Ahoj and a happy Tuesday to you all! I’m currently in LA for a photo shoot and the woman who sat next to me on the plane here spent six hours violently jerking her head up and down as she struggled to stay awake. It was jarring but also energized me to continue my Struggle Travel posts. Thank you stranger! Also, no one could be as awful as my three most nightmarish flight companions: 1) barf city, population one on the flight to Copenhagen, 2) the tall Indian stranger who kept his elbow in my lap and hand on his genitals for a 6 hour flight from Boston to LA, and 3) the old lady who ratted on me for taking my dog out of his travel bag in the middle of a sudden case of the norovirus that hit me at 40,000 feet up in the air on a 6 hour flight. Lots of bodily fluids, lots of yelling – a bad situation for all involved. Anyways I made it through those flights and I’m pumped to be in sunny, but strangely chilly, LA for the next couple of days.
Though it was tough to leave Copenhagen, Angela and I packed up our AirBnb in the sky, waved goodbye to tiny bathroom, and flew off to Prague. We decided to mix it up a little and booked an insanely cool houseboat for three nights. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of a culinary wonderland in Prague. An old Anthony Bourdain episode had me fearing a carb overload, drenched in meat stew, wrapped in dumplings. And while I spent the first two days in Prague fighting off my Danish torrential downpour enduced head cold, I was actually pleasantly surprised by a lot of what we ate, drank, and experienced. To Prague we go!
Being friends with Angela means a couple things. First and foremost, that you are super lucky and know the coolest chick, and second that you will learn to appreciate meat in all forms and flavors. To love Angela is to love meat and also that was one of the weirder sentences I’ve written. We kicked off our first night in Prague by hitting up Home Kitchen. A cool restaurant just up the stairs from our houseboat, we ended up coming here 3 times in 4 days. They really sold us on night one when we sat down and were presented with a giant basket of bread, a pile of traditionally cooked sausage, and a stack breaded chicken so good I temporarily forgot about my weird head cold.
CANDY. Continuing our health streak by eating every variation of candy available in every European country (spoiler alert – there are a lot) we snacked on chocolate covered banana marshmallows (fruits!) and sour target shaped gummies. I will think of them often.
Our tiny angel Airbnb hosts stocked our mini kitchen with eggs, French bread, cheese, and ham. Angela made the best European breakfast ever and I declared I would wife her if she wasn’t already engaged. Also our Airbnb host breastfed in front of us and Angela said she’s never seen me so uncomfortable in my entire life. You win some, you lose some.
When we were still in Copenhagen I witnessed maybe the cutest exchange of my life. There were a couple trendy European teens (read: beautiful 19 year olds who are more sexually advanced and stylish than I will ever be) riding the train next to us one day. Handsome Blonde Teen 1 dropped something and a beautiful older woman picked it up and handed it back to him. He thanked her profusely and handed her a clementine. In homage, we decided to continue this good juju by buying a giant bag of clementine cuties on the first day. Now I love cuties almost as much as I love adorable Danish teens.
Prague is known for a cylindrical pastry called Trdelnik. I think it’s pronounced like turtleneck but instead of having to wear it after a Tinder date with a 27 year old who made your neck look like it lost a fight with a tiny, angry fist (definitely not personal experience, nope, nope), it’s covered in cinnamon sugar and filled with warm Nutella. It’s delicious and doesn’t make you look like a trendy, female Steve Jobs.
On our second night we decided it was time for some health. We had to start the meal with a little meat and cheese – IT’S TRADITION – and then ordered a salt baked Branzino at La Bottega Bistroteka. We definitely ate some vegetables too and while they were nothing to write home about (or blog about), the fish was crazy good. Also I didn’t scream when the fish came out which is what happened the first time I had branzino. It’s like, stop looking at me fish, am I right?
The next time we hit up Home Kitchen we tried the buchtičky se šodo because Bourdain recommended it and we love that dude. Do you like challah bread dipped in sweetened condensed milk and sugar? Well, then you would love this. It’s good for about 5 minutes and then you mostly fall into a sugar coma. Remember when I was sugar free? LOL.
