Beautiful Gardens and a tale of two Bar-Restaurants

Further to what I wrote in my previous post, last Saturday I totally cleaned the kitchen. Despite our kitchen being somewhat small – it is only an alcove off the sitting room – it took far longer than I was anticipating. Dust combined with grease is far from easy to shift! However, as with the other rooms, the end result has left me with a deep sense of satisfaction.

After a rest day on Sunday, I decided that the office could wait until next week when I’m officially back at work. As always, it is that difficult line of demarcation when one lives on-the-job. What is work and what is domestic? However, as cleaning out the office will in part involve sorting through Chaplaincy papers and filing them, I think that is more work than domestic.

Therefore this week has been more holiday than domestic chores and tomorrow, I fly to the UK for a long weekend for my first visit there since moving to the Czech Republic nearly two years ago. I shall write all about that upon my return.

Charles University Botanical Gardens, Prague © Ricky Yates

The weather in Prague these past two weeks has been exceptionally hot with daytime temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. However on Tuesday 13th, after some overnight rain, it was a little cooler, so Sybille and I decided to have a day out in Prague exploring somewhere we hadn’t previously visited.

As my sidebar indicates, one English-speaking expat blogger I particularly enjoy reading is ‘Girl in Czechland’. GIC is an English young lady who met ‘Czechman’ in the UK and has now moved with him to live in Prague. Her insights into Czech culture and habits are both funny and perceptive. Her most recent post is about a quiet corner of Prague that she particularly enjoys – the Charles University Botanical Gardens. So on her advice, that is where we went and we were not disappointed.

A quiet corner of Charles University Botanical Gardens, Prague © Ricky Yates

The gardens are located just east of Prague city centre but away from those areas most frequented by tourists. Entrance is free, but if you want to visit the large glasshouses which contain a fascinating cactus collection, together with a wonderful tropical garden with a large lily pond, then you have to pay the large sum of 50 Kc (about £1.65) to do so. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours exploring both the gardens and the glasshouses and were amazed at how few other people there were. A similar National Trust garden in the UK would be overrun with visitors on a warm Tuesday in July.

Our tour of the garden over, and with mutual agreement between us that this was a place to re-visit in the Autumn, we went in search of a place to have a cool beer and a late lunch. Across the road from the entrance to the gardens, is Restaurace u Trajcu. We sat down at an outside table under the awning in front of the restaurant and ordered a beer for me and a ‘ne alko pivo’ (alcohol free beer) for Sybille, as she is currently trying to diet & alcohol free beer has only 25% of the calories of normal beer. We also asked for the menu with a view to ordering some lunch.

When our beers were delivered to the table, we received a double surprise. Firstly, we were immediately presented with a bill – normally in the Czech Republic the waiter will keep a tab and you pay when you leave. Secondly, the bill was for 100 Kc – way over the odds. We were charged 45 Kc for 0.5l of Pilsner Urquel and 55 Kc for 0.3l of Birrell alcohol-free beer. Despite the fact that we had ordered using our limited Czech, the waiter had clearly decided that we were English-speaking tourists who could be ripped off. We left without ordering lunch!

I’ve since checked the website of Restaurace u Trajcu which says that 0.5l of Pilsner Urquel is 30 Kc. The website doesn’t give a price for alcohol-free beer but it ought to be about 25 Kc. I’m looking forward to sending the proprietors of Restaurace u Trajcu, a link to this post which I hope will generate some well deserved bad publicity!

Instead we walked slightly further down Vyšehradská and found Labrinth Pizzaria Restaurace-Bar. Here we were charged 22 Kc for 0.5l of Gambrinus beer and and the same price for 0.5l Birrel ‘ne alko pivo’. We stayed and ate an excellent lunch! Whilst waiting for our food to be served, we did enjoy the final entry on their cocktail price list. Another wonderful example of Czenglish!

Another wonderful example of Czenglish © Ricky Yates

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