Friday, July 2, 2010

Prague, and friends.

I'm back! As a matter of fact I have been back for quite a while, just that I have not gotten around to write a proper post. And yes, that was me complaining about Easyjet in my last post. Apparently we were not the only ones who got on the wrong end of Easyjet, another friend was stranded in Milan after her flight was cancelled. I'm not really sure about the details but that only further confirms our resolution to never fly with them again!

An update on my whereabouts: the week before the last we came back from our 16-day trip around eastern and central Europe, and Switzerland; and last weekend me and a couple of close friends went on a three-day tour to isle of Skye. There is something peculiar about travelling: after some time you kind of get used to waking up in a different dorm room each morning, and all the buildings and sceneries get sort of muddled up and start to look like each other! I am still a fan of backpacking nevertheless, just that I'll have to remind myself to bring much, much less stuff on my next trip, goodness knows when will that be.

*On an unrelated note, I am writing this post while watching (or, listening) to the Wimbledon men's semi-finals on the BBC website, so do forgive me if my words seem a little nonsensical at times. I am all for Andy Murray but somehow I just have the feeling that Nadal is going to win in the end. Ah well...*

First off, my long-ish trip to Europe and the Swiss. I think I have spent too much time in cold and gloomy Glasgow so much so that I have gotten used to NOT having the sun and warmth around! Prague, Budapest and Vienna to a certain degree were warm and very sunny indeed. I can't honestly say I've had a good time in those places particularly Prague and Budapest as most of the time I was busy running away from the sun and searching for shady spots.

Janice and You Mai, our INTEC friends, were kind enough to show us around Prague as they were studying there. It was more of like a catching-up session with old friends than a tourist-y visit to Prague but I loved it all the more. I haven't met them in a long time and it was just so great to finally able to chat with them. As for Prague the city, there wasn't an awful lot to see and do so we spent a lot of time chilling out, which was perhaps the better option as we would have melted to a puddle had we spent the whole day out in the sun!

Pic: Prague astronomical clock

The astronomical clock in the old town square of Prague is supposed to be one of the most overrated tourist spots, but it was amazing in its own way all the same. It can tell the time, day, zodiac sign and even tells you if it's daytime or night time (not that we need it to, anyway!). At the strike of every hour, there is a parade of the apostles and a skeleton at the side will pull the bell to signify the hour. Hordes of tourists will congregate in front of the clock 15 minutes before it strikes and so did we, and it did what it was supposed to, but I guess we have seen our fair share of amazing stuff and were thus kind of blase at this point... When the chiming stopped, all I could think of was, okay, what's next?

Pic: Kolkovna restaurant - lunch, day 1

They brought us to this restaurant for lunch and it didn't seem to be teeming with tourists, which was a pleasant change indeed! Irene and I shared a dish and it was delicious! Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the dish, I think it was duck and...pigeon? I don't know.

Pic: the dish consisting of duck and pigeon (?) and sour cabbage and potato dumplings. Yum!

Pics: shots taken around the Prague castle.

We went back to the old town square at night for the night view, and it was just as well that we did. There were fireworks in front of the Prague castle which could be seen across the river and I got this picture. Nice.

On the second day we followed the Sandeman's tour around the city but we ditched it in the middle as we had a tip-off about a sushi buffet for only about the equivalent of 10 pounds. It turned out to be a buffet indeed but with less sushi and more of other stuff. Nevertheless I stuffed myself crazy and had a great time. Food always does the trick for me!

After that we separated into two groups as the lazy ones (me included) wanted to shop around for a little while and wait for the sun to set before we went on our way, and others who didn't mind being baked alive by the sun and wanted to continue doing the tourist thing. I can't say I regretted my decision as I would perhaps have gotten a sunstroke had I stayed out any longer.

Pic: I think this was something like an opera house...

Pics: on the Charles bridge.

We spent our night in a bus travelling to Budapest to save some money, so in the next stop you will see us with tired looks and sticky hair. Stay tuned.