Czech out Prague

The day I arrived to Prague happened to be the same day a major heat wave engulfed the city. With relentless high temperatures and air conditioning but a luxurious dream, shade and cool places became the main tourist attractions.

I chose my hostel based solely on its name – Czech Inn. The most clever punny hostel name of all hostels to ever exist! After booking the hostel, I discovered that it is considered one of the finest hostels in all of Europe. Indeed, upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised by the upscale bar area, luxury showers, and overall trendiness of the accommodation. Though, no air-conditioning.

On my first day I planned a big walking trip of the city but could only last about 15 minutes at a time without needing to seek shade, rest, and drink water. Despite the heat, I did catch a glimpse of a few gorgeous Prague moments including this artist painting the Charles Bridge:

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The classiest couple in all of Prague enjoying cool refreshments:

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I spent the rest of my day escaping the heat -first, in the Museum Kampa of Modern Art. Then, at a surprising destination right outside of Prague: Seberak Lake.

A group on Couchsurfing.com created an event to meet at Seberak Lake to, “make music, drink beers, and try to keep cool.” The “try to keep cool” part is what got my attention so I grabbed a swimsuit and headed out to the lake. It took me about a half hour on public transportation; when I arrived, I was very pleased with the “off the beaten path” town. No souvenir stands, no fanny packs, no crowds – perfect!

The lake was an additional 10-minute hike through a dense forest and I enjoyed my time out of the sun under natcooling system.

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As I approached the lake, I snapped a few photos and took in how many people were congregated on the hill. I paid my two Euros to enter then headed to the bathroom to change into my suit. When I emerged, I started scanning the crowd for what would look like a group of couchsurfers. I spotted a naked man, and then quickly diverted my eyes. Then my eyes rested on a naked woman. Then another naked person, and another, and I could not divert my eyes fast enough to save myself from the sights that I will never un-see.

Turns out, Seberak Lake is a nudist lake. I had absolutely NO idea of this as I asked multiple people on the streets for directions. I was kind of laughing at the bizarre situation I was in, but I also needed to respect the naked sunbathers