A friend of mine wrote this fantastic blog about her holiday to Prague, the capital and largest city of the Czech republic this Summer. I’ve long considered Prague to be a great destination for a short break but never got round to going. Maybe one day! And so when her eloquent and funny blog plopped onto my Facebook screen I begged her to let me reproduce it here, for my readers to enjoy.
Here’s what Helene has to say about Prague:
First of all her neat little disclaimer:
DISCLAIMER… re: “THINGS ABOUT PRAGUE” posts. It should be noted the author is having a fabulous time in this truly remarkable city. Any suggestions, in said author’s attention seeking posts, to the contrary, should be taken in the context of feeble attempts at humour! Love from Helene.
THINGS ABOUT PRAGUE… No. 1 it’s really fairly cheap to fly here and stay here…. it’s really hideously expensive to eat and shop here. Top tip (1) take large handbag into the breakfast buffet and fill with a day long hamper of sandwiches, cakes and fruit. Top tip (2) Beer is cheaper than water… put aside your distaste for beer and it’s bloating effects, shake out the bubbles and go for it. Top tip (3) cigarettes are also cheaper £4 packet, load up and substitute food for a fag whenever necessary (also keeps mosquitos away)
THINGS ABOUT PRAGUE No. 2. It is beautiful.. no messing… full of history, style and all manner of European nonsense. Top tip (1) visit the Sex Machine Museum.. it is educational, air conditioned and possibly the only museum where you won’t find yourself saying “my grandmother had one of those!” (Though interestingly, my mother did!). Top Tip (2) when taking a boat trip do your research and do not choose merely on the basis that the staff have the cutest outfits. Or you may well find yourself cruising around a single bridge at 3 knots for 45 minutes, cooking slowly and listening intently to the commentary in Italian! (3) after an exhaustingly hot day on foot, treat yourself to a Thai massage where a beautiful Thai woman who looks as though she would not have the strength to lift a tea cup to her lips manipulates, squeezes and thumps you into abject submission for 30 delicious (if you like that sort of thing!) minutes! (4) when booking an excursion to Kutna Hora, be sure to check the departure time and do not arrive panting thinking you are 5 minutes late, when in actual fact you are 55 minutes early, just saying!
THINGS ABOUT PRAGUE No 3. “BEADY EYE SYNDROME”.. this is a thing! The perfect storm of geographical location, atmospheric pressure, cultural over stimulation and drinking beer instead of water (because it’s cheaper) can combine to afford you a bad case of BES. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE (1). Arriving at breakfast only to realise that unless a waitress shows you to a specific seat, you may actually be unable to choose from the plethora of vacant tables and return to your room empty stomached. (2) Wandering around the breakfast buffet in a disorientated state, forgetting what you are there for and indeed who you are (3). Getting the ratio horribly wrong with your “compote to cereal” mix, thereby creating an almost inedible pulp which slowly turns to a primitive form of concrete in your stomach (4) Looking deeply into the bottom of a shallow glass whilst deciding whether or not to pour the apple juice in it or just look at it. (5) Whatever music is playing starts to sound like Leonard Cohen… oh wait?! ….. There is no known cure for BES, but continue with the beer/water substitution as it will enable you to not give a damn!
THINGS ABOUT PRAGUE No. 4. The Modern Art Gallery holds its head up amongst the finest in Europe. A generous and inspiring collection of all the 19th and 20th century (yes folks that’s what modern art is!) super heros AND some incredible, lesser known to us Brits, Czech 21st century artists (Contemporary Art to the uninitiated). TOP TIPS (1) when getting a taxi to the gallery (less than 8 mins drive) care to negotiate the price BEFORE getting into the vehicle, which doubles as a Gulag, or risk being locked in until you have handed over all your bank notes, loose change and even had to take off your shoes to disclose the emergency 200k note hidden in your sock, before expecting to be released back into society! (2) When entering the enormous gallery be sure to note that between the ground floor and the first floor is ANOTHER first floor, and that your confusion as to exactly which art you are looking at, may be something to do with not appreciating that having two first floors, in Prague, is common practice!. (3) All (yes ALL) the pavements in Prague are cobbled. As such, there is only one type of footwear suitable for walking the streets of the city, these shoes fall into a single, simple category, namely UGLY SHOES… The uglier your shoes are the better and the more comfortable you will be. All normal rules regarding coordinating footwear with clothing do not apply. If you want to look well turned out bring copious boxes of plasters and expect to enjoy the full “Little Mermaid walking on knives” experience. (4) The Natives all speak good English, it is impressive and an incredible relief, as nearly all their words are completely unpronounceable with our minimal British oral dexterity and lack of readily available phlegm (with the sole exception of Liverpudlians who are fit for purpose). (5) When returning to the Thai masseuse who performed your divine foot massage, and deciding to upgrade to a back and neck massage. Please remember that Thai Massage is actually code for a legalised version of intensive interrogation techniques used in places such as the former USSR, current North Korea and other dictatorial destinations. A, this time, heavy set Thai national will pin you to the floor (albeit surrounded tastefully by orchids!) and succeed in bending your skeleton in directions it is not designed to bend, she will slap you and shout “no ouch!” if you cry out, and kneel on your buttocks and push your scapular out through your breast bone if you don’t! Much like the taxi there is no end until you have handed over any remaining currency you have about your person, by way of a “voluntary” tip, at which point your shoes are returned to you and you can make good your escape.
Thank you for reading and coming up soon will be my own blog on my recent trip to France entitled ‘Dippy Menopausal woman’s antics in France.’