Despite only being 13 weeks long, this semester appears to consist of a fairly significant number of ‘Volesungfreitagen’ or ‘lecture free days’. These aren’t bank holidays or religious celebrations – the university just seems to have arbitrarily decided that its students (or more likely lecturers) deserve a few extra days off to enjoy the Bavarian summer. Although my classes and Scrubs auf Deutsch still provide the bulk of my limited exposure to German, I really can’t complain – especially as a group of us (myself and 4 other girls from England and Ireland) used the last week’s 4-day weekend to travel to Prague.
After a 6 hour train journey, we quickly realised that choosing the cheapest hotel within the city centre we could find on the Ryanair website over a quick coffee in the uni cafe probably wasn’t the best of plans – it took us about an hour to drag ourselves through the city centre, across the Charles Bridge and up a hill which, shall we say, offered fantastic panoramic views over the parts of Prague we should have stayed in. After our efforts we were met by the owner of the hotel we were staying in, who reckoned it was cool to wolf whistle and rub his hands together gleefully when he realised that we were a group of 5 girls. However the apartment was really nice and we saw a side of the city we probably ventured out to had we been staying on the ‘right’ side of the Charles Bridge. This included a shop selling Absinth ice cream, a Mexican restaurant with a mural to desperados and a Starbucks without half of Prague’s tourists.
We only had two full days in the city, and so we decided that we would fit in everyone’s main priority before venturing anywhere else. Our different tastes meant that we covered the Communist propaganda museum, a free walking tour and the sex museum. Our wandering around slightly lost with a map, applying an excessive amount of factor-500 sunscreen and general obviously-British-tourists vibe meant that large parts of the weekend kind of had the same atmosphere as an episode of the Inbetweeners (but with less swearing and better outfits). I felt like Will because my tourist hot-spot of choice was an old cafe where Kafka, it is said, wrote his finest works.
As it turns out, central Prague is perfectly sized for tourists who don’t mind a bit of walking and we fitted in everything we wanted to and most of the other main sights in the city. Prague was very busy during our visit, but it seems to be an exaggeration that the city is full of stag-dos. Admittedly, we to choose to either leave a room at the Propaganda restaurant or ‘blend in’ with the strippers who were coming later, and our visit to the city’s largest club coincided with a lot of lads going about their holiday activities, but generally it seemed that Prague’s excellent whether your looking for culture or cheap booze. And even if you dislike drunk guys celebrating their stag night, Propaganda’s worth it for the 8-foot Joker and Reese’s peanut butter vodka shots.
As for the rest of the trip, lets just say that what happens in Prague, stays in Prague. For now it’s back to trying to get my head round German law and wishing that all of ERASMUS was epic adventures across Europe.