Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More From Prague, Where Beer Is Cheaper Than Water

Today did turn out to be better than yesterday, thankfully.

We finally managed to pin down a place to stay for tomorrow night. We had searched high and low on nearly every single website for a hostel, but everything is booked for the holiday. Everything. We even wandered about the city and asked at the fancy hotels that we knew we could not afford. Tomorrow is May 1, which is a big labor day holiday all across Europe. It also happens to be my birthday. Growing up, it was nice as I was always guaranteed to have my birthday off. In the U.S., it usually tends to fall around finals time, which kinda sucks. This year, I really do not care about my birthday very much, but I also was not looking forward to the prospect of spending it sleeping in a bus station huddled up next to my backpack. So, once we secured a place to stay, I felt so much better.

After that bright start to our day, we caught the free walking tour of Prague to get a feel for the town, as is our usual routine by now. Prague is simply a spectacular city with its old buildings, winding cobblestoned streets, and varied architectural styles. After the walking tour, we had to make our travel arrangements for the remainder of our trip as it is rapidly coming to an end. I somehow have to get myself back to Madrid by May 8 to get on my return flight on the 9, and piecing together bus trips and cheap airfares has proven to be a little bit of a challenge. The trains have gotten quite expensive and did not really work out for us.

After a lot of running around and hassling with crappy websites, we finally pinned it down and it looks like Prague is our last city together. We leave Prague on Friday the 2. After that, Brian heads off to Italy. I have already been to Italy and want to see something new, even though I absolutely love Italy. Instead, I hop on a bus to Marseille for a fun 22 hour bus ride, but it was the only viable option schedule wise. I spend a few days in Marseille, then fly to Lisbon for a couple of days before heading back to Madrid.

Once we figured out our travel arrangements and that we would be going our separate ways after Friday, we felt a little down. We have gotten along surprisingly well on this trip and we have really appreciated each other´s company. I think Brian said it best: ´Getting lost by yourself is scary, but getting lost together is an adventure.´ We walked around the rest of the afternoon, enjoying the sights, but our moods dampened that we would not be spending the remainder of the trip together.

Even though we did not do any marathon walking today like we did in Barcelona, my feet were tired and achy at the end of the day. When I took my shoes off to put them up on my bed to rest, Brian, who was sitting on a chair by the bed, grabbed my feet and massaged them. Totally found my ´´F´´ spot too. It was such a sweet gesture. I realized that I have not had my feet rubbed by someone else in almost two years and it felt absolutely amazing. But, that is the thing about Brian. He randomly does these sweet little things that are super thoughtful. Like the one day when we were wandering about in Amsterdam. He was listening to his MP3 player, and he really liked the song that was playing. So, he shared one of his earpieces, put his arm around me and thus we walked down the street together. Very sweet.

Anyhow, to get back on track, the food here is great and the beer cheap. In fact, my 0,5 liter beer at lunch was cheaper than Brian´s glass of coke. Ha. The meals are hearty and filling. I enjoyed a yummy Gulash with bread dumplings for lunch. Filling and tasty. For dinner, we had been craving pancakes since Germany, so we finally found them. Cinnamon crepes filled with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. Scrumptious.

Tomorrow, we are going to visit the castle on the other side of the Vltava river. We will see what that side has to offer.

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