Czech Republic, Studying in Berlin
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Prague Part Two: architecture, castles and superclubs

In the last part of the story, my travel buddy and I had finally made it to Hostel Orange and were about to embark on a free walking tour. The tour was due to start at 2pm at the astronomical clock so off we went in the direction of a clock we spotted close by which was clearly surrounded by tour guides.

Although we assumed that this was a sure sign that we had finally found it, we decided that we should ask anyway. The tour guide burst out laughing. This was just yet another random clock but thankfully he pointed us in the right direction. That direction went via Costa so obviously we stopped off before we found the clock. This time it was pretty obvious that we had found the right place. We had mistranslated. Astronomical did not mean astronomically big- it referred to astrology; the clock marked the position of the sun and the moon. Duh- obviously.

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The next few hours past easily enough. We found a guide- visible by his big red umbrella, which indicated that he was a tour guide, so even we couldn’t miss him.

We walked around the Old Town, the New Town and the Jewish Quarter looking at the amazing architecture of this tiny city, where everything turned out to be in walking distance. We also saw an amazing church with an old, decomposed arm hanging from the ceiling- there is a long story there which I won’t explain here because I mainly just remember the arm. The only dampener on the afternoon was the massive lightning storm, where the thunder burst like gunfire. Other than that and the pouring rain, it was lovely and very informative.

I would definitely recommend these trips to one and all. They work on tips so are affordable whatever your budget and we saw pretty much everything we wanted to see, whilst simultaneously learning about the city. The only thing left on our list was Prague Castle, which we planned to do the next day.

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In the evening, we dined upon traditional Czech foods, having asked our tour guide to recommend a local restaurant. Since we were only around for one dinner in Prague, I ordered beef goulash with bread dumplings and sauerkraut (just to find out what it was). I’m still undecided on sauerkraut but the goulash was as good as I had hoped.

After a long nap, we hauled ourselves back onto the streets of Prague for a few drinks before we hit up the biggest club in central Europe: Karlovy Lazne.

We found an underground bar that seemed to really get going as we left (I’m sure the two are not related), and a bar called ‘Bed’ which is pretty self explanatory- we sat on a bed-like sofa and drank cocktails- and a small pub-like bar where we decided to try absinthe, which was not to my taste. It was like someone put pepper into sambuca.

We soon ended up on the road which we knew the club to be on and walked up it with some trepidation- what with our record for getting lost so far. We knew what number the club was but the buildings unhelpfully seemed to have two numbers on them- one set going up and the other decreasing and we didn’t know which to follow.  Fortunately, it turned out we had picked the right direction (well, it was about time) and not only did we find it, but there was zero queue. I guess midnight is early for a night out on the continent even though it was a Friday. Thankfully, it soon filled up and was undeniably awesome.

There were five floors- including an ice bar that we could just not find, or maybe it had just melted- and each floor felt like a new club. There was one floor that felt like a night out in my old university town with chart music galore and another with a disco themed floor which even played a Grease mash-up. We were obviously meant to find this club;  it had our names written all over it.

After stumbling into bed at around 5am, we were surprisingly awake for our 10am start the next morning. Our day’s activity was Prague Castle, which is a massive complex that includes St. Vitus Cathedral. The site was huge and took all morning and afternoon and we didn’t even see everything.

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I think I took more photos than anyone ever has. We also ate ice cream because, unlike yesterday, it was boiling.  Apart from the impressive, stunning architecture of the various buildings, there was also a street of small quaint houses, with basements and narrow staircases. We ended up missing out quite a lot of these. They were cute but it was stifling and ice-cream was calling.

Soon enough it was time to head back to the train station. We made it back a lot easier than we made it into Prague. I was in charge of the timetable, so imagine my anxiety when the departure board said we had turned up a whole hour early. My travel buddy did not look impressed but suggested maybe the board was wrong and I was right. Shockingly, that turned out to be so. The train was only delayed by 10 minutes, so five hours and 10 minutes (thereabouts) later we were in Berlin and it welcomed us back with open arms.

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