After an unbelievable 4 days in Paris the Stones were off to join Trainwreck for a glorious 4 day stay in Prague, Chez Republic. I received an email just a few hours before our departure from the owner of our Airbnb stating he upgraded us to his newest property because the one we had booked unfortunately was needing work, because the hot water heater broke. We weren't too disappointed considering it was a two bedroom and brand new everything. When we arrived around 8:00pm we took an Uber into town. Rick and Troy were already in the apartment waiting for us to arrive. They were just as excited about the upgrade as we were and gave us the grand tour starting with the doggie water and food bowl in the entry filled with treats and bones for little world traveler, Cashman. Then into the grand living room with fresh flowers and fruit in every common room with little chocolate Easter treats all over the apartment. It was a very thoughtful and hospitable treat from our host Brandon. We all felt like VIP guests. After getting reacquainted with the traditional Prague liquor drink Betrovka, we all set out to find some food and drinks. Our location was perfect! I told Troy when planning this trip that I wanted to see Frank Kafka's moving head and lo and behold, we stayed in the plaza with the head. We could even see it from our bedroom so we were able to enjoy it our entire stay!
We made our way to a near by Cuban Bar where we had our first cocktail in Prague. This bar was full of personality with speciality cocktails, Cuban cigars, and the decor like an old library feel where you drink Scotch and enjoy a cigar. We all ewwed and aweed over our cocktails mine with a refreshing floral flavor, Rick's was a smoking drink, Trey's had a feather and was called the Hemingway, and Troy's was the most memorable because of the name and garnish...the cholesterol served with a bacon garnish and the glass was inside a little fast food french fry container with sweet potato chips. After we all began eyeing Troy's garnish we realized we all needed some food. Off we went into the night in search for food. This became more and more challenging as we all would get side tracked by all that there is to look at in this magical city, which we hadn't even started to scratch the surface. Trey began to tell us his story of his last time in Prague when he first arrived with his dad 12 years ago. Long story short the only food open at 12:00 at night was the KFC and that's what they ate there first night in Prague. I try to avoid all fast food in the states so we tend to steer clear of it in Europe as well. Just as Trey had finished the story, and we had concluded that everything in the city was closed, directly in front of us was a KFC. At this particular juncture any food would have done the trick, exactly like Trey and Trotte's first night in Prague 12 years ago. I don't know if it was the fact that I was extremely hungry, or the fact I was with my American friends eating American fast food, but KFC chicken never tasted better! With full bellies, we decided it was time for us to head back to the flat for a good nights sleep. We didn't have anything special planned for the first day, but those tend to turn out to be the best days.
We all woke up around 8:30 am, had our coffee and showers and headed out on the town in search of shoes. If you know me I walk very hard and tend to go through shoes very quickly. In Paris I had completely worn out my flats to the point they had holes in the soles. Rick was in desperation for a hair cut, so we made a pit stop in one of the coolest "Man Malls" ever, just as it was beginning to rain. It had a ton of men's clothing stores, mens shoes, mens cologne, a vintage record store, and the barber shop. While Rick got his hair cut he enjoyed a nice glass of bourbon, Trey, Troy, and I made our way through the mens wonderland. While I went into the cologne store to smell Troy's selections, Trey went into the disneyland of clothing and found the most beautiful Italian shoes. Trey is an excellent shopper and when he told me he found some amazing shoes I said," Lets go look at them." He directed us to the amazing shoes and I told him we should get them. 30 minutes later we had a very happy Trey and a very happy Rick. Trey and I had no idea Prague was so fashion forward and there were so many things to look at throughout this entire city. From fashion, to art, to furniture, to cool vintage toy stores I mean this place had it all. Our next mission was to continue the search for shoes. Cold feet aside I was going to be very picky about these shoes because I needed them to be practical and fashionable, I never knew this existed or at least never searched for such a thing until this year...must be because I am now thirty and my feet can't bare walking in heels 24-7 anymore. We probably went into every shoe store in Prague and I couldn't find what I was looking for. Rick and Troy even found some fabulous shoes in our search. Finally, on the top floor of a 6 story shoe store I found my match. However, I didn't buy them right away. I thought looking more would be a good thing and going back if I couldn't find any others. WRONG oh so wrong if you find a pair that you love do everyone a favor and buy them. We had all worked up quite an appetite. We went for some Chez street food which was out of this world. Trey had a huge bratwurst sandwich, and I had a langos, which is a giant elephant ear type of fried dough, cheese and homemade ketchup. It tastes way better than it sounds I promise its a must try for sure! Trainwreck had haluski which is a basically a glorious mixture of sourkraut, homemade dumplings, and ham . They generously shared there bowls with us and we had reached a food coma once again. We went back to the apartment to drop off our recent purchases and have an afternoon cocktail before we headed back out to return to the store, where I initially found my shoes to purchase them, I even bought a pair of socks to wear them out of the store.
