By Mollie Mansfield
I’m the kind of person to get delirious after not leaving the house for a day, not that it stops me from slouching around endlessly – but that’s beside the point.
Prague is known for one of two things, either a cute couple weekend away or a stupidly messy stag-do. It is not, in hardly any circumstances, known for being a place to spend a two-week holiday on an internship, but that’s the reason I was giving border control.
If you haven’t been before, Prague is the Czech Republic capital with more history than sites: to the point where you can see all of the main tourist attractions in one day, so trying to spread them over two weeks was a challenge in itself. Despite allowing me to have a hungover day, something that was far too regular with 60p pints, there wasn’t much else that made two weeks our necessary time-frame. Except for the internship itself, how could I forget.
Finding ourselves setting up camp in Prague 8 (the equivalent of Kent to London) the traipse into central was something that filled up a good portion of our time. However, it was right next to the Zoo. Being potentially the cheapest Zoo I’ve ever been to, just £6.30 despite being the fourth largest in the world, Praha Zoo was the perfect hangover cure. Although you did have to walk for a couple of miles uphill, if you didn’t want to get onto the vertical chair-lift that was literally a car seat belt attached to a deck chair, to get to any animal of interest it was worth it. Now most people, including myself, kind of, do not agree with zoos, but the fact I was freely feeding a zebra showed how free these caged animals were.
Petrin Tower was another highlight, that I somehow only properly visited on the last day. Standing as a fractioned replica of the Eiffel Tower it, predictably, gives you an overview of the city. NB: This is potentially the hardest place to find, which is ridiculous as its 64 metres tall, but that didn’t stop me getting stuck searching for it the night before. I had to settle for seeing the site during the day, but if you can make it without having to get directions from a creepy-Czech waiter, who seemed to want to guide me with the ash of his cigarette (but let’s blame my delirious nature), then try going during the eve.
Neither of the above, especially the excessive drinking, were in the itinerary for the internship. However a trip to Vrtba Gardens was. Combining the natural scenery of Prague alongside the replicated hand-painted indoor ceilings, Vrtba Gardens encompasses the pure beauty of the city. But with everything, beauty is pain. When walking up the stairs you’re advised to not look down as to save the glorious rooftop view, but for accident-prone people like me it’s worth spoiling it to save your life. Or just do what I did and do both at once.
Now I couldn’t go to stag-do central without spending a few nights out. And the biggest club in Central Europe, the five-story “Karlovy Lazne”, was as much of a site to see as the Charles Bridge. It’s your average club, just with a somewhat 80% more chance of losing one of your group, and that would probably be to a Czech man. Tip for the women: keep a spare pint in your hand, I found that to be the only working tactic to rid the men who are literally forcing themselves onto your friends. Also it’s worth getting used to the fact that any other club you go within a ten-mile radius of Old Town Square will be inundated with bar-crawl go-ers, which will genuinely add to your deliriousness even more by the sheer amount of Englishman being in every bit of your personal space.
So with visits to the John Lennon Wall, Roxy, Charles Bridge and far too much time in Old Town Square, Prague was completed within a few days. But the two-weeks provided me a full historic understanding of the city, and the understanding that my mental-stability can deteriorate in a matter of days.