We went to La Bottega di Finestra (Platnéřská 89/11 110 00 Praha-Staré Město) for lunch. It also serves as a small grocery shop as well a cafe. We got there after breakfast time but we’re still able to get the eggs Benedict. I also got the hot chocolate with chili flakes and the chocolate before you add the flakes was intense and dark. We also grabbed dessert. I went for the millieu flaky and creamy. In total 395kc. Mimi and myself split from the boys and went for a walk ourselves and did a round of the Jewish quarters (Josefov) which technically we walked our first night. We saw through a little peek hole in the door the Jewish cemetery.
Returning to the apartment, we packed and off we went to Mustek station right down the street from us and took the bus to Dejankiv station to board a bus to take us to the airport. 32kc. I came into Prague changing $200USD but got screwed by the exchange booth so technically i had $140USD worth of cash for this leg the trip and left with $5. So strange to think I’ve spent so much but realistically i didn’t.
I regret not going to la degustation du boheme in Prague where it would have been maybe $80 for a 6 course meal which on the Michelin list ranked of the best.
Air France flight was quick. We grabbed the RER B to Gare du Nord station where our hostel for the night was. We booked Smart Place but when we got there, they said we had been upgraded to another hotel just down the street called Vintage Hostel – seemed like a downgrade to be honest. Since we technically didn’t book directly to Vintage, they wouldn’t give us free towels and also the carpet in our room was coming up that we couldn’t open or close the door properly without a little bit of elbow grease.
111414 – Paris – Amsterdam
I woke up early and watched a partial sunrise from the balcony before heading down to the lobby for free breakfast with Mimi. We packed our things and stored our bags at the luggage storage at Gare du Nord. You have to get it scanned first before you can put it into the lockers. 9,50 euro. A rainy day in Paris but we walked the streets. Headed over to Sacre Coeur to see the view from above and tried to find Montmartre cemetery but failed so we walked down to the shopping district to Galleries du Lafayette and onto the main street with high end stores such as E Guyard, Chanel, and Colette. We ate in the Water Bar in the basement of Colette which was Batman comic themed. I had the cheeseburger and a small juice. On the main floor, I purchased a surprise bag for 20 euro. It’s filled with fun things but geared towards kids. We wandered the streets some more before we walked back to the train station and boarded a train enroute to Amsterdam.
We walked over to Charles bridge area and walked along the river as its a better view the bridge. We continued on to the John Lennon wall and part of Kampa Park with strange sculptures – we should’ve went back to finish. We had lunch at Bistro De France where we all had the set menu. Squash soup, salad, Quiche Lorraine (they had the Croquemonsier) and a fresh vanilla creme brulee for 249KC. We continued walking and decided to walk through this park with a steep incline to Petrin Tower to go above and peer over the city. Such a tiring walk up after a heavy meal. 120KC to climb. There are two levels to the tower and the view is beautiful. From outside, it’s similar but a smaller version of the Eiffel tower. After we descended, we continued onward to Prague castle. The area was beautiful but while we were there we were unsure if we actually made it to the castle. We actually made it to Schwarzenberg Palace / Lobkowicz Palace instead of the castle. We then walked down on the west side of Charles bridge down to Vitezna to Cafe Savoy (Vítězná 124/5 150 00 Praha 5) which was only suppose to be a light snack which ended up being a full meal. The interior features original finishing and is gorgeous. I got the baked ham brioche with gruyere cheese and poached egg 168 czk as well as the Dessert hot chocolate savoy 85 czk.
We all took a nap when we returned home. We got up around 7-8PM and ate at Pho Vietnam (Anglická, 120 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic) for a late dinner which is this cafeteria style restaurant where you order and pay at the front. Fresh spring roll 30kc and chicken soup 99kc. We wanted dessert and walked to Cafe Lovre (Národní 22 110 00 Praha 1). Cafe Lovre has been opened since 1902 and Albert Einstein was once a patron. I had the homemade lime and pistachio ice cream that was delicious and only 16kc each. The walk home was very quiet minus seeing old Japanese business men going to the sexy sauna.
