The day after our evening stroll around the old town, we decided to turn left coming out of the hotel, instead of right. I know right, we are absolutely crazy mental. So down we went, but soon realised, yeah this isn’t very scenic. We soldiered on towards the river and crossed over a bridge. Found an outdoor ice rink and a BMX track and kept on walking up, back towards the fancy pants part of town. However something wasn’t right….To our left, there was river….To our right…..there was river….Ah God damn it!! We had wandered onto one of the islands in the middle of the river. Oops. Ah well it’s all part of exploring right? This post is going to be about those parts of Prague, you don’t see in the guidebooks or on google image searches. The lesser spotted Prague if you will.
We re-traced our steps back to the bridge and thankfully found that it continued onwards to the other side of the river. The first building we saw was something straight out of a Cold War spy book. It’s the current Ministry of Finance but looks like the former Ministry of Glorious Communism and Death to the Capitalist Pigs…..or something along those lines.
We continued our stroll along the north bank of the river, edging towards Prague Castle. Another beautiful building came into view then on the other side of the river, The Ministry of Industry and Trade. Governments get all the pretty buildings don’t they?
Onwards we marched, through the cold, bitter, empty, desolate, rainy, cloudy…emmmm i’m running out adjectives streets, till we made it to Malá Strana, or Lesser Town….Awwwww. The streets were quieter here, not as filled with tourists, and the amount of tourist shops was also greatly reduced. Most pleasant indeed.
We couldn’t visit this side of the river without paying a visit to the Castle, a sprawling complex made up of many different buildings, all with their own tales to tell. At the centre is the delightful St. Vitus Cathedral, only completed in 1929, 600 years after work began….and you think Irish builders are slow.
The rain began to get heavier, so we scuttled off to find shelter, and a warming meal in a local pub/restaurant. Sinead had her favourite, Beef Goulash. I had a nice pepper chicken fillet with gnocchi, om nom nom nom nom. The food here is pretty simple, you don’t get much in the way of vegetables, i.e. you get none. The chicken was really good though, nice and tender. Not so the fillets we later bought for dinner, had to cut half of them up and throw the gristle in the bin. I don’t know what they feed their chickens here, but i’m gonna go with wedding cake, mixed with lard and grease because damn those chickens are full of fat and nasty chewy gristle.
Finally after a good long walk, we found it, that great tradition of ours, something we’ve done in every city we’ve visted…..The Irish Pub. Wahey! Right across from the Irish Embassy of course. Were we the only Irish people in there including staff? Heck yes we were. I know it’s awful cheesy and a bit of a cop out when you go all the way to a new exotic place, and end up going to the Irish pub, but it has become the norm for us when we travel, and it’s something I personally savour. That little taste of home, even though it tastes nothing like home, and is about as Irish as Potatoes (No we didn’t discover them actually)