Thursday, August 26
Today we decided to take Abbie to the zoo. She’s been to 3 zoo’s in her 15 months – the San Diego Zoo, the Phoenix Zoo and now the Prague Zoo. Who would’ve guessed that her 3rd zoo experience would be in PRAGUE? Not I, that’s for sure.
We managed to figure out the metro system to get out to the zoo, and then the bus system to go to the actual zoo. We just followed the crowd of excited kids. Funny how that works. The zoo was only 150 czk per adult (about $8) and Abbie was free. We were excited that it was so cheap, but there’s a reason it was so cheap…
This zoo wasn’t well kept at all. There was overgrown grass and bushes about everywhere you looked, and gross, mucky looking water. Most of the animals looked underfed and skinny, which was sad. The zoo was basically on a cliff, with half of it on the bottom part and half of it on the top part, and a tiny single seat gondola ride connecting the two parts. I still can’t believe that they let people take small kids on this thing. The safety standards here are just so different than in the US. I strapped Abbie on the front of me in the Ergo, but parents had kids just sitting on their laps in the seat suspended about 15-20 feet above this chain link fence mesh below it. There was a very loose, thin chain that you’d connect across your lap to “hold” you in the seat. It was fun, but if I’d not had Abbie strapped on to me, having a wiggly toddler on my lap on that thing would have completely freaked me out.
Abbie loved looking at all the animals. She had fun last time when she was about 9 months old, but this time she REALLY noticed the animals. She’d stare at them and she’d point them out and tell you what they were (bird, duck, lion, bear, horse) and she would make some of the noises that the animals made. It was fun to point things out to her that she recognizes in books so she could see what they look like in real life. She wasn’t at the point of knowing what things were last time at the zoo, but this time she definitely did.
After Abbie’s (and our) nap, we headed out to the Palladium mall, which was near our apartment. I miss shopping. I haven’t really done any shopping since we’ve been in Italy, due to the fact that shopping in Euros is SUPER expensive, and they don’t really have many decent stores near us. We were on a hunt to find Abbie some decent tennis shoes, and we found a cute pair of Nikes. I’ve been afraid to buy her shoes online because kids shoes are expensive and the sizes aren’t consistent at all, so I didn’t want to her her some that’d be too small this fall, when she’d need them. But I think the ones we got her will be good.
We decided to eat at the food court at the mall. We went to this Mongolian BBQ place, that looked really good. The food was okay though. It was REALLY bland by our standards. Usually Asian food as some sort of spice to it, but this didn’t even have soy sauce on it.
After dinner we just wandered around more taking pictures and soaking in all of Prague. It truly is a beautiful city.
PS: Since I haven’t written about it before, I’ll include a little bit on our apartment. The apartment was okay. It had a lot of potential to be great, but it was dirty, which grossed me out. The floors were dirty, there were cobwebs on the ceiling, the bathroom smelled really bad like mildew and there was a nasty blob of something on the floor right next to the bed… *gags* It was actually pretty large – the master bedroom was probably twice the size of our bedroom in Italy, it had a very large entry way that was the size of a bedroom, a large living room/ kitchen/ dining room and another good sized bedroom. Having Abbie in a separate room from us was the best thing ever. She slept great, and we slept great. It was quiet and the location couldn’t have been beat. It just could have been about 10x’s cleaner, at least.
(Excuse my weird pose… I’d just taken Abbie and the Ergo off and my shoulders and back were killing me…)
Friday, August 27
We decided to check out Petrin Hill, which is a big park overlooking Prague, in the morning. The weather was kind of cloudy and gross looking, but we didn’t want to sit in the dirty apartment all day so we took our umbrella and headed out. We took the bus to the Funicular, which is a cable car that goes up and down the hill. We got off at the wrong bus stop though, and ended up having to walk halfway up the big hill, through the park, and down the hill to get to the Funicular. We’d bought tickets at the bus station, enough for the bus ride there, the Funicular and the bus ride home, since the book we had said that the Funicular uses the same tickets as the metro and the bus. (Side note: there are different types of tickets you can buy – the 2 main ones being 26czk, good for 75 mins and 18czk, good for 30 mins.)
We boarded the Funicular after validating our tickets by getting them time/date punches, rode it up the hill and then got off to police checking to make sure people had bought tickets. Mark hands him ours and he says that they’re not valid for the Funicular and that the sign “clearly states that in English”. (We didn’t see anywhere on the sign that said the 18czk ones weren’t valid for it.) We said that we didn’t know that and our book said they’re good and he basically said too bad, you’re getting fined and charged us 30Euros EACH for a fine. Grr… Mark, to say the least, was pretty pissed. Instead of letting us buy new tickets for 26czk, he fined us 700czk. What an asshole. So I made sure and asked if we could get back down on the little stub that he gave us for the fines and he said they were valid for one hour. Well we walked around for maybe 10 mins and we were both pissy so we just wanted to go home and eat and take a nap. We handed the guard our fine tickets at the top when we were boarding the plane and he copped a HUGE attitude with us. (It was a different guy.) He said “These aren’t tickets to board. This is a fine.” We said that yes, we are well aware that they are a fine, but the police guy said they were valid for 1 hr and we could use them to get back down. This guard dude got all pissy and said no, that’s just a fine, you need an actual ticket. I thought Mark was going to knock the guy out. So this other scrawny guard guy comes up and the first fat guard guy says something to him to Czech and then the scrawny guy says to us that they’re not tickets. We start to argue with him and he cuts us off and says “I’ll just go ask the police”. (He was on the other side of the cable car.) So he leaves and comes back 30 seconds later and says that they’re good and we can go down. I think Mark’s blood pressure was at least 140/110 at that point. So a note for anyone wanting to ride the Funicular in Prague – get the damn 26czk tickets!!
After our naps, we did the same thing we always do, wandered around Prague and decided to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. Abbie colored again and the food was pretty good.
I didn’t take any pictures our last night there because I was enjoying not lugging the camera around and I guess the Funicular incident took me out of my picture taking mood.
Overall, Prague was amazing and I’d love to go back someday, sans Abbie. I’d highly recommend seeing this city if you ever get a chance.
Oh, and just for fun, here’s proof of how
anal ORGANIZED I am. =)