As we continued to walk around the city all in our new shoes we made it just at 6:00pm to watch the Astronomical Clock strike 6:00pm. This was really neat to see everyone gathered around waiting for the little figures to move and dance on the clock. Next, we set out to window shop, walk, take pictures and go into anywhere we thought would be fun. Around every corner was another treasure. We were like the talking dog with ADD in the movie Up,"Eww shiny ball, squirrel!" We stopped in several art galleries and took in all the different forms of art, drawings, paintings, sculptures, you name it Prague had it. Strolling through the Jewish Quarter we stumbled upon a Fashion Outlet. This store was like finding gold it had everything from Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, to Valentino, to Couture. It was absolutely EVERYTHING. We all had a blast touring this amazing store of two warehouse size floors of pure art. Somethings we tried on and considered, but when coming back down to reality decided it was time to leave when they turned the music off in the store. Honestly, it is places like this that you wouldn't find if you had every moment planned, that you come across in a random gander around the city, that can seriously can change your life and perspective. There is nothing more exciting than going down an unknown alley or road and finding a treasure at the end.
After a complete shopping high we came across a Restaurant called Lokals. Since our friends and favorite restaurant owners, Mike and Petra Petrillo, of Crave International Foods and Catering and Lokals Seafood in Charleston, SC have the same name we knew it had to be good because of two reasons. One, because Lokal in Chez means watering hole or gathering place and our Lokal's in Charleston is just that but with the famous Mike Petrillo's unbelievable chef abilities that turned this watering hole into a culinary wonderland of fresh local seafood. Two, Petra being from the Chez Republic came up with the name. With her creative, artistic, fun loving, hospitable, knowledge of incredible food and delicious drinks I knew the name of this place had to be ligit. We went in and it was absolutely packed wall to wall with locals. We had hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, we were not able to eat there that night so we made reservations and went back the following night for a real traditional Chez meal. However, Lokals was known for there Pilsner beer so we all had a huge mug and stood outside and enjoyed watching all the locals. We were all feeling right and continued our journey. Again, with no plan in mind other than to stop where we felt looked good. I saw a big sign that said wine and gastro bar so in we went. There was no-one in this bar except for the bartender which made it even better because we could have it to ourselves. We walked in and the bartender asked us what we wanted. We ordered wine which was served out of taps. We had never seen this before. The bartender was in his late 60's and wearing an awesome cowboy hat. He told us in his broken English that his friend made it for him. He asked if we liked Johnny Cash since we were from the states. We all replied, "Of course!" With a huge smile on his face he smiled and turned around to the computer to put on Johnny Cash throughout the entire bar. He then turned back around started to dance and little and as he tilted his hat he said, "Me, I Johnny Cash only for one night, OK?!" We all laughed clapped and enjoyed our drinks with Johnny Cash. I tried to tell him we named our dog after him but he didn't understand. He wanted to communicate very badly so he handed me a piece of paper and a pen and we played a bit of charades with Mr. Cash for some time. Before we knew it we had bought a bottle of some kind of storage Chez Liquor and Johnny Cash was drinking with us. We went through a few different music genres and told our new friend goodbye. We were all feeling right and it was time for some dinner. We found a cool Thai Restaurant called Remember ( the irony of this restaurants name is I had to look at a picture to remember), and enjoyed some authentic ethnic cuisine. I had the best Pho and after yet another unforgettable meal we were all ready to head back to the flat, walk the Cashman, and get to bed for another day of adventures.
Again, we all did our morning rituals and made today our official tourist day unlike our booze and shoes day. We stopped at a local bakery for some breakfast and bought a day pass on the tram. Our mission was to head up the funicular to take us to the Strahov Monastery and Library. The trip up was amazing and the weather was perfect. The sun was shining and all the flowers and landscape were just starting to bloom. We came at such an amazing time of year and it felt as if we were in OZ. Trey of course snapping away and me repeating over and over "oh look at that" we had made it up to the funicular, our first time on a fun method of transportation like this (which is super cool by the way, I strongly recommend to do this if you are ever in Prague). We were all feeling a little thirsty and a there was this sweet little lemonade stand with right on the path with Fresh juices. I had lemon and ginger and it was the perfect thirst quencher. We made it up to the Strahov Library and it was closed until 1:30pm so we had about 45 minutes to kill. We turned around and there was the cutest path that lead to this really neat restaurant with outside seating that overlooked the city of Prague. We stopped there for some amazing brick oven pizza and charcuterie. The day couldn't have been written out anymore perfectly. We made it into the library and it was everything and more than I expected. This amazing library of the Premonstratensian monastery at Strahov is one of the most valuable and best-preserved historical libraries – its collection consists of approximately 200,000 volumes. The oldest part of the library, the Baroque Theological Hall, was established between 1671 and 1674; the main Classicist vaults of the Philosophical Hall date from 1794 and are two storeys tall. Both halls are dominated by ceiling frescoes by Siard Nosecký and Anton Maulbertsch. I felt very moved in this building with all of the incredible wisdom that surrounded me. It also made me think of my mom a lot. I know this is a place that she would absolutely adore, perhaps one day we can all return together. The other neat things about this library were the numerous cases of taxidermy. They had them of insects, underwater life both fresh and seawater, and many many others. Many of the places that we have traveled to on our European adventure have moved us in ways that is indescribable. The beauty and wonder we have experienced I wish I could better explain but some things you just need to experience for yourself. Prague was full of these feelings.
