Off the Beaten Path: What to do in Prague That Doesn’t Make You Look like a Tourist.

August 3, 2021

Wayne and Marv climb onboard the tram as it comes to a stop. “Where are the girls?” Wayne shakes his head. “I don’t know. I think we lost them.” Marv looks at his ticket then at Wayne, “How much is thirty-two Koruna, anyway?” Wayne looks out the window. “About a dollar fifty, I think. “Thirty-two Koruna for a ninety-minute fare. You know, it’s three bucks in New York for a single subway token? 

Three bucks!” Wayne grabs Marv’s arm. “Here they come!”

The two men stand up and exit the tram just before it leaves. “Wayne! Marvin! What are you two playing at?” The two men walk right into the glaring faces of their wives. “Oh, Hi Darling. Hi Francine.” Wayne and Marv grin sheepishly.

“I know you two miss hiding from the tour guides, but you can’t hide from us.” The women each take the hand of their husband firmly in their own. “Now we are going to eat some vegan food for lunch, whether you like it or not.”

Just what the doctor ordered – green veggies and less red meat

“I talked with Jerry last week. He met someone. She hasn’t eaten meat in over thirty years, and she still beat him at golf.” Wayne takes a bite of his vegan burger and chews thoughtfully.

Marv laughs, “She’s probably lighter on her feet. Jerry could stand to lose a pound or two.” He bites into his burger and smiles. “You know … these … numm … these are pretty tasty. For being meatless I mean.” Marv talks as he chews, earning a frown from Francine. He looks at her, “What?!” 

“I think it’s nice he met someone. He’s been alone too long. Don’t talk with your mouth full, Dear.”

Wayne and Bella laugh, while Francine reaches over to wipe ketchup from Marv’s chin. He wrestles away like a child from his mother, making the two laugh even harder. “Well, I have to say, it’s great you decided to join us again.” Bella raises her glass, followed by Wayne. “It’s so much more fun with you two than a busload of people we don’t know.” Francine takes up her glass and clinks it against Bella’s. 

“What was your favorite city so far Marv? Berlin, Paris, London, Minsk, or how about our trip to Tuscany? So warm and beautiful. And the wine! I could have stayed there forever.” Wayne sits back and dreamily remembers the warm afternoons spent in Florence and Siena.

“I loved them all. But I have to say, I prefer beer to wine, and the beer here is to die for.” Marv smiles and takes a big mouthful of Svijany pilsner.

“Save some space – we’re going up to the monastery later.” Wayne winks and Marv nods appreciatively.

“Prague is something of a vegan paradise. If you stick to the Old Town and other highly touristic parts of the city you won’t find too many vegan restaurants, so getting off the beaten path is necessary to fully embrace the vegan experience in Prague. And once you do, you’ll find a cornucopia of options including restaurants, health food shops, cafes, and bakeries.” Just a Pack

Fresh air and a great view – walking down is easier than walking up

“There are three funicular railways in Prague – this one, the one at the zoo, and the one going up Petrin mountain. Hmm, they are included in the public transport ticket. That’s useful.” Francine reads from the brochure. “This is fun!” 

Bella nods. “It certainly beats walking up. It will be a nice walk down though.”

“I wish we had known about this hotel before we booked. It’s a nice location. Funny they have half the hotel at the bottom of the hill, and another half at the top.” Wayne looks out the window as the car slows its ascent. “Almost there!” 

Bella smiles at her husband. “I’m glad you agreed to come. I know you don’t like heights.” Wayne kisses his wife. “You bring me to dizzying heights every day when I look at you my Sweet.” Bella blushes. 

“Awww! That is so nice. Why don’t you ever say things like that to me, Marv?” Francine frowns at her husband and Marv gives Wayne the evil eye. “Thanks, pal.”

The couples laugh, exit the car in the lobby of the hotel, and exit the building to walk around the top of the hill to enjoy the view of the city below.

“The small red cable car is completely off the beaten path. The track is 156 m long and it goes from 205 to 256 m above sea level. It leads to the upper part of the NH hotel with a vantage point and a restaurant. The capacity of the cabin is just around 10 passengers, but you can expect to have it all for yourself! The NH Prague City hotel is perfect for tourists looking to explore this famous city.” Like Local Guides

A cool, refreshing beer with the monks – but first, visiting the rabbi

The Czech people know how to brew beer. King Wenceslas II gave the people of Pilsen the right to brew beer and sell it in their homes back in the late thirteenth century. There are four hundred breweries in the Czech Republic, and thirty of them are in Prague. Strahov Monastery (1142) is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. It is not far from downtown and still produces its famous beer.” Marv reads from his phone. “This beer app is great. You should get it, Wayne.” 

“I prefer my wine app.” Wayne smiles and looks around. “Incredible to think this place has been in operation for a thousand years. The oldest building back home is from 1870.” 

The buildings of the Prague Jewish quarter were left virtually undamaged in the second world war. The city is home to the oldest synagogue in the world, and one of the strangest legends – Rabbi Löw and his golem! The couples easily arranged a private tour of the Jewish quarter at a reasonable price

Bella and Francine return from the gift shop, dangling their keys from which hang a purple, manlike creature. “We bought golem keychains!” They say at once. 

Wayne and Marv look at each other. “For the grandkids?”

“No, for us. Aren’t they cute?” Bella holds hers up for Wayne to admire. “Very cute. Come on, all that walking has made me hungry – and thirsty!”

“The tale goes that in the 16th century, the renowned Rabbi Löw, also known as the Maharal of Prague, was seeking a way to protect the local Jewish people from pogroms and the whim of unpredictable rulers up at Prague Castle. Endowed with the power to transform the four elements into living things, he molded a superhuman from the mud of the Vltava – the Golem.” Culture Trip 

Saying goodbye can be hard to do

“Are you sure you can’t come with us?” The Vltava River is over four hundred kilometers long and flows through the center of Prague. A trip down this river would take some time! 

Twelve days cruise on the river is too rich for our calendar, Bella. We have Debbie’s wedding next week.”

“Grandchildren are already getting married. That’s something, isn’t it? I feel so old!”

“I’d marry you again! You’re just as pretty as when we met.” Wayne smiles and Marv laughs. “You’re killing me here buddy!” Everybody laughs, and the two couples hug goodbye.

“We’ll see you when we get back home. Or, as the Czech’s say, “Dokud se znovu nesetkáme.”

Wayne, Marv, and Francine turn to stare at Bella. “What? So, a woman can’t read some Kafka on the plane ride over?” 

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