So my first stop in this trip was my layover in Prague, Czech Republic. Being that this was my first time ACTUALLY traveling around alone and being in the Czech Republic I was pretty excited to head around the city. So I had looked up how to get to my hostel by public transportation and being that I got in close to midnight when the metro stops, I was determine to make my way and not have to pay for a taxi. Sadly, the machine at which you buy tickets at didn’t take bills- I found this out thanks to the man who asked me if I needed help in English after I foolishly tried to put the money in every slot I found on the machine. So I had to run inside and buy something in a vending machine to get change for the bus, and what was even sadder was that when I ran back inside the bus that was coming was the last one for the night- therefore missing my chance. I did end up buying a 24hr pass for the next day so that I wouldn’t have to go through this again in the morning. I then stood in the rather cold Czech night trying to figure out if another bus would come but sadly that was, like I said, the last scheduled bus.
So a taxi driver knowing that this was his chance came up to me asking if I needed a ride. The price he offered was what the hostel said would be an average price and having no other choices I decided to trust this elderly taxi driver, who was very nice and pointed things out of where I could visit near my hostel. One of the places was “Old Town” or “Staré Město” which I said to him and he asked if I spoke Czech but in reality a lot of words have a similarity to Russian because of the Slavic. So I got to my hostel, settled in, used the internet, slept and got up at 7am to go around and see as much as I could. With a map in hand and the few that I knew about the town I made my way to different sites such as: Karlův most (Charles Bridge) , Pražský hrad (Prague Castle) , Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square), Astronomical tower, Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square), Jewish Synagogue, among some other things here and there.
But there is always that one person! I went into an exchange office to exchange American money into the Czech currency because since I collect money from the countries I visit, I wanted to have actual bills. So I gave him a $10 bill and he asked doubtfully, “that’s it?” I told him yes and then he asked “would you like a map?” Now, I’m guessing this is a free map in the way that he asked. Not would you like to buy a map but rather would you like a map… I think there’s a difference. So he handed me the map and change in coins. I was confused as to why it came out to coins, but being that currency like the Euro has 2 and 1 Euro coins I guessed maybe there’s enough. After walking around Wenceslas Square and sat down to rest, I looked at the receipt I noticed that I was charged for the damn map, in reality I wanted it just as a souvenir being that I was leaving Prague in less than an hour. Thanks to Russian, I was able to figure out that цена in Russian, cena in Czech meant price. I learned to always ask Is it free when someone says would you like something.
Over all it was a very pretty, nice and since it was early everything seemed so quiet and quaint. I probably walked for about 4-5 hours trying to see as much as I could. Then I took the train to catch a bus to the airport, this time I didn’t need a taxi and accomplished what I tried to do the night before. Then I just did some more waiting in the airport for my flight to Madrid. It was interesting to be standing in front of a Chilean couple and then hearing two Argentinean women talking in Spanish about how their bags will go through some mix up in the Madrid airport in Prague; and it almost made me feel like I was in Spain already.
Hopefully one day I’ll be able to return to Prague and get to see some more of the city because 5-6 hours really isn’t too much to see a city but it was what I could afford to squeeze in. Now onwards to Madrid!