After Amsterdam it was onto another night train, this time to Prague. After getting settled into my AirBnB, and a short nap, I figured there was time to see the Charles Bridge for the sunset. Naturally this is when everyone else (or at least the tourists) go to see the Charles Bridge so perhaps it was lucky that it took longer than expected to walk there and I arrived a bit after sunset. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t super crowded, and the sky was still painted a lovely color from the sun:
The bridge is a nice long walk, heading west towards the Old Town. All along the bridge are statues, better seen during the day. But from the bridge there are very nice views of the city along the river:
Prague, and the Czech Republic, is definitely a beer area. While you may not find a wide variety of choices in a given restaurant, there are lots of good beers around. One place that specializes in beer is Pivovarsky Klub. Pivo is beer in Czech, if that helps. I’d also been told that Anthony Bourdain went to Pivovarsky Klub when he visited Prague, which I have to admit made it a must-visit.
Pivovarsky Klub offers (as from their website) 240+ bottles of beer by the bottle, and six on tap. The six on tap are listed above the bar, and I started off with a Milota Red Ale:
Pivovarsky Klub also serves good Czech food. Unfortunately I was a bit limited by my cash reserves (darn those Czech forints) as I was leaving Prague that night within the hour and didn’t want any excess forints. So no ostrich for me, and I chose the chicken schnitzel, which was still quite good:
Probably the most unexpected thing about Prague has been the quality of the food. I expected food to be affordable, if not downright cheap, but I didn’t really know what to expect as far as type of food. My vision of Eastern European food (from somewhere not necessarily based on any facts) was meat and potatoes – probably fairly bland. Well, it has certainly been affordable (by US standards) but it has also been excellent!
Tonight I walked about a mile east (away from touristy areas like the Charles Bridge) and ate at Krystal Mozaika Bistro. I think at least tied for favorite meal of the trip so far, and definitely wins for value (oops, will post about 2nd place soon). First, the neighborhood certainly changed – almost no tourists or hotels as opposed to my current spot (sort of on the eastern edge of Praha 1). However, it seemed pretty nice, and the bars and restaurants along the way were varied and several quite busy with young, fairly prosperous-looking types, though not what I would call yuppies nor hipsters. Many places looked like nice little restaurants + bars where dinner would cost between US$10-20. Also along the way were tons of cheaper eats, Chinese / Vietnamese and Turkish offerings where you could get a meal for about US$5. Even a cheap sushi place!
Anyways, back to Krystal… it was a cool place, tucked away in between some offices / industrial looking buildings. Inside it was fairly casually decorated, and cool modern music was playing. But a look at the menu dispelled any casualness – interesting sounding dishes like “Cherry Smoked Duck Breasts – 5 hours smoked with home-made plums chutney” vied with “Free Range Chicken Thigh ala Coq a Vin”. It was hard to decide — but I finally settled on Pickled Mushrooms to start, followed by the “Fillet of Fallow Deer, hokkaido pumpkin puree, autumn vegetables, veal jus and pumpkin seed oil.” Plus a large draft beer (I think I missed the wine list which was on the blackboard, in Czech. The waiter quickly gave me an English menu as soon as I said hello…)
The deer was amazing… perfectly medium-rare, and not gamey at all. Have a better look after the jump, vegetarians may want to avoid… 🙂
Hi everyone! Took another night train from Amsterdam to Prague. Pretty decent ride although I will say that so far the City Night Line sleepers / couchettes have been OK but a little hard to get a good night’s sleep. Mainly it is because the train stops at several stations and rocks a fair bit. Not sure if it’s because the carriages so far have been a little older. We’ll see how other train companies / lines stack up.
In any case, arrived in Prague and after some messing around trying to get proper coins for the Metro ticket, I made my way over to my AirBnB. The ticket machines here don’t take credit cards or bills, plus the Czech Republic still uses their currency, crowns, and not the Euro. Tip: look for the toilets in the train station, and there will probably be a change machine.
After settling in (booked a private room, but looks like I will have the whole apartment to myself!) I went looking for lunch. On the AirBnB host’s recommendation page was Potrefena Husa. I went over and on the lunch specials was beef cheeks cannonade (sort of like a goulash made with dark beer), plus a 0.5L Staropramen beer at 1/2 price. Done!
Nice beer, and with the lunch special, about US$0.65! Yes, that is sixty-five cents.