Just in to Prague

This afternoon Pat and I arrived in Prague from Paris. What a shift in scenery, and linguistic comfort. Once again, like my week in Greece a couple years ago, I am wholly illiterate except when it comes to "Restaurace" (restaurant) and "Pivo" (beer). In the rest of Western Europe, whether it's Italian, German, French or Spanish I can at least stumble through communication. Here in Prague I've immediately been relegated to mere sign language.

We made it into town to find our apartment booked through backpacking resource I heartily recommend. The site sets you up with locals looking to rent out their spare apartments. And here in Prague we found an extremely affordable penthouse apartment with views--we realized as we were being checked in by the exceedingly kind husband and wife couple--of Prague's castle and Charles' Bridge over sunset. 


After lining up some appointments for this next week, Pat and I set out to wander the storied streets of this beautiful and exotic city. After an hour or so, we passed up a chance for dinner in an affordable, yet forgettable restaurant to timidly peer into a smoky authetntically Czech eatery. There wasn't a an English word in site, and those enjoying loud conversations around the other tables in the place had spent the majority of their life under a Communist economic and political system. After struggling through a bit of translation with one of the youngest in the house, we ordered 2 plates of goulash, and 2 Pilsners. With our decision made (but not really knowing what it meant) I had a chance to catch my breath and look around the restaurant. On the walls were 2 portraits, one male and one female from the 30's, a beer keg top, a weathered Czech flag hanging in the corner, a TV playing a French version of a WWII documentary of the Pacific Theater, a portrait of a little girl from what looked like could have been the 60's, a framed primitive diagram of the human respiratory system, and an entirely undefined schematic of three   unrecognizable land masses. In other words, absolutely by far the most random collection of wall hangings I've ever witnessed in my life. And all went unnoticed except for the TV with the exception of a group or two deep in their own conversations.

Happy and full, Pat and I left an hour later having been billed 202 Kr which translates to about $5 each. I can't remember the last time I left from a restaurant laughing about how affordable it was. Prague is the place to be.

We spent the next couple hours wandering and poking into spots to get our bearings of this city, then headed back to crash at our newly renovated apartment complete with a wide screen plasma TV. More to follow, but I'm going to call it a night.


Alison Wendler, Universsity of Washington

Happy Backpackers

I had an absolutely amazing time on my WSA trip to Krakow, Poland. I felt like a got a lot out of my money and it was so nice not to have to worry about anything because WSA takes care of it all. Our guide was absolutely fantastic and was there with us for everything we needed-it was great to have someone around with you who knew the city so well. This is definitely a trip I will never forget. I already want to start planning my next WSA trip. What amazing destination to pick next is the hard part!

Alison Wendler, Universsity of Washington ~ National University of Ireland, Galway, Spring 2016

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