Travel 2012

What a great year of travel it has been!

I started with Paris on New Years and then went to Prague and Budapest, two places I have wanted to see for a long time. They didn’t disappoint and I will be back, I’d like to go in Summer next time and get in some hiking.

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Then I waited too long to book the tour I wanted for Iceland, changing gears I picked the Galapagos. This trip was amazing, I’m still writing about (and will be returning to more Galapagos stories soon). It was everything I expected and more, perhaps the favourite trip that I have ever done but it’s really hard to choose!

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Then to end the year I went on a Hawaiian cruise with my Mom. Seven days and four islands which was wonderful. It was really nice to spend the time with my Mom and soon I will have more stories and pictures from the cruise.

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This next year I am looking forward to more adventures and travel, it’s a very hard habit to stop once you start!

Food At The Monastery

One of many great things about staying at the the monastery in Prague was The Strahov Monastic Brewery. There is good beer, heaters outside to keep you warm and made for a nice place close to the hotel to end our evenings. Also the food was really good, especially the desserts.

I still dream of the chocolate and caramel beer ice cream:

AND not just deep fried cheese but deep fried camembert! It was so good:

This was my favourite a pancake with caramel beer ice cream, honey and nuts:

All the food looked really good and when I find myself in Prague again I will definitely go back!

Restaurants In Prague

There are so many restaurants in Prague and it can be hard to choose. Also do you know what they have every where in Prague?

DEEP FRIED CHEESE! Yes, they take a hunk of cheese, bread it and then deep fry it. I was so excited when I discovered this and it is so good. Melty, gooey, cheesy goodness. I know dream of deep fried cheese.

So one way to choose is by the mascot outside or the sign of the establishment.

Some of my favourites:

How To Get Free Shots In Prague

After a long day of wandering around Prague my friend Becca (Hey Becca!) and I just wanted a beer. Somewhere quiet to sit and relax while we figured out our next adventure. So we ducked into this little place:

It was really quiet and we got very prompt friendly service. It was easy for the staff to accommodate us as we were really the only people there:

Becca had to go to the washroom which was down a little hall, through a door and then the door to the stall. She went to close the door to the stall and the handle came off in her hand. Uh oh. So being a very reasonable person she decided since she was there she would take care of business first and then deal with the door. She took the handle and tried to push it back in which then knocked the portion of the handle on the other side out. She tried a few other ideas but could not get the door open. Then she called out and knocked on the door. Then waited. Then she BANGED on the door and YELLED until the lovely bartender who just happened to be going by finally rescued her.

What was I doing? Like any good friend I was enjoying my beer and keeping an eye on our stuff at the table. If she had been gone for over an hour I’m sure I would have started to get worried.

Back at the table Becca relayed the story and gulped back her beer. Being trapped in a washroom can be very traumatic and more beer was needed. The bartender came over with two shots (I’m still not sure what they were) and apologized for the door mishap. Score! Then it was my turn to go to the washroom but no matter how hard I yanked that handle wouldn’t come off.

Love Locks

There are many places around the world where you will find a collection of Love Locks. Paris also has one but I didn’t get a picture of that one (because I’m a bad blogger, bad, bad blogger). In Prague it can be found at the Charles Bridge.

You take a padlock and lock it to the gate and then throw the key into the river. You “lock in your love” and it’s meant to symbolize the strength and depth of your love. I like it, all the locks put there in the hope of finding everlasting love with their partners. I wonder how many are still together because I’m kind of a pessimist that way. I hope they found lasting love and the memory of adding the lock is now part of their history. A story to tell their children. Maybe one day I’ll find somebody that I’ll want to go to Prague with and add our own lock (if not I’ll go and put it there for me and my dog, that’s everlasting love).

Absinthe

Absinthe is everywhere is Prague.

I was going to give a description, history, etc. of it but Wikipedia does it better so click here for more information on Absinthe also known as “The Green Fairy”.

It’s strong and I don’t think very pleasant but when in Prague, why not try it. I think I’m good and won’t need to try it again but I do love the colour.

If you don’t want Absinthe you could always go for a Duff Beer:

Puppets In Prague!

There are so many puppet shops and don’t leave Prague without going in to at least one to look at the marionettes. Okay you might not get as excited as I do and my friend thought they were very nice but didn’t squeal in delight over some of them, like this guy:

I thought they were beautiful and we didn’t make it to a puppet show but next time I definitely will go (there will be a next time):

The people in the stores don’t mind you looking, they get a little nervous if you try to handle the puppets (especially the fancier ones) and generally don’t like pictures taken but I did manage to get a few.

Medieval Feast

On the walking tour we took in Prague a “Medieval Feast” was included. The timing was perfect, I will say that. Although a beautiful clear day it was on the cool side and just when I thought I couldn’t take the wind anymore and was no longer listening to our guide it was time for lunch!

We went to Spiders:

The interior is really interesting and the more you look the more you find. The waiters are dressed in what I suppose is medieval garb. I liked it, especially after being outside in the wind for most of the morning. It was warm and cozy AND I had a beer.

The food was good, I wouldn’t say outstanding but it did the job.

The chicken soup was quite good:

The Goulash was okay, not the best I’ve had but very welcome on a cold day:

My friend had the pork:

Mostly I liked it for the big tables and comfortable atmosphere, so for that I will remember it and on a chilly day it’s a great place to be.