Mikela and Em Do Prague, Round 2 – Part III

We started our third day in Prague with a walking tour of the Žižkov neighborhood with our wonderful local ambassador, Westley. We huffed it up the hill to meet everyone at Jiřího z Poděbrad and started the walk to Žižkov. (Neither of those names are necessary, but Czech words still astound me with their consonants and accents).

I have to admit, I didn’t have a high opinion of the Žižkov neighborhood as that’s where I had lived when I studied abroad and it was essentially a bunch of run down communist blocks. But I’m glad we walked around with Westley as it totally changed my opinion of the area. While parts of Žižkov are still a little seedy, it’s the up-and-coming neighborhood, home to a lot of local artists and hipsters. It’s changed a lot in the last 10 years and is actually quite nice now.

Westley took us up to Vítkov Park which is home to a gigantic national war memorial and offered a sweeping view of Prague.

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Notice the people on the bottom left and those standing on the circle platform on the right for scale.

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We accidentally dressed the same. Friends who twin together, stay together.

We walked back to a coffee shop where we sat around and chatted with Westley, Derar and Rachel before heading down to Wenceslaus Square to get lunch.

Now, those that knew me when I studied abroad know that I fell victim to the infamous “abroad bod’. I essentially ate mass amounts of yogurt covered raisins, drank copious amounts of heavy Czech beer, and indulged in a fourth meal most nights of a fried chicken sandwich from a street cart. Not so shockingly, I gained quite a bit of weight.

A quick little story about my weight gain…I didn’t actually know that I was packing on the lbs until the very end of study abroad. My communist dorm room only had one mirror that started at neck level so I never actually saw myself in a full-length mirror.

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Ignore the gross toilet and faucet and look at the PVC-pipe mirror in the top right. That was the only bit of reflection I saw for the better part of four months.

When my clothes started to get tight, I honestly thought they were shrinking in the washer. Before my parents came to visit, this was a conversation I had with my mom:

Emily: “Mom, can you bring me a few longer tank tops that I can wear under my shirts? All my tops have shrunk in the washer.”

Mom: “Of course. But Em, do you think they actually shrunk or do you think maybe you’re filling them out more?”

Emily (in complete honesty and oblivion): “No, everything is just shrinking in these Czech washing machines.”

False. I was just getting chubby for the first time in my life. Oh, naïve-twenty-year-old-me.

About half of that weight came from these amazing fried chicken sandwiches that you’d get from the street carts in Wenceslaus Square. I loved them so much that when Mikela came to visit me in 2006, I took her straight from the airport to a street cart, not even stopping at my dorm so she could drop her stuff off.

Back to present day Prague, Mikela and I both agreed that we laugh so often about my love affair with these street cart chicken sandwiches that a trip to Prague wouldn’t be complete without one. So our lunch for the day was consumed standing on a street corner.

 

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Can you sense my excitement??

To be honest, the fried chicken sandwich was good, but not nearly as mouthwatering as I remember. Which is probably a good thing.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the side streets of the castle with Jillian, admiring the gorgeous views.

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Fun fact: Prague is incredibly hilly (like the mountain between my apartment and office). Mikela and I are the same height, that’s how steep of an incline we’re on.

 

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