Monday, August 03, 2015

Europe Holiday 2015 - Day Three

Slept well, for about five and a half hours. Went shopping at Tesco. Prices are good. Can read a bit of Czech. Miky got an Americano coffee at Costa Coffee and was happy to try to order in Czech. Had a breakfast of bread, cheese, meat and hot drinks on the balcony. So relaxing.
Hearty breakfast

Charles Bridge - a first look
Walked down to the river and across Karluv Most. Getting quite busy but not too crowded. Another tourist offered to take our photo. He was very impressed with the quality of photos that my phone took. I was very unimpressed that of the four photos he took he managed to get his finger in each one.
Us a Charles Bridge
Visited a few jewelry shops looking at garnet stones. "Traditional Czech," is the phrase that popped up everywhere we went. The shop assistant in the second shop we went to got quite annoyed when we didn't buy anything. Spent ages in a third shop which was offering up to 60% off and they even grabbed some designs from their second shop when we couldn't settle on anything. They too were annoyed when none of the pendants were to our liking but we did buy a ring from them. The assistant was Russian.

Shopping again at Tesco for drinking water, the mineral water kind. Dropped our gear off at the apartment and walked around to find a local place to eat. Sat in a beer garden at a restaurant and had beef goulash with bread dumplings and fresh onion and roast pork with potato dumplings and red sauerkraut. Miky enjoyed the beer, which cost only 19 koruny (~$1.05 for 300 mL) and salad.
Cheap, good beer. So I hear.

Nice Czech lunch
Had a nap for an hour and a half afterwards before we headed to the Old Town. Looked for the tourist info on Wenceslas Square but missed it. Thinking that the banks would be closed on Saturday we went to a Change / Western Union shop. Exchange rate was OK b
ut everything was written in Russian and English, not Czech, curiously. Changed $500 but noticed the commission was 1,749 crowns and I only received 7,041. Roughly 20% commission. Annoyed, Miky decided to head back in to get our money back. Had to wait for a young girl with skin problems and a big dog who was changing Australian dollars and had to fill in paperwork (we didn't) - she seemed to speak Russian and I think that she was a prostitute. Was quite surprised when the woman in the shop refunded our money. The fine print said commission was 19.9%. She hadn't mentioned that to me when she quoted the rate. Happy with that outcome.
Beware of any place affiliated with Western Union
Other shops were charging the same rate of commission or even 27%. Found a place offering no commission and his rate was 18.05/AUD which was even better than the Russian. I received 9,025 crowns, as the guy offered, and when I asked him if that was what he would pay me he said, "Of course, I want you to come back."

Looking for Havel Market. Miky asked some guy on the street who was carrying his shopping - he was an Aussie. Didn't know himself but was interested to know. Ha ha. I always get asked for directions when I'm in a foreign country. We had to ask plenty of people before we found it and they were closing for the day when we arrived.
Havel Market just closing for the day

Palladium shopping centre - clothing, shoes, tea light cover, Mongolian BBQ for dinner. Just the usual things in downtown Prague. Food was cheap at 417 crowns for two meals and rice which equated to $23.

Night time walk through the Old Town at 10pm. The streets were so busy and we hit the souvenir shops. Back past Karluv Most and Prazsky Hrad. Arrived home around 11:20. Fireworks at the time. Did notice that most convenience stores or booths are run by Chinese.
Prague's streets are beautiful at night
Wonderful in fact

And Tyn Church at the Old Town Square is gorgeous

One last look at Charles Bridge and the Castle before bed

1 comment:

Iris Flavia said...

The beer looks yummy(just have to say that, being German).
It´s always difficult to not get cheated on when you don´t speak the language. I´m a tad afraid of that when we go to Italy...
Funny you get asked for directions! And, yes, beautiful skyline indeed.