Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ferragosto Vacation to Prague

Last week we visited the most beautiful city in Europe, Prague. Yes, I know that's a big call, but in my opinion there is no nicer city that I've seen. And I could only say that statement after I swallowed my pride and sang ten rounds of the Polish national anthem as penance. Then I sang 'Advance Australia Fair' and after that I was confused about my nationality and exhausted so I had to drink a small-ish glass of Czech beer that was bigger than the size of my head.

Apart from the gorgeous architecture, the best thing about Prague was undoubtedly the food. Oh, the food. The fatty, hearty, homemade food with not a hint of fresh vegetable on the side. Here is one of their traditional dishes, the pork piglet with saurkraut and Czech dumplings. Try eating that with apple strudel for dessert four nights in a row...I did and let me tell you I didn't feel good on the fourth night.

Ok, if you are not that excited about food that will potentially knock ten years of the life span of your heart, Prague also has some amazing statues with some especially beautiful ones on the famous Charles Bridge.

The Charles Bridge also had some buskers. This was one of the weirder ones we saw...look closely as to what is on the poor dog who looks like he'd rather be anywhere else and is clearly not impressed.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Prague Castle hotel and on the last morning we decided to have a mocktail before we were due to go to the airport. I said MOCKTAIL not cocktail - it was only ten am after all!

The strangest thing happened. We could see outside our hotel on the street there was a film shoot of some kind going on. Cars were screeching around a corner and there were actors yelling whilst acting out a scene. We sat down with our mocktails at the hotel outside tables to relax and see what was going on. We later found out it was a Russian James Bond type of movie, according to the hotel.

Ok, that's strange but not as strange as what happened next. The action moved from the side of the hotel and moved right next to us. The table to our left that was about five centimetres from ours was empty and all of a sudden ten girls run up and start setting it up with props, actors and voila, filming has begun.

I looked over at husband and said 'we are clearly going to appear in these scenes' to which I hear the bellowing Russian director yell out 'tell the actor to stop looking up and talking' to which the Czech director yelled out just as aggressively 'she's not an actor, she is staying here so I can't ask her to do anything'. Polish, Russian and Czech are very similar so I could understand it all and decided to keep my head down.

Then all of a sudden I felt uncomfortable and said to husband 'I'm going inside'. We both got up and the director came over and said in English 'please just stay for a few more minutes until we get the take'. What the? I looked around and realised there was a few put-out looking extra's that clearly would have liked to be in the scene. It was very random and if anyone watches a Russian James Bond film where the actor yells out in a thick Russian accent 'Hurry up, there's no time to eat (actor grabs other actor's massive mug of beer and slams it on the table). The Russians are coming!', then look for us and we are the people looking very confused next to them. They did about ten takes of this one line and so the same line was running through my head all day. When we were having lunch at the airport, I annoyed husband by saying ' Hurry up, there's no time to eat, the Russians are coming!' Ok, so it was like the tenth I had said it in the last hour, but I don't know why he got annoyed.

Russian directors yelling at us aside, we had the most wonderful holiday in Prague. I recommend everyone to go to this beautiful city. Try the Czech beer, make an opinion whether the Czech women deserve the title of being the most beautiful in the world (debatable!) and visit the Communism museum to see how much this country has gone through. I know I sound like a tourist book, but honestly WE LOVE PRAGUE! Next stop in our series of mini-breaks is Switzerland so we'll see if one bite of real Swiss chocolate will change my mind as to which is the best city in Europe. Yep that's all it takes to change my mind, one block of good chocolate.


Delina said...

Oh great. I'm so looking forward to my upcoming trip now! The Crowne Plaza was one of my possible hotels to stay in but I opted for somewhere else in the end.

erin :: the olive notes said...

Yay! Glad to hear you had such a great time! We'll definitely have to make to Prague one day, now that I've heard over and over how beautiful it is.

How funny about the movie...

Anonymous said...

i've always heard such positive and amazing things about this city! I can't wait until we finally go someday.

that meal you ate looked so delicious. and did you say apple struedel.....yes please!

that's funny to hear about you being in that movie, exciting too!

Texas Espresso said...

Prague is a nice city. I went in the early 90's not too long after they broke apart to become the Czech Republic and I found it charming. The people were very friendly and happy to have tourism and the medieval-ness of the town was really cool. I'd like to go back to see if its changed. Do you have pics??? hehe

you are your hubby are so freakin' cute! not fair *wink*

Monika said...

Delina: I'll look forward to your blog on Prague and I know you'll love it.

Erin: the movie thing was so funny and will be funny memory when we think of Prague.

Eryn: Apple strudel, be still my heart. Next week is Poland which will be HEAPS of Polish strudel! (I hope, if not I want my money back).

Texasespresso: I wonder if you would recognise the place now, as apparently it has changed so much. ps thanks for the compliment, my hubby is cute (I'm bias though) but me, I feel like I'm getting old - three days of solid walking in Prague and I was ready to sleep for the next three days!!!

John Shield said...

Go to prague, become a movie star... fairly typical weekend huh?

Welsh Girl said...

I have to be contentious here - I liked Prague but there were too many stag parties going on for my liking. Then again if I had got to meet the Russian James Bond (did he work for SPECTRE?) I might have felt differently..... I think my vote would go for, ironically, FLORENCE!!!

Sue said...

Oh, I do envy all of the adventures you get to have in your travels!

Chef Chuck said...

Thanks for sharing Prague, Maybe one day I will visit there. I have always had an interest of that wonderful place. Sounds like you had a fun time and the meals sound great ! O yea, that's one big beer!