Another epic bus journey complete, I awoke in yet another new city as the sun rose over the horizon. Pulling into the bus terminal I crossed my fingers for a strong WiFi connection so I could sort out my plans for the next few days. I spent the first moments of the day sorting myself out, finding a place to sleep for the next few nights and the best way to navigate this city. Within a few hours I was in the common room of Chili Hostel, a budget option in a great location, taking advantage of their internet to sort out where I'd be getting my morning massage. I discovered I was only a few blocks from both a TESCO and Lotus Spa, my morning was set.
After my hour of relaxation, I still had some time to kill before check in so I took a walk along the river and re-fueled with a strong espresso. At this point, a nap would have been lovely, but instead, I decided to go explore the city. From my hostel it wasn't too far to Wenceslas Square so I wandered in that direction and found a bench to do some people watching. I seriously wonder what people are thinking when they get dressed in the morning, my mom used to always ask "Is there a shortage of mirrors in the world?" but honestly, don't people look at themselves? There was one girl in particular who thought she was looking good in her crop top and tight high waisted pants, posing for the camera, but nearly everyone in the vicinity seemed to think otherwise.
I did a loop through the old town center which aside from a few differences felt oddly similar to the centers of all the other cities I had visited. Ice cream stands, street performers (bubble blowing, dancing, miming, guitar playing), self-stick sellers and crowds of tourists, they had it all. I grew tired of the tourist charades so ventured back for a walk along the river, obliged to taking a picture for another solo traveler and soon found myself with a few friend.
I met 원조 a solo Korean traveler, who upon hearing I had lived in Korea was eager to spend some time together. Neither of us had plans so we continued our walk along the river, crossed Charles Bridge and wandered up the streets of Mala Strana before ending the night with a traditional (pork filled) dinner. I always find joy in meeting Korean's abroad, I'm not sure why, I guess a nostalgia for my second home? This meeting reminded me of a post I wrote on my old blog about Korean friendliness, just more proof that they are indeed extremely friendly and excited when they find someone that knows, enjoys or tries to understand their culture.
I thought I'd be meeting up with my friend Ariel on Wednesday, but those plans were pushed back, so I had more time to explore on my own. I'm not sure where I found it, but I gathered some motivation to kick off my day with a run along the river, it was perfect, no tourists and only a sprinkling of locals. After a shower and cafe lunch, I decided to walk south to Vysehrad, a historical fort with beautiful views over the Vltava river and minimal tourists. I relaxed here for a while before taking another stroll through old town and Jewish town before meeting up with 원조 for another tasty (rabbit leg) dinner. The evening ended back at the old town square, catching a view of the night scene, sampling trdelnik (overrated pastry) and eventually heading back to the hostel.