Since we ended early yesterday, they wanted to sleep in today. Walked over to Cafe Lovre for lunch. I had the pork tenderloin with potato dumplings and fresh orange juice with strawberries 199 & 62kc. We sat in the smoking section, which still boggles my mind as I’ve been spoiled by Toronto and no smoking indoors regulations. We walked over to Havelska Trznice an outdoor market and then walked to Prazska Trznice the biggest outdoor market run by Vietnamese stalls of well useless tourist stuff such as pepper spray, ninja stars, tasers, bags, and clothes. Havelska Trznice was much better and well worth the visit over Prazska Trznice.
For a late dinner, we went to Kolkovna Savarin where I had the goose leg, a small mixed light dark lager and ice cream which was homemade with real chunks of everything in each the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla butterscotch? For 321kc.
We walked to Zara station to head back to Central to catch our train to Zurich.
We grabbed a little snack at the station from Bistrot Centrale before boarding our train since we got there a bit early. Crema croissant and a fruit shake (frullati – frullato misto)- 6.50 Euro. We took the Trenitalia train to Zurich but they have tickets where the seating is 3 & 3 but luckily train wasn’t full so Mimi and myself shifted to the empty seats. When we finally arrived, we exchanged some of our Euros for Franc coins and stored our luggage. We then walked the town with a walking tour map. Walked all over and in total, walked 12KM before heading back the station for dinner. Pretty much everything is closed on Sundays. We ended up at Brasserie Federal for dinner and I got the Muotatatler delicious which is Air dried beef, raw ham and bacon which really meant a huge slab smoked ham with potato salad and came with tubes of different mustard. 19,80 francs. NOTE – You can pay in euro /francs but will receive francs for change.
NOTE – Zurich, Switzerland is one of the cleanest cities that you could drink the water straight from the hundreds of beautiful water fountains all over.
We finished eating and walked over to the train board to see no status of our train so we lined up at the check-in desk to see if we needed to get printed tickets but were told that our train wasn’t running as Germany went strike. We went next door to customer service where we waited for a bit and luckily Sandra Buchanan saved us. Apparently this is the third strike Germany had done and it’s usually without warning. Sandra was able to find us an alternate route that left the same night but our route leaves to Salzburg on a sleeper train in which we transfer from Salzburg to Munich then to a bus from Munich to Prague that get to Prague only hours later. Such a complicated journey than expected. Should’ve just booked a plane ticket for 25-50 Euro from the beginning. We ended up wasting time at MacDonalds.
I’ve noticed over here, it is so common for couples to display PDA whether it be hugging, holding one another, sitting on each other’s laps to making out. It’s different. More carefree.
We got into the sleeper train from Zurich Hauptbahnhof to head over to Salzburg. From Salzburg, we will connect to another train in Munich then a bus from Munich to Prague.
The sleeper train are segregated into small rooms with 6 chairs that can recline all the way down. At the beginning, we had the 4 of us plus one lady then the remainder of the ride had a full 6 with one girl beside me who tiny enough to curl up a ball and sleep perfectly. The train filled with soldiers from the Military who were going home so it was loud as they were celebrating. Definitely not a restful sleep at all. We had to change trains at 430AM but luckily we made it on time and the next train was on the platform next to us. We also took a 6 person sleeper train and had a somewhat restful sleeping moment with only two hours on this train and no one joining us. If we kept sleeping, we could’ve missed our stop and ended up in Budapest but Ricky was awake the whole time.
We arrived at Munchen station in Munich and found glorious food. We ate from Rischart bakery where I paid 3,70 Euro for a pretzel with cream cheese and chives in it (breze). Delicious. We then had to walk out of the train station about 10 minutes over to ZOB which is their Train station with a waiting area upstairs with shops and stores. We got into the DB Bahn Icb double decker bus similar to Megabus. I think this ride was probably the most restful of sleep for all. Plus there was free WiFi! Everywhere else you need to send your mobile number and receive an sms code to use it and for people not using data, it’s impossible to receive it unless you get online. First world problems I know but how did we survive before this? When I did get internet access I received an email about the delay of the original train…
NOTE – just take money out of the bank (Debit) as the exchange places rip you off. I learnt the hard way. The rate I exchanged at, I already lost $50.
