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From Prague, With love

Prague happened on a Friday morning few weeks back, when I woke up and realized its been two years since I moved to Hamburg. This is the longest I have in another city outside my home country, and its freaking scary. Not because I don't like Hamburg, but getting more and more comfortable with the pulse of the city. Do I make any sense?

Anyways, in the wake of my panic attack I decided to get out of Hamburg the same day. Thanks to my hour long commute to work and my three faithful Apps - Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, and HostelWorld - by the time I reached work I booked my way to Prague. No plans, no idea what to expect just few clothes and a overwhelming fear of getting stuck.

It was not until the flight landed in Vaclav Havel Airport that night, I realized that my impulsive holiday decision not only pushed me to a whole weekend of uncertainty but I freaking loved it! No Czech Koruna in my pocket, just a few Euros and no clue how to reach my hostel.  Oh well, this is only the start. What came next was even better and I m still laughing till today.

So there I was totally lost and clueless in a new country, and thats when my luck strikes me yet again. :) An old couple not only helped me get to the station nearest to my hostel, but also exchanged currency to survive the night, besides teaching me the important phrases for any traveller - Dám si pivo (I"ll have a beer) and Ještě jedno pivo! (One more beer!) A Czech on average drinks 140 litres of beer per year, and once you taste their wide range of beer selection - “desítka”, “jedenáctka”, “dvanáctka”, “kvasnicové”, you'll know why. Všude krásně voní pivo! - The lovely smell of beer is everywhere! :)

Advantage Hostel was the first choice from HostelWorld and being the lazy me, I just happened to book that one. It was easy to find in downtown Prague, 'coz it was the apparently next to the redlight district, next door to a well-known strip club (something I realized after checking-in). Somehow I find it more amusing than shocking at my discoveries. The hostel was backpackers' favorite and was full of activities as you can see below.

So the point of this getaway was to be away from Germany, but who was I kidding. The first night in hostel me and my Aussie roommate had impromptu hangout with this group from Berlin celebrating the weekend birthday there. It was funny to observe how different Berliners are from the Hamburgers! First night in Praha, and forget sleep for the next two days!

As the good luck continues, the sun was generous next day and it was perfect to check out this city at a relaxed pace. Weird museums, Charles bridge, the Prague Castle, Absinth shops, and the sweet Czech bread eventually became part of my first day itinerary as I walked along with new friends.

But the evening turned out to be a better surprise - my first Opera! It was Don Giovanni in the same theatre where Mozart played it for the very first time - The National Theatre of Prague, about two centuries ago. It would have been better if I understood Italian, nevertheless it just made my trip a bit more special witnessing culture from the viewpoint of classical music. The walking tours are equally fun if your an information nerd like me and love to know the history, alchemy and lots of folklore. The Astronomical Clock in the city center is the place where historic tours start during day, and pub crawls at night. Prague truly caters to the needs to all categories of visitors.

John Lennon wall was the accidental discovery of my second day (yeah, I missed that previous day). Next to the Charles Bridge was an ongoing French food and music festival  where I had an amazing time with some delicious French wine, cheese and lively French country music. And while wandering some 200 meters away, there was the John Lennon wall! People around the make Lennon inspired graffiti, and write messages and Beatles lyrics on this whole wall. Such a lovely day already, and it just got better when a Zac Efron lookalike musician was performing Cannonballs by Damien Rice. Could I just ask for any more? It like the whole universe was trying to give me the best time in the city. :)

Of course the same Sunday evening was the WorldCup final and yes, I m still getting shit from friends for not being in Hamburg on that day. But what a blast it was watching the match in an Irish bar with a whole lot of international backpackers from California, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Serbia, Sweden, South Korea (I am sure I forgot some)-  all cheering together for teams other than their own countries, drinking beer and making bets. Of course we had one German in the house, and our bartender was half-Argentinian. But this is how the rest of the evening unfolded.  

First there were two German supporters with their faces painted and with a flag.

Well then hello! we then met some more supporters who offered their faces for me to paint on. The Argentinian supporters so far sat on the other side of the bar watching our shenanigans.

And finally after that epic goal, Argentinian fans started switching sides and getting their faces (and their heads, in some cases) splashed. The Brazilians in the house were of course more happy that Argentina lost in their soil than Germany actually winning. (Some  Portuguese cussing were involved at this point.) :) 

Oh, and that's the half Argentinian bartender who not only volunteered his face but also prepared the victory shots of Cachaças (or the liquid fire) for all of us while "Don't cry for me Argentina" played in the background.

And as expected the celebrations reached its highest decibel scale 'coz apparently the neighbours called law and enforcement.  But then what sort of a fun party will it be without the cops getting involved? Of course no one went to jail that night but ended up in a pizza place with no voice but an impromptu classical rock session. Pizza sucked, but the company rocked!

Anyways, with a 6am flight back to Hamburg there was no point to sleep for me to sleep by then - just enough time to go back to hostel, pack my stuff and watch the sunrise from Charles Bridge on my way to the airport. It was a beautiful moment to remember reflecting how the whole weekend turned out to be - to travel alone but then meeting the world on the way. And that my friend, is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world!

I would have written some more about my trip, but now I need to rush to the airport for my next adventure waiting- Iceland!  

So Whitewalkers and Wildlings, here I come! #GOT


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