04.06.2009 - 08.06.2009 16 °C
After 13 days in russia, it was time to fly to prague and meet up with justin and his mate matt!! we had been really looking forward to catching up with them!!
but, little did we know about what was to happen next...
we woke up at 5am (it was so bright, it was like it was 5pm - white nights), pumped up and ready to rock and roll in prague. it took a little while to find the bus to thge correct airport (there are two ter,inals that are about 15 mins apart by car), but we finally did and we were on our way!!
we arrived at pulkovo terminal 1 at around 7am...
heidi: "are we at the right airport?!?"
ben: "i swear we are... how come?"
h: our flight isn't up on the departures board..."
what we found out next was not cool!!!!!!!!
we found the closest information desk and discovered no one knew of our flight... turns out our flight was cancelled - however, we were never notified and the airport staff had no idea what happened to the flight - there wasn't even a 'cancelled' sign!! no recognition that it even existed...
we had to wait until 9am for the kdavia office to open, so we indulged and bought ourselves a coffee... which was as big as our heads (the smallest takeaway size available, haha). to cut a long story short, we ended up getting a new ticket on a different airline to prague - woohoo!! and, if you're thinking about flying with kdavia, think twice about it...
four hours later than originally planned, we arrived in prague to see a very familiar and friendly face!! justin kindly picked us up from the airport - and thankfully he did because he probably saved us each czk2000!
at the metro station...
justin: "we better buy a ticket for each of your bags. the whole time i've been here i've never had my ticket checked, but it's better to be safe"
ben/heidi: "awesome, we wouldn't have ever known to do that!"
later, on the train...
man: "tickets please" (in czech of course)
we learned that this was a classic 'casinader moment' - things like that always happen to justin!
prague is such a beautiful, gothic city - it's fantastic! this was the first city/country that we had entered and had already been there before. this time though, it was so great to see the city with a local (however, he is an expat, haha) and do things that we wouldn't have normally done or seen on our own!!!! justin and matt's pad is huge, new, centrally located and fully equipped- we got to put a load of washing on!!
we spent our time in prague like this...
- on our first night, we went to this cool, nearby pub that served up a delicious meal and awesome beer (staropramen). we also met, for the first time, angus, one of justin's workmates/managers. on to the food... we both shared potato soup served in a bread bowl, then heidi had a traditional czech dish of beef pork and vegetables, and ben had pork spare ribs (probably three pigs worth!!). the waiter looked like he was buzzing on a high - he forgot to put matt's hamburger into the system and almost spilled two beers over us!!
- on friday, justin had to work so we did our own thing during the day - we explored prague! we saw the new town, wencsleslas square, the national museum, old town, charles bridge, the jewish quarter, the astronomical clock and went up to the top of the clock tower for a birds eye view of the city. fun!
- on friday night we met up with justin and matt and went to another local pub for dinner. great meals again!! heidi had a chilli, beef goulash-style dish, ben had a mixed grill called 'czech lovely grub' with various czech dumplings, justin had a HUGE kebabm and matt had about two tonnes worth of meat that were called 'collops'.
later that night we all went to a fantastic, cosy, funky, little cocktail bar. it was like a smoke room - no laws in prague against smoking indoors. there was a british bar tender and she served j and m up long island iced teas and suggested a gin and grape cocktail for h and a corriander and vodka cocktail for b. they were perfect and full of flavour!!
- on saturday we went to karlstejn castle - it was stunning! we caught a train there and walked up a hill to the castle, making a pit stop for a czech cinamon and almond doughnut/pastry and took a tour of the castle. it was built in the 14th century by king charles and, among other things, we saw his bedroom and a medieval toilet (basically an enclosed balcony with a hole in it)
- on saturday night we went to a wicked mexican restaurant. b had tacos and enchiladas, h had a big chicken salad that the waitress recommended (great choice!) and j and m had burgers, one of which was called 'the coronary bypass'!! b wasnt well and went home early, but the rest of the crew ventured our unsuccessfully and ended up coming home to drink some russian vodka that we bought for j as a thank you gift... nice stuff!!
- on sunday we caught a train to pilsen to see a brewery... if you love beer and want to play a little game, then take a moment to guess which brewery we saw before you read on......
we toured to the pilsner urquell brewery - a great tour!! we also had lunch at the brewery's restaurant - the food was ok and we witnessed true czech hospitality/service (j told us it is quite common for waiters to hate the sight of new customers)
on our tour we saw their copper pots for brewing, their bottling warehouse (it was so big and sophisticated, but we didnt see it in action because it was a sunday ), a small section of their underground storage facility (it was 6 degrees down there) and the largest elevator in the czech republic. we also got to try fresh, unfiltered and unpasturised beer = so natural and delicious!!
on the way back to the train stations there was another casinader moment... it started pouring with rain and we had to make a dash for it... when we reach a tunnell near the station, justin started to reflect on his rain dodging skills...
j: "i think i did pretty well not to get too wet..."
SPLASH! a car drives through a massive puddle, drenching j, m and h! (ben was slower at running and it paid off!!) funny - just like in the movies!!
- on sunday night we went to the best indian restaurant in prague. to start, we ordered samosas, onion baji and pakori. then we shared lamb vindaloo, rogan josh, chicken tandoor currym black dahl (cooked overnight)m rice and plain and garlic naan. it was all sooo delicious!!
- we went back home and had shots of the russian vodka, saying our last "na zdraví" (aka "cheers" "to good health" and it sounds like "nice driveway") and packed our bags unwillingly...
the next day we caught a plane to rome!!
we had such a great time in prague with friends and saw more of a city that we loved when we first went there in 2006! thanks again to justin and matt!!
we hope you're all well!!