Czech Mate: Day 2
I happened to start Day 2 at Letna Park, where I had previously ended Day 1 in Prague. Letna Park is located right next to the Prague Castle Complex, which was only a 5-minute tram ride away from my apartment. My second day began as a failed attempt at actually visiting the castle. After I saw the endless line to get in the complex, I wandered down the street and ended up in Letna again! I started my day with the same gorgeous view of Prague that I ended my previous night with. I could not believe how close my Airbnb was to the castle and the gorgeous park! I oriented myself in the city very quickly because of the castle and the various hills of Prague.
After a walk in the park, I made my way across the Vlatva into Old Town for breakfast. My day in the city center was cut short because I signed up for a trail running tour of several Prague parks!
Guided Trail Tour
When I planned this solo trip, I made it completely my own. I love traveling with my boyfriend obviously, but there’s something particularly empowering about solo travel. I wanted to explore Prague in a way I wouldn’t if I were traveling with others… by running! I discovered a company called Biko Adventures, which gives bike tours and running tours of Prague. I chose the Prague Parks Trail Tour! I knew I could cover the city on my own, but I wasn’t so sure about taking the trails on by myself. We ran roughly 9 miles across four Prague parks– something I never would have seen if it weren’t for the BIKO crew!
When the day of my tour arrived, I will admit the conditions were not ideal. Prague was experiencing a major heat wave. It was 90 degrees every single day! Despite living in warm, sunny Malaga, the heat threw me off. I generally avoid running in the heat of the day, and when we scheduled the appointment in early May, I don’t think any of us expected mild Prague to get that type of heat so early. My guide was mark, a fellow American, and he handled my struggles with grace. I needed several walk breaks, okay? It didn’t help that our first mile was a gigantic climb up Petrin Hill!
From Petrin, we ran past the enormous communist-era Strahov Stadium. Mark told me about the history of the stadium, and after learning that I’m a big Stones fan, told me that the Rolling Stones were the first to play a concert in the stadium after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
After Strahov, we ran through Ladronka Park, which felt like it stretched out for 10 miles with no shade. Newflash. It didn’t. I understand why it gives that illusion though. The in-line skating and bike path that circles the park is 4.2 km, which is 2.6 miles. Maybe I was being a bit dramatic. 😉 After we (barely) made it through Ladronka alive, we reached the picturesque Hvezda Game Reserve, which used to be a hunting venue for Renaissance aristocrats. The iconic summer palace, now a Czech cultural monument, is in my featured image at the beginning of the post!
We caught a break from the afternoon sun when we entered the Divoka Sarka nature preserve. I was equal parts relieved and woodland fairy when we entered this magical place. Unfortunately my gawking at nature caused me to trip over a rock and fly face forward into the trail. Typical. We didn’t really have any first aid supplies either, and my choices were to sacrifice some drinking water to pour on my bloody knees or just run with bloody knees. I ran with bloody knees.
At this point Mark and I had discussed having a giant glass of Czech beer once we finished in Dolní šárka. I was really just run/walking for the beer. In the end, we went to McDonald’s, of all places, because they serve Pilsner Urquell- Prague’s famous brew. However, we discovered they stopped serving it, and our beer dreams were over. Mark kindly bought me a water, and I shuffled home. Pro tip: Definitely eat adequately before a long, hot run. On Salty Running, I documented tips for when YOU take your own trail tour. Here are some more practical tips!
I eventually did get that beer though! I went back to my Airbnb, which was conveniently close to our end-point, showered, laid on my bed slightly miserably, but satisfied. Then I mustered up the courage to go out for a proper meal. I went to a restaurant close to my apartment, ate a huge meal of salad, pasta, and beer, much to the surprise of the waiter who underestimated my appetite. Then I went home to get enough sleep before the sun rose and woke me up at 5:00am the next day! No joke- that sun shone RIGHT into my damn window at 5:00am on the dot the whole week I was there hahaha. It forced me to be a morning person. 🙂 (That smile emoji is sarcastic, FYI).
My apologies for the extreme delays in my posts. Remember I’m a law mermaid now! I have some exciting travel plans to announce soon, so stay tuned! Hopefully I can give Mermaids the TLC it deserves. After all, I have my whole summer left to document.