After checking out of the Courtyard we decided to take the rather forlorn airport bus into town for our stay at the Hilton Prague Old Town. Despite being forlorn it was cheap and probably not an awful lot slower than taking a taxi.
Our hotel was a short walk from the main station and we descended through a small park learning pretty quickly that in Prague, public peeing was definitely a thing, as well as drains that smelt like rotten egg drains!
Hilton Prague, Old Town
Room: King Guest Room
Check in at the Hilton was fine, the front desk agent who was in training and who I also managed to encounter on each day of our stay was able to combine our reward night with our paid night to avoid us having to change rooms. Unfortunately as of a week and a bit prior to this trip I was no longer a Diamond guest as my status dropped me down to just a simple Silver which meant our welcome amenity was a bowl of peanuts and a water bottle, at least our pet elephant would be happy. We picked this hotel as we had a free night voucher that was close to expiry and we’d always wanted to visit Prague.
We quickly settled in at the Hilton and decided to spend our morning exploring the crowded, winding streets of the old town including the famous Old Town Square.
We continued to amble aimlessly through the surrounding narrow, medieval streets whilst we worked up a steady appetite for lunch.
We stopped to eat at Pivovar U Tří Růží a nice friendly Czech pub/restaurant just off the worst of the tourist trail.
Both our dishes were well cooked and portions were generous. The price was very reasonable, no doubt helped by the fact that beer in Prague is cheaper than water. Absolutely stuffed we had not an inch of room to sample dessert.
Our guidebook left us unprepared for what an unremarkable building the Trade Fair Palace was, on the outside that is.
Inside it was thankfully a different story. The simple form of the building allowed the art works to shine, once we finally found them! There was no map and the guy checking tickets seemed more concerned with letting people visit the free area of the museum than helping anyone out. This meant that we wasted some time stumbling around in almost total darkness, trapped at the dead end of a Brian Eno multimedia installation. I heard this installation has resulted in at least three missing person reports being filed by relatives of museum patrons.
Once we realised it was just a simple matter of taking the lift we headed upstairs and travelled backwards through the history of French nineteenth century art.
As the museum closed at 18:00 we had to move around at a decent pace to view the quite fantastic Czech modern art on the floor below. Feeling we’d just started to scratch the surface it was sadly time to go, but not before checking out the two quite stunning installations on the ground floor.
We finished up our visit by sneaking in to the second of the two installations, Ai Wiwei’s Law of the Journey that consisted of a giant life boat full of inflated occupants that investigated the movement of people across the globe. The sheer scale of the boat and the words below it were heartbreaking.
By this point we needed to recharge our batteries after expelling all that emotional energy and the attached coffee shop seemed like a good place to do so. Though with the wonders of hindsight perhaps it was not the greatest idea. Before sipping this coffee I can’t remember the last time an espresso nearly knocked me out.
I was certainly awake now and enjoyed some interesting people watching of the numerous arty types and their dogs that inhabited the trendy cafe.
That afternoon was definitely my happiest time in Prague not sat stuffing my face with food.
We had a small rest back at the hotel to freshen up and get ready for dinner at Maso a Kobliha a famous British eatery/butchers in Prague and truth be told I was a little worried about the place.
We also didn’t get off to the best of starts ending up on the worst table in the house, a small crate by the door that we were thankfully able to vacate for a much better one.
We started off splitting a portion of scotch egg and croquettes.
For mains I ordered the veal schnitzel with mash, fried egg and anchovy. Anne-So took the Reuben sandwich.
Further proof that Max was right, a quality sandwich makes for one heck of a dinner!
And here’s where I need to make a confession… After a recent change of diet I no longer thought I needed eating jeans, well about half way through my schnitzel it turned out I did. Between a little hit of sunburn, some strong beer and a crap load of food I was fit to burst and had to skip dessert. After trying Anne-So’s blueberry ice cream it was the right decision for my health but I did miss out on a taste experience I’d never forget. I can’t remember the last time I had ice cream so rich and creamy. Though there was no way in hell I’d have survived the night if I’d ordered a whole portion. I was struggling so hard that the owner was worried I was not having a good time. The only thing that was upsetting me was a lack of room for dessert and of letting my country down at the one British restaurant in Prague outside of the stag do curry houses.
Anne-So rolled me back towards our room, I can’t say the fresh air helped as I was not back to normal till the next day and thank goodness I was, for I had booked us an epic breakfast.