A Travellerspoint blog

Fifth Morning in Prague

The Tower Flat

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As I rocked that first morning in our flat, I looked around and saw this flat as part of a movie set:

No elevator, the character's footsteps echoing through the building as she climbs the concrete steps. Key turning - clunk!- to open a door and face a rickety, metal retractable ladder, which leads to an attic where the loved one sleeps atop a mattress on the blue astroturf floor. Passing through the doorway, habitually moving to one side to avoid tripping on the foot of the ladder, she steps into the three ninety-degree angled pentangular living room. Over the thin strips of wooden parquet flooring she walks to the second of the two square blue rugs (she could play tic-tac-toe on the off-white spots). This person looks out the opened skylight window, elbows leaning on the edge, hands dangling above the clay-tiled roof. To her right, inside, is the brown sofa that fold out into a bed that later she will not make anyone sleep on - it would keep visitors away. A white table is tucked in the corner with two matching chairs. An opening in the next wall reveals the kitchen nook, washer and bathroom. In the latter, a small window remains open to expose a stone wall. Shelving completes this 360 degree view of the main room, from which our character looks down upon the amazing city of Prague: with its castle ghostly in the fog, a city that breathes its history to life amid heat, snow, rain, traffic, and post-Communism commerce.
She wakes from her musings to the sounds of her partner waking up in the attic. Carefully climbing the springy metal steps, she emerges to find the light coming through the one skylight window, brightening the two joined mattresses tucked in one acute angle, and a single mattress (for a potential visitor) in the other. An empty metal rack - like the one found outside of fitting rooms - waits for the clothes that are still in backpacks. This is the closet. A small, long table stands shakily: a potential desk, if it holds up. She silently descends, sitting at the white table, drinking tea from a small bowl, her teacup, looking about at the clean clothes hanging on two, long diagonal beams, that wooden rocking chair, those aluminum framed chairs, that dressed drawer, those handles on the kitchen cupboards. The heat of the past five days, the first five days of their new lives in Prague, is gone, leaving our character refreshed in this new flat.

The church bell chimes ten somewhere in the fog, the birds call and the scene fades into the story of these two travelers and their five months in Prague.

Posted by Iancela 18:59 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

First Morning In Prague

The Island Hostel

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[i]24 June 07

The bird sounded like a loud rattler, keeping a constant rhythm outside in the trees. Inside, the snores were soft and as predictable and constant as the far away waves. The flowered curtain was drawn, hung on a wire that held other flowered curtains. Pressed board stood 7 ft. above each set, creating little rooms this gym-now-dorm. We had the best "room": two beds instead of four, two metal creaky gym lockers and a tall set of windows, covered by metal grating, that looked out on the trees and the morning pink clouds. The bed itself was comfortable, ignoring the springs that were pushing out like ribs on a starved horse, of course.
The special part? It was in the far corner where others didn't pass.

The Island Hostel: A cheap sleep in Prague: 600 Kc ($27 USD) for two with a continental breakfast, blanket and sheets (clean). *

It is an old gymnasium with 2 dormitories of 50 beds each on an island between Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and Old Town (Starometska), in the center of Prague. It is flanked by the Vlatava River where people canoe, paddle and peddle boats during the hot days. The shade made by beautiful forest-like trees is actually cool, and at a premium: people vie for spots on the benches.

Inside, I felt the heat warming this huge room already, and wanted to shower. But, how to do that without creaking across the length of the wooden floor was beyond me. Oh, well. People in my dreams last night were forever coming and going. I'd simply be in someone else's dream.

Early morning shower: water choices - cold or colder.

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  • About Hostels in General:

They are good places to be if interested in meeting other travelers from around the world. Some provide a fully-equipped kitchen for travelers to prepare food, others are buffet style. They are in the center of a city, and on the outskirts. Some provide tours: of the city center, historical sites, etc. Many offer private rooms as well as small and large dorms. When traveling, I have gotten into the habit of looking up hostel options for at least the first night of our visit. If we are going to a popular place during peak season I make a reservation via Internet.

Posted by Iancela 18:52 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged lodging Comments (0)

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