhausted from all of the walking that we did earlier in the day. We took a break and then walked around a bit, stumbling upon some outdoor live music. It was great, except that we were so tired, so we called it a night.
Sunday morning we grabbed coffee, hot chocolate, and breakfast dessert from this cozy cafe that we kept passing by.
The first stop for the day was the Mucha Museum. To my surprise, Erick loved all of the Mucha’s artwork. I can’t believe I finally found an art museum that he approves of, hehe. Winning!
We spent a good chunk of time at the Museum, and almost came out with some souvenir purchases, but decided that we should wait until we have a proper home.
For lunch we headed to Kantýna restaurant. Their specialty is MEAT. But besides meat, the interior decor of the restaurant was very tasteful. I couldn’t help but snap away in all directions.
On our way back to our room, we happened to walk into a boutique shop and happened to make some purchases. So now I have a duffle bag that I never use, but Erick uses it instead. What else did we get from there? Can’t remember…
Anyways while we were still walking back to our place, I saw something glimmering on the other side of a pathway. You’ve got to check out this moving sculpture if you’re in Prague, Head of Franz Kafka. This was surprisingly delightful to watch. Each layer rotates individually, creating almost a show for onlookers.
Having dropped off our shopping bag, we headed back out. We made an impromptu trip over to Prague Castle. Because Erick enjoyed the art museum so much, we went over to the castle which had a stained glass window designed by Mucha (it’s the stained glass on the right, left is a different artist).
The area around the castle was expansive, with much to see. Too bad though, the weather was quickly changing. We tired to get some cover and wait out the rain from a cafe by ordering beer/coffee/ice cream. That didn’t last very long, and before we knew it, we were back caught in the rain again.
It was too wet to really do anything the rest of the day. And we were tired. Besides, we had another early morning flight back to Switzerland.
We made our way back by subway. There were still people out and about, but we didn’t have the proper rain gear to really be outside in heavy rain.
For our last meal, we went back to Las Adelita’s, but a different location. I just can’t say no to Mexican.
Monday morning, we paid our bill for the room, and said our goodbyes. The lady gave us a farewell food gift, which was very kind of her! The food was delicious, too.
At both airports, luck was with us. No issues getting onto our plane to Switzerland, and we didn’t have to go through passport control upon arrival (sometimes we do).
Thank goodness. I’m counting my blessings and I think I’m in debt!
Prague is an amazing city, and I’d love to go back again. It’s also a good one for foodies and if you like beer. Can’t wait to get out there and travel again!!
Until next time, stay indoors!