Next stop was the Monastery and it was again like nothing I had ever seen before. It was very neat to listen to Rick tell us his knowledge of the Catholic religion and what certain things meant and represented. The church jewels were magnificent and the murals and different places to pray were tranquil and made Trey and I feel very safe and calm. We spent close to two hours touring this amazing piece of architecture. One of the things that Trey and I found very interesting was a room that had these jeweled pieces of art that enclosed different Saints body parts. For example there was a thumb or a hand. The story is that back then churches would create these pieces to attract people to come to see their artifacts and the more beautiful and detailed they were the more people would come from all over to pray and admire these monuments and donate more money to there church. All in all the day of touring had been a success and it was time for us to head back to the flat for a siesta, Cash walk, and to get ready for our traditional Chez dinner.
When we arrived we started with a pint of Pilsner and some fried Cheese. Oh my goodness this incredible ewe gooey piece of heaven was like a giant cheese stick but oh so much better. Rick and I ordered the goulash with steamed dumplings. Trey and Troy had a pork Shnitzel with potato salad, and cabbage. We all were full up to our ears and had to walk off our delicious and ever so heavy meal. We made our way to a little outside venue with some live Jazz. We enjoyed the music for almost a set while letting our meal settle. We left when the Jazz saxophone player and singer went on break and headed to a called Cash Bar. It had a vintage prohibition era atmosphere with speciality cocktails and great Jazz music. Trey and Rick ordered the Absinth and Troy and I got the lavender vodka, cosmo. It was the perfect way to end a fun filled day in Prague. We were right by the famous Charles Bridge and thought it would be a good time to cross we started to and changed our minds to save it for the day time because there were so many people and we weren't feeling like fighting any more crowds. On our way back to our flat we found a place that made the famous cinimonroll like cones with chocolate inside with two scoops of your choice of ice cream. I chose the pistachio and we all shared this delightful treat, not like any of us needed it after the meal we had but it was worth every bite. We finally got back home walked Cash around the revolving head and called it another fantastic night in Prague.
Each time we go to a new city with Cash we try to make it a point to have a Cash day. Today was that day. We all headed out the door around 10am and headed to the popular Choco Cafe. They let us bring Cashman inside and gave him a little bowl of water while we all decided which cup of chocolate we were going to enjoy as our sugar high, I mean breakfast! It was remarkable and drinking chocolate an experience everyone should try at least once in there life. The tingles on your tongue and the warm in your belly will leave you ever so satisfied. After a piece of quiche to soak up all the chocolate we made our way across the Charles Bridge, where we experienced the street venders and musicians, over to the park. We walked past a little midivil festival under the bridge where they were selling hats, knifes, hand made crafts, and jewelry, and midivil costumes. Cash enjoyed some off the leash time while we were in the sculpture park admiring all the large art in little nick and carneys all over. It was the perfect weather with a slight breeze. Even being on the river we weren't cold so again we were very please with the time of year we came to Prague. We walked through the park past the crawling babies and headed back to our flat to drop off our very tired little pup. He went right to the sofa for a nap and we headed out to continue our tour of Prague.
We hopped on the tram once more and headed to the Cathedral and Castle. We walked through the gardens and made it up to the Cathedral. This was something else to see. We have visited a lot of churches and cathedrals while traveling in Europe but it never ceases to amaze me these incredible pieces of architecture. This gothic style was remarkable and the details in the stone were stinkingly beautiful. When we entered the Cathedral I am always in awe of the beauty of the stained glass. We had gone in just at the right time to see the sun shining through the windows to give the entire stone cathedral a warm and homey feeling even for a building of that size. The Crpse under the Cathedral was neat to see as well. We headed on down the hill out of the Castle walls when we came across another little festival like setting. They had food venders, crafts, and artisan work with music playing and a fun vibe. Rick and Troy needed a little snack pick me up and Trey and I found a neat hand blown colored glass ball that we will be bringing back to the states with us. We were looking at art and we decided that this piece was art and perfect to remember our trip not to mention it is small and easy to fit in a suite case.
