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Tourist in Prague

I’m in the midst of a bunch of travel for work, with a trip to Prague directly following the fun I had in Raleigh at All Things Open. I took a flight out of Raleigh on Tuesday evening, making connections in Charlotte and London before finally landing in Prague on schedule on Wednesday evening. I was there for MesosCon EU, but I’ll write about that later, first I want to talk about what I got to see Friday evening and on the Saturday I spent there to do some tourist things.

The Open Source Summit was happening when I got into town, so I knew a whole lot of people who were there for that event. I was thrilled to meet up with Gina Feichtinger, who I’d long known online through LinuxChix, but never had the opportunity to meet. Unfortunately our schedules didn’t work out to spend more than a few minutes chatting before I had to run off to dinner on Wednesday night, but that was enough time to get a picture!

The conference concluded on Friday night and I was able to get my first real taste of the city as I went out with some colleagues for drinks at Lokal and then a nice dinner together over at U Sádlů. Prague is beautiful at night, and I enjoyed wandering around Old Town all evening.

Looking over at Church of Our Lady before Týn (not a castle!)

Saturday was my big tourist day. I met up with my colleagues Matt and Jörg to head up to Prague Castle. Prague Castle does not look like a castle, I’d call it a palace. There were tours but with just a couple hours of morning on our hands we decided to just explore the outside. We did make our way inside St. Vitus Cathedral, which is inside the Prague Castle complex. It’s a beautiful cathedral.

After visiting inside, we walked around it and then through the village area that surrounds the castle and took in some beautiful views. We then slowly made our way down the steep hill and back to the river. We parted ways as we got back to old town and they had flights to catch. This is when I made my way to a nearby hotel to meet up with my second Matt of the day, this time a friend and former colleague from OpenStack work.

Our first stop was for some lunch at U Fleků. It’s was founded in 1499 and claims to be the oldest brewery in Prague. They’ve really capitalized on this, it’s a prime tourist spot. They wander around with trays of beer, mead and becherovka. The food was nothing to write home about and it was a bit touristy for me, especially once the accordion began to play. Still, I’m glad we stopped by and I certainly enjoyed the beers, mead and the sip I stole of Matt’s becherovka. From there we took the long walk out to VyÅ¡ehrad. This is essentially the other castle site in the city, but it’s now a public park instead of a residence, though the cathedral and famous cemetery are in use for their intended purposes. We stopped at a cafe while wandering around to address some beer/mead sleepiness from lunch.

The views from here were beautiful as well, allowing for selfie opportunity!

While in Prague I also enjoyed tram watching. Had I bothered to figure out how to ride them I would have saved myself an incredible amount of walking. Maybe next time. Our journey back to our respective hotels did bring us back to the old town, this time in full weekend swing. It was packed with people. I was pretty eager to be on my way, though stopping for a filled Trdelnik was tempting, the whole neighborhood smelled like them.

My evening was spent with yet another friend who was in town for the Open Source Summit, Nigel! Nigel and I met through our involvement in the Ubuntu community. We’ve both gone our own ways at this point, but we’ve kept in touch and as we’ve both followed open infrastructure paths there’s frequent cause for us to chat. We met at my hotel and went to a nearby restaurant where I enjoyed both the dark and the light lager with lots of fun conversation.

That last night in Prague was an early one, as I had a 7AM flight Sunday morning to head off to Hamburg for my next adventure.

Lots more photos from Prague here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157687755704821/