On Sunday 31st September we headed to a small campground about 20 kilometers from Prague, it was only 10 euros a night and a railway station was about 1 kilometre away, with a direct train into the city. We had planned to go to Prague on Monday and Tuesday catching the train but things don’t always go according to plan; the weather forecast for Monday was heavy rain so we decided to stay put for a few days catching up with washing and relaxing. The campsite was quiet, next to the river and had clean facilities with excellent Wi-Fi.
On the Monday night Jenny said the interior lights were very dull, these are operated by the leisure battery and when plugged into the 240 power shouldn’t drain the battery. We had suspected that the battery was on its last legs. I thought I would try and start the car as the last time we were in one place for a few days the other battery went flat, and yes this was flat as well.
Tuesday morning it was a phone call to the Ford Breakdown service, this was the second time and they have been really helpful each time. When we serviced the motorhome in Holland the Ford Gold Breakdown assistance was given to us free of charge.
We waited for about an hour and then our car was started and we headed to a battery place we found on the internet. The man at the business didn’t speak much English so with the help of google translator He checked both batteries and our suspicions had been confirmed the leisure battery had died. This battery was in the motorhome when we bought it in 2009 and was old looking then so we should be grateful that it lasted as well as it did. A new battery would be available in the morning so our plans changed again as we wanted to stay in place close by and also near to Prague. We found one that suited our needs and was close to the bar we were going to that night, (more about that later).
Driving into the campsite there was one thing that stood out, we were the only ones there. After walking to the reception office which was part of a hostel complex we were shown the showers and toilets given a map of Prague and directions to the tram stop, which was only a few minutes’ walk away. The campsite had clean facilities, free Wi-Fi and really easy and quick to get to the city centre, they even sold the tram tickets at the office. In the afternoon we took the tram into Prague wandering the streets and reacquainting ourselves with the city.
This is our third time, the last time was in 2012 when Astrid was travelling with us for a time. After walking around the Wenceslas square and reacquainting ourselves with the upside down horse and rider in one of the arcades we decided to find the The fat Koala, a pub that we had lunch in last time, so we went back and had a drink after a few hours walking. Later we had a quick bite to eat at a pizza/kebab place and headed back to the motorhome as we had an appointment at a bar.
Stepan. Lenka and Jan
Back on the 17th of July in Greece near the Vikas Gorge, we were parked near a picnic ground and so were Stepan and Lenka. They are a young couple from the Czech Republic who we started talking with and they gave us some travel information as we were planning to go to their country. We exchanged our email details etc. and when we were a few days away from going to Prague they sent us an email inviting us to their local pub as there was a jazz trio playing. Another reason we chose the campsite was that it is within walking distance of the pub.
When we arrived back at the campsite after our first excursion into Prague, Stepan came to escort us to the pub a 20 minute walk arriving there at 9.00pm. They had booked a table as the place was very small, holding just over 30 people and Lenka was already there along with their friend and flatmate Jan. He was studying English and was hoping to teach when he finished his studies, so he wanted to come and have a practice speaking with us. We learnt that people who are named Jan [John is the English equivalent] are never called Jan but Honza. To confuse the matter even further he had a nickname which when translated meant “wolfie” as his surname is wolf in Czech.
We had a wonderful night, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and we had a great time having some drinks and talking to our new Czech friends. Jan entertained us with his Aussie accent and had down pat some of the Australian sayings. Stepan ordered some pickled cheese, with garlic and chilli, which is a tradition pub snack. The music was from a three piece Jazz band with a woman as the lead singer, they were really good and completed what was a memorable night. We talked over many and varied subjects and more importantly we had a good laugh. All good things must come to an end and at one in the morning we headed back to the quiet campsite, needed not much rocking to fall asleep. Many thanks to Stepan, Lenka and Jan for inviting us to join them.
Free Walking Tour of Prague
We couldn’t sleep in as our battery was ready to be picked up, so we travelled about 8 kms through the southern suburbs of Prague and had our new battery fitted. Back to the campsite we had a small nap before going into the city to join the Prague Extravaganza Free tour. Meeting in the old square the tour lasted three and a half hours taking in numerous sites that we had not seen before on our other visits. It was a small group of 9 people and we certainly learnt more about the history and places of Prague thanks to our tour guide Zdenel [apologise if I didn’t spell it right].
He was informative, interesting and you could see that he had a passion for his work. Free walks are free but they ask you if you have enjoyed it to give the guide a tip. Zdenel worked really hard and thoroughly earned the tip he received that day. The walk took us right to the top in the castle area and at the end our feet were telling us that we had walked many kilometres and up some steep slopes. On our way back across the Charles Bridge we saw a Segway with a Kangaroo on it, after stopping to chat he told us that he had spent 4 years in Australia and was setting up a tour business in Prague. The name of his kangaroo is Quido and he even has his own Facebook site. After doing a little shopping for Astrid we walked further into town and had dinner at a restaurant, they had pork knuckle advertised on the display board and it was a real treat. Sometimes you see pictures on restaurant boards and what you get is not what you saw, these were better than we had expected. Thoroughly satisfied we made the short walk to the tram stop and we left the city for the last time, arriving back to our motorhome exhausted.
There are some cities that when we have been there you feel no need to return and they have been ticked off the list. After 3 times in Prague we could easily go back and spend more time wandering the streets, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the city. It is a wonderful place to visit.