Earning Our Stripes

The plan for today was to take the boat from the Charles Bridge to the Prague Zoo and then back again.

Here is what actually happened:

We missed the boat we wanted to take to the zoo, so we decided to take the bus. In order to take the bus, we had to walk to the bus station. The “fifteen minute” walk turned out to be an hour long, but we explored more of Prague along the way so we enjoyed it. We arrived at the bus station, managed to buy our tickets, and get on the right bus. The buses (and the trams) are different from home. We weren’t required to board the bus at the front near the driver. All the doors open at once, and anyone can board from anywhere. There are also multiple yellow boxes on the bus that you use to scan your ticket. I was surprised it based on the honor system.

We got to the zoo and started walking around. We saw a lot of animals today, but only covered probably half of the zoo grounds. The giraffes, polar bears, and gorillas were all must sees for our group. Mandy was ecstatic to act out the classic Coke commercials with the polar bears, and we arrived at the gorillas just in time to see a mother nursing. We also saw meerkats fighting each other and deer shedding their coats. I’ve lived in Wisconsin my entire life, where deer are plentiful, and I have never known that they shed. I thought they were all sick or dying, and I was worried. We stopped for a quick bite in the zoo, and I was delighted to find a European take on a hot dog. It was a baguette with a hole in it, that was then filled with ketchup and/or mustard and a hot dog. It was quite delicious! We also discovered that bamboo is incredibly soft. It made up the fencing around the elephant area, and I promise you I could have napped on it.

Wagons for rent at the zoo.

Wagons for rent at the zoo.

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Pretty bird

 

Deer shedding its coat.

Deer shedding its coat.

Meerkats fighting.

Meerkats fighting.

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Giraffes enjoying their lunch

 

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Hot dog in a hole in a baguette.

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Flamingos

 

Baby gorilla hanging on its mom.

Baby gorilla hanging on its mom.

Mandy the Coke model.

Mandy the Coke model.

Cute father-son moment.

Cute father-son moment.

We took the bus back to the bus station and thankfully took the tram back to town. It took fifteen minutes instead of an hour, and we were all thrilled. Before we hopped on the tram, we checked out the local McDonalds. They had some pretty interesting things on their menu. Dylan got a premium McFlurry that was like chocolate heaven and I got fries.

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McDonald’s waffle fries

 

I mean, I got waffle fries. Did you know that waffle fries in McDonalds was a thing that existed? I didn’t.

A few of us then went to an orchestra concert at a church in Old Town Square. It was an hour long and very well done. After the concert, four of us decided we were going to climb “the hill” and go to dinner at the restaurant at the top of it. We couldn’t find the entrance to the tram to take us to the top, so we hiked instead. It was a steep climb, and by the time we got to the top, we were excited to eat. We earned that dinner. It turned out that the restaurant at the top was closed, so our hike was only for the view.

View from hilltop restaurant.

View from hilltop restaurant.

Our proof that we climbed the hill. It's officially off the Czech List.

Our proof that we climbed the hill. It’s officially off the Czech List.

We decided to hike back down the hill and find somewhere else to eat. Along the way we found a wall that looked like it was a part of a fortress of some sort. We deemed it “the wall.” It turns out that the restaurant being closed was in our favor, because again we were blessed with amazing views.

View from the wall.

View from the wall.

We continued our hike down the hill and were greeted by a fountain.

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The fountain

 

Hard to see the fountain in the background, but it's there!

Hard to see the fountain in the background, but it’s there!

We were beyond excited to exit the path from the hill and be greeted by such a beautiful sight. We took it as a sign that our adventure was worth taking. We ended up walking back towards school in search of a restaurant for dinner and came upon a cheap Italian place… that ended up being closed too. Again this twist of fate turned out to be a blessing. We wound up at Luka Lu, a Mexican themed restaurant with a garden in the back. The pasta we ordered was amazing, and we talked about for hours about all we have to enjoy from life.

At the end of the night, we decided that this accidental exploration of Prague may just have been our best night yet. We took a chance and everything worked out perfectly.

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