August 04, 2009

Beers and bicycles

In the past 16 months, we've been to more than our fair share of tourist hot spots – places like Amsterdam, Oktoberfest, Rio, Machu Picchu, Barcelona, Cinque Terre... – but we've never been to a place more saturated with tourists than Prague (OK, there was Rome. But hey, it's Rome).

Walking through the narrow streets of the old town, it was almost like we were drowning in lairy-clothes-wearing, map-deciphering, ice-cream-eating, loud-speaking tourists.

Yes, I agree it's pretty hypocritical to be bagging out tourists when we are, by definition, tourists ourselves (minus the visors and bumbags), but I don't care. Trillions of tourists trying to cross the Charles Bridge at the same moment you are is just plain annoying.

But who can blame them? Prague is cheap (by European standards), stunning, and boasts some of the best beers in the world – it's no wonder every man and his guidebook is flocking there!

Preferring to watch the crowds rather than navigate our way through them, we found an overpriced bar near Charles Bridge and watched the world go by as we tried Budweiser Budvar (not to be confused with the cheap American Budweiser).

Once we downed a few pints, we decided to hike our way up to the castle, which, while providing some spectacular views, wasn't as fabulous as the guide books make out.

With only one full day left in Prague, we decided to pack in as much as we could by doing a bicycle tour of the city. It was bums on seats for over two hours as we zoomed past the Charles Bridge, John Lennon wall, a billion beautiful buildings and a gazillion statues.

All that cycling makes you thirsty! So it was off to a cheap, local pub for some beer and traditional grub – er, I think we ate pig brain, not sure.

In typical tourist fashion we only spent two full days enjoying Prague. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!