On our last night our Airbnb host recommended we try out the traditional Czech restaurant Lokal. The entrance is hidden down an alley and unobservant people (coughmecough) may accidentally stumble into the men’s room which is plastered with vintage nudie mag pics. Oops. We ordered an obscene amount of food that consisted of 1) the best beef tartare I have ever had. It came with toasted bread, cloves of garlic to rub on the bread, and a pile of the most delicious meat ever. 2) A block of fried cheese which congealed in about 3 minutes but was great until it turned into a Flubber-like blob. 3) More sausages because Meat, Pray Love is Angela’s Insta handle and meat-preciation is our game. 4) Traditional potato dumplings obviously with a side of meat. Prague is meat and Prague is love.
Pro tip: if you buy produce in Prague you have to weigh and price it before you get to a register or a very angry woman will yell Czech profanities at you and huff and puff around the store. #TheMoreYouKnow
We got suckered into buying one of those spiraled-potato-on a stick-things that you see in a lot of tourist spots. I’m not a big fan of fried food and while I love potatoes, I am more of a purist (baked with lots of shit on top) and this was not my favorite.
After wandering through the super touristy Old Town Square, we walked across the Charles Bridge and hung out at the Lennon Wall for a bit. We realized it had been hours (at least 2) since we ate so we popped into a little balcony café and ordered some meat. Things got hangry so we started choking down some hard pretzels on our table. In retrospect, there’s a good chance those were just for show because they were real hard and stale. Luckily we washed the pretzels down with some meat so balance was restored.
A fun fact about Prague is that beer is cheaper than water. A more fun fact is that we abused this newfound knowledge to the full extent. Weirdly enough, despite drinking Pilsner Urquell 3 times a day, neither one of us ever felt hungover or out of control drunk. When you sit down at Lokal, a waiter drops off an illustrated piece of paper with little beer mugs on it. You come to learn that the beer is constantly flowing and every time you grab another giant mug, a little checkmark appears across one of the beer drawings. It’s a great system that actually fueled the ‘Drunk Interviews with a Healthy Person’ interview read round the world (by like 50 people).
If you asked me on day 1 how I felt about mulled wine I would have sung my praises. What could be bad? It’s a hot red wine with mulling spices! It costs about a dollar and you can get it to go on every street corner! It’s DELICIOUS! The problem is that it’s a hot red wine with mulling spices that you can get on every street corner and it’s delicious and after about 4 cups you: Want. To. Barf.
I’m still regretting all that mulled wine.
I was a little out of commission because of the head cold so on the first morning I mostly rolled around in bed and complained while Angela got swoll on the deck overlooking the water. She’s my forever fitspo.
Though Uber is almost as cheap as beer in Prague, we tried to keep up our momentum from Copenhagen and walked a buttload – the technical term for about 20 miles – in four days. Also for some reason we had an entire corner of the houseboat that was filled with balloons – appropriately named balloon corner – and we spent a lot of time dancing in it.
Super cool houseboat was super far away from everything we wanted to see. One day we decided to walk to the center of the city and it was pretty, pretty, pretty boring. Ever wanted to spend an afternoon in Europe where you feel like you’re wandering around the suburbs of Massachusetts? Do this walk!
That damn head cold made me a whiny bitch. I did workout on the last day and even though I complained through most of it, I complain through almost all workouts so that wasn’t that far from the norm.
The walk up to Prague Castle is – to put it gently – a bitch. It’s about a half an hour climb up a cobblestone path filled with oohing and ahhing tourists taking pictures with iPads. Three quarters of the way to the top there’s a terrifying toy museum and a fantastic bronze statue with a glimmering gold penis. Walk a little further and you’ll hit the castle, which is beautiful, and a wonderful replacement for the Hogwarts tour in London that Angela has forbidden you to attend. NO HARD FEELINGS ANGE.
Sea legs? Technically we were on a house boat. I’m sure there’s something here.
While Prague was probably our least healthy, booziest, and most deep fried stop on the trip it was also an awesome place to visit. The city is beautiful and as long as you can avoid the wandering tourists and pickpockets, all you need a beer and a Trdelník to get you through the day. Or like seven beers.
Happy travels, Strugglers.