Arriving in Prague Armed with Nothing But a List of Restaurants

I don't know why I thought Prague would be self-explanatory. I mean, I had booked the flight, the hotel and even made a Google map of all of the restaurant suggestions people sent me. After all, I was only going to be there for 48 hours and much of it would be at a conference.
Me, blissfully surprised by what was around every corner in Prague...
So, that's how I found myself getting off the plane not knowing one word of Czech nor the currency nor the "deal" about taxis. But I spoke the international language of airport Starbucks and "free wifi" so a quick trip to Google and I was heading into the city.

I checked into my hotel, badged up for the conference and decided to take a walk. Again, I didn't so much as Google search "Prague sights" so I decided to take my restaurant map, walk to each one and scout menus for what I wanted for dinner. Along the way, here's what I found (and yes I had to Google what each was when I returned to my hotel)... 

First up, I had been wondering why everyone gushes about Prague, popped off the train at this stop, not really knowing what would be there and saw the Prague National Museum:
Prague National Museum
The museum spilled out an avenue lined with flowers, cafes and shops, like this cute one in the center lane made from an old trolley car:
In the shadow of the museum...
I turned a corner and saw a small gaggle of people gawking at this gorgeous medieval clock. I snapped a few photos and later learned that it's the famous Prague Astronomical Clock, first installed in 1410 and the oldest clock that is still working.

The Astronomical Clock
Across from the clock, I gaped at the Old Town Square which was hopping with musicians, tourists and people just sipping and shopping at the nearby markets. It seriously felt like you had stepped back in time with the mix of buildings over the centuries, the stone streets and winding alleys. The dramatic Gothic spires in the photo below are the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn:
Musicians in Old Town Square, Prague
More musicians in Old Town Square
[More after the jump...]
I was inspired and awed by all that surrounded me and suddenly I wanted to learn more. So off I went with my restaurant map to find a spot that had wifi. Laeticia, who never steers me wrong had recommended Bar & Books which ended up being the perfect spot to settle in with my map, my iPhone and a gin n tonic. True to legend, it was Bond to the max, serving up solid cocktails, showing Goldfinger on the television and even playing Bond-vibe music in the early evening.
Bar & Books in Prague
I looked up menus from a few of the recommendations people had given me and settled on Mlynec because the chef is known for using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Sold. Oh, and it was by this thing called the Charles Bridge (one of the coolest views in town) that everyone kept talking about.

Along the way, I found a farmers market, walked the Charles Bridge and passed tons of places I would love to come back and visit one day. I entered Mlynec conscious that I was flying solo and a tourist, so I told the hostess, "Hi, it's just me, I can eat at the bar." (once a server, always a server) and she replied, "Oh, it's sunset, we've got a table for you on the patio." Did I mention the sun was starting to set over the Vltava River, with a view of the Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle in the distance. I'm not usually that caught up in the scenery, but it was an amazing moment where I just sat back and said to myself, "Life is good."

Then I ordered the tasting menu which had some of the most creative uses of asparagus I've ever seen (who knew I would love asparagus ice cream!) 

Asparagus Salad, Mlynec Restaurant in Prague

View from my table...
Are you exhausted yet? And, you didn't even fly here *and* fit in work. On the way home from dinner, I passed a singer who had a large crowd listening. He was singing in English and I legitimately loved his voice and lyrics, so naturally I looked him up - meet Kev Fox and give him a listen
Kev Fox performing on a Prague street
I was exhausted and had to speak at a conference the next day. I went to bed full, happy and wanting more of Prague. Luckily, I had one more day left. 

READ PART 2 of my Prague visit


Olga @ MangoTomato said...

what a great recap! I'm so impressed with everything you got to see and eat.

Tammy Gordon said...

Haha, there's one more day coming. It was crazy, speedwalking tourism.