World Hockey Championship!
Prague was the first little blip on our “plan as we go and don't bother double-checking” way of traveling! We got off the train, got on to the metro and then thought “hmm, did we book our hostel for tonight or tomorrow?” We forgot that we had allotted a day in between Budapest and Prague as a flex day just in case we wanted to stay in Budapest another night. Luckily, the hostel in Prague wasn't fully booked and they squeezed us in for the Monday night. We got unpacked and out the door just in time to go to a bar and watch Canada beat the home team Czechs at the world hockey championships.
The next day we wandered around and explored in the morning. We saw this weird clock go off, as it does on the hour, which drew a big crowd but was somewhat unexciting. After lunch we went on a brewery tour, which took us to various beer landmarks and told us all about Czech beer. Only one of the 3 places was actually a brewery, and it probably cost more than it was worth, but the beer tasted good and that's all that matters. We spent the night getting our signs ready for the Canada-Sweden hockey game we were going to the next day.
On Wednesday morning, we went on a free walking tour around the city. Our tour guide was awesome, really enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He took us to some important spots around the city and taught us about Prague’s run through the wars and communism. The most interesting fact that I can remember is that Hitler wanted to keep Prague intact to be his eventual summer home. He didn't burn down any of the synagogues as he was preserving them to be museums of the lost Jewish race! That night we headed across the city to the hockey arena. We met a few Canadians along the way so we went with them to a gigantic outdoor beer garden outside the stadium that was full of fans from every country. They unfortunately confiscated our 3 part CA-NA-DA sign as we went into the building, as it was apparently the cardboard was too hard and it could injure someone. Luckily we still managed to get on tv a few times! The game was a fantastic experience. We were surrounded by Swedes, which created an great competitive environment. We were a little choked when Canada went down 3-0, but the boys came back to win 6-4. Singing our national anthem at the end was absolutely awesome.
Our last day was devoted to walking up to the castle and palace that tower over Prague. The view was absolutely amazing, and the castle and palace were both beautiful. It was too expensive to go inside, so instead we bought a beer and ice cream and enjoyed the view. That night we went on a pub crawl with some Irish girls from our hostel. I tried Absinthe for the first (and last) time, only because it was free. The pub crawl took us to a couple of really cool pubs. One of them was 5 stories high and had a different theme for each floor. We spent most of our time on the top floor where they were playing some good old time rock and roll.
We flew the next morning to Croatia where we'd catch our 1 week cruise along the Adriatic coast!