Back on the tram we went and headed to this Arabic cafeteria that Troy was Jonsing for. He had seen it the last time he was in Prague and desperately wanted to check it out. Well Chef Troy knows his food, and has never steered us wrong and this Arabic food did not disappoint. We headed out for some more wondering to see what we could see and stumbled into yet another hidden treasure in a corner of an alley called Fear House. Rick and Troy love creepy crawly scary things and noticed this advertisement on the wall for Fear House. It has zombies eating human flesh on the outside of it and honestly really grossed me out but Trainwreck thought it was cool! When they looked up they noticed the sign and began walking in the direction of the entrance. I told Trey if it is a haunted house they can go I really don't like to be scared. Rick told us to come on... and began walking down the stairs into the dark dungeon. When all of a sudden creepy music began to play and images of batts flew onto the wall. We continued and a very nice zombie greeted us and told us to enter if we dared. We walked in a the room, me very hesitantly with my heart ponding we walk into a haunted bar. There were body parts hanging from behind the bar and tombstones as the bar stools. The Bartenders had on make up and the drinks were served out of skulls. It was by far one of the most creative bars I have ever experienced. We had a blast with the vampire waitress as she walked around the room giving us shots out of syringes, and Kiss playing in the background. We laughed and enjoyed our "deadly cocktails" and took in this RIP experience.
We wondered back to the flat to catch a late afternoon siesta before we painted the town red for the evening. I searched several bars for lives jazz or live entertainment and everything had been reserved for the evening. Rick came across the Velmont Club and said he thought it looked to be right up our alley. We all dressed up and made our way to the velvet roped entrance of the Velmont where we were greeting by a lovely lady. She took our coats and welcomed us to the club. In the main entrance there was a velvet victorian sofa with an all glass bar and fresh flowers, she directed us to go down the black spiral staircase. Down we went into the club and Chandiliers and mixologist awaited us. She showed us the two different rooms, the back room which was more a club setting and the front room which was more like your high end lounge. We chose the ladder and she told us we could wait for a private table or sit at the bar. We were all happy to sit at the bar and soon met a new best friend Phillip. Phillip was from Slavina and chatted with us the entire night. He was an excelled mixologist who made us refreshing cocktails and entertained us with his whity humor. As more and more people began to enter the club it really began to come alive. A women dressed in a glowing outfit with wings and a giant headdress began to walk the two rooms of the club. They told us that the show would begin shortly. We all stepped outside of the Club for a quick stroll of the city for some fresh and and to see if there were any other gems.
We followed this group of people back to this hidden alley with a hidden entrance to another bar. Unfortunately, it was full so we decided to go back to our cozy underground club. On the way back we noticed the window of the most beautiful vintage clothing in all the land. When I looked closer I realized it was all Channel. Troy and I starred in this window dreaming for close to 10 minutes when Trey and Rick brought us back to reality and guided us away from the window. When we arrived back to the Velmont there was a line out the door. We waited and the girl who showed us to our spots the first time remembered us. She took us right back to our spot where we were the first time and asked a few people to move so we could all sit down. It was awesome, talk about VIP! Now the club was heating up we watched a women with fire do a dance and another women who had her face painted swing from a swing in the back club, we even had a magic show from a magician. It truly was quite an entertaining experience and when the crowd died out we decided it was time to call it quits. Leave it to Trainwreck and Trelsea to go out of a city with a Bang and that is exactly what we did. We went back to the house for a late night snack and Cash walk and soon there after lights were out.
Last day and Prague and we all had a slow morning. We were to be out of the flat at 12 so Trey and I packed up our bags, showered, walked Cash and were ready for some grub. We headed out the door around 11 and went across the street the an amazing Indian Buffet. It was exactly what all of us needed after a late night out. After a tray full of food the only other thing we needed was a nap. Our flight didn't leave 6 so we had plenty of time to take a nap at the airport. We said our goodbyes to our host Brandon and thanked him for the hospitality and upgrade. We gave our hugs to Rick and Troy. I tried to make it a quick one because I am never good at goodbyes. Now reflecting back on I can honestly say this was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Rick and Troy are such very special friends and I am so thankful that I was able to experience this with them! Never a dull moment when you have those two around and I will cherish these adventures forever. In a nut shell Prague I can honestly say was one of my favorites of our Travels thus far. I felt right at home and felt as if we fit right in with every aspect of this treasure of a city! Thank you Prague and the Stone's shall return!