The city of a hundred Spires.
The land of the Franz Kafka.
Beautiful, beautiful Prague.
For all those of you who are not married and would like to honeymoon in Europe, Prague is my recommendation. Venice comes a close second.
Anyways what a day Friday was when I was leaving for Prague. I just had TONS of work and it was only 20 minutes before leaving the house that I stopped working, threw in a first set of clothes I could find and voila I was ready to go abroad!
The flight itself was uneventful and I spent most of the time reading my book.
As we sat in the taxi,at about 9 o' clock in the night, I eagerly looked around. Not much. What was the hype about, I wondered. We drove a little further. Still nothing. Looked like a big barren European city to me. And a little further and the city opened itself like a flower.
The cemented roads in the outskirts of the city gave way to charming cobbled streets, the white street lights were replaced with the warm yellow of the street lamps. Prague had me captivated from the word Go!
Our hotel was on a quaint cobbled street leading to a hill, lit pretty in yellow, small dainty shops on either side-closed but their colorful wares on display even at the late hour. Only later did I find out that it was actually wonderful location as it was about 5 minutes from both the Castle and Charles Bridge (both are major tourist destinations). The hotel was called 'The Golden Wheel' was a very interesting mix of the old and the new. On our arrival we found a note from the hotel staff welcoming my husband to the hotel. Right, they did not welcome me. But never mind, they made up for it with the lovely views from outside the window.
As Sid settled to sleep, it hit me. I had missed breakfast, I had not had lunch and now I was skipping dinner too! And so I proclaimed to the already sleepy Sid that I wanted to find something for myself to eat. And I set out alone. I walked uphill. And I walked. And I walked. All shops that were open only sold alcohol. I glanced at my watch- 10:35 pm. Not bad, I said to myself only to immediately realise that due to time difference it was actually 11:35pm local time! That freaked me out. Alone, in an unknown country at almost midnight!
Oh My God!
Being the drama queen that I am (and totally ignoring the fact that I had a functional phone in my pocket with the lovely google map and Sid's number should that be required) I decided that I was in mortal danger. The old touristy uncles and auntys passed by with their silver hair and walking sticks, but I was convinced that my life was at stake.
The theatrical bollywood fan in me toyed with the possibility that i was already lost. But well, I could still see my hotel down the road, so that did not really work. Anyways, I turned around and decided to make my way back to the hotel without any food, lest I did get lost. Bhooka Bharat.
And as soon as I decided that there was no food in the whole of Czech Republic for me at that hour lo and behold! I saw a little place, almost hidden that I had missed. Almost right infront of the hotel. So much like me to not see the shop in front of my hotel and walk hundreds of kilometres. Uphill. Lovely.
Smacking my head, I walked in. An angry looking girl was sweeping the floor. My heart jumped with joy. No, not because I had just seen a grumpy Czech girl sweeping the floor but because my eyes found food! As I played with the sandwiches, I tried to figure out what was vegetarian and what was not. Unable to understand Czech (ofcourse! Duh), I turned to the grumpy girl to ask her if the sandwich in my hand was veg.
'I dont speak English!', she said angrily in perfect english.
I almost laughed out loud in her face right then. She gave me a queer look and continued with her work.
I hastily paid for the most vegetarian looking sandwich that I could find and hurried out. Walked across the road and entered the safe heaven of 'Hotel Golden Wheel'.
A little later, exhausted, I slumped into my lovely white huge bed. Exhausted but very content. I had in one hand a sandwich which Sid confirmed was only bread and cheese and cucumber. And in the other I had my book. I flipped the page, took a bite and read the words and I mentally itched for dawn to break so that I could see how the city looked like in the morning...
To be continued....