We stayed in an Airbnb in Prague 1 district. We were greeted by Akan who is this lovely Turkish French man who works the medical industry. The apartment itself is astounding. It smells amazing and the look and feel one ups the Milano apartment. It’s a safe street that has a police station beside the sexy sauna. It’s a one way and cars aren’t allowed in after a certain time. It features the original wooden doors and locks but modernized. The kitchen is beautiful however we most likely won’t use it. There are two huge bedrooms plus a living room which Ricky claimed. The toilet and shower are in separate rooms. I could live here.
If you haven’t joined and booked with Airbnb yet, follow the link and get credits for your first booking. www.airbnb.ca/c/ruu
We finally had a chance to shower and freshen up then we finally left the apartment at 4PM. The sun was actually already setting. We walked down to the main street which led us the old city buildings. We walked around and went to dinner at V Kolkovne (8 – 110 00 Praha 1-Staré Město, Czech Republic) in the Jewish quarter that is on the Michelin star list and it was amazing for traditional Czech German dishes. I got the goulash soup, pork hock and the mixed light and dark lager which in the end cost 400cCZ which is approximately $20CAD or under. We walked in the square/old town city hall area. We pretty much walked everywhere the Prague 1 area. Average temperature this time of year was 9 degrees throughout the day. They also are allowed to smoke indoors at bars still. Everyone speaks English here so there is much better communication than Milan.
1106-2014 Europe – Milan, Zurich, (enroute via Salzburg & Munich) Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Iceland
My friends (Mimi, Ricky & Aaron) found the crazy one-way flight deal for $177USD (From New York-Milan; a week to get to Prague-Paris-Hong Kong). We did however alter it so we would goto Amsterdam and then a layover in Iceland before returning back to Toronto. In total, we travelled for 2 weeks.
If you haven’t joined and booked with Airbnb yet, follow the link and get credits for your first booking. www.airbnb.ca/c/ruu
Here is the itinerary.
11/06 – Toronto – New York – Milan
FLY – YYZ-JFK; JFK-MXP
11/07 – Milan
AIRBNB – District 13 – Milan
-Meet Mimi & Aaron at MXP Airport
-Malpensa Express train to Milan Cadorna Station
-Walk around Corso Como
-Dinner – Eataly
11/08 – Milan
-Piazza Del Duomo
-Lunch – Osteria al 29 Pizzeria
-Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio
-Chinatown & Navigli
-Dinner – Gia Como OR Da Oscar OR Osteria Luna Piena
-Chinatown – Massimo del Gelato
11/09 – Milan – Zurich – enroute to Prague
TRAIN (Trenitalia)– Milan – Zurich – Prague (Train went on strike) – DETOUR
-walk around Zurich
-Lunch – Brasserie Federal
TRAIN – Zurich – Salzburg – Munich (detour)
11/10 – Enroute to Prague
BUS – Munich – Prague (detour)
AIRBNB – Prague 1
-walk old city
-Dinner – V Kolkovne
11/11 – Prague
-Lunch – Bistro De France
-John Lennon Wall
-Midday snack – Café Savoy
-Dinner – Pho Vietnam
-Dessert – Café Louvre
11/12 – Prague
-Lunch – Café Lovre
-Dinner – Kolkovna Salavran
11/13 – Prague – Paris
FLY – PRG- CDG
-Breakfast – La Bottega Di Finestra
-walking the Jewish Quarters
TRAIN – RER – Gare Du Nord
HOSTEL – Vintage Hostel
11/14 – Paris – Amsterdam
TRAIN – Paris – Amsterdam
-Store luggage at Gare du Nord
-Lunch – Collette
-Galleries du Lafayette
11/15 – Amsterdam
AIRBNB – Amsterdam Nieuw-West
-Dinner – Hunkar Restaurant
11/16 – Amsterdam
-Central Station – Pick up iamsterdam card (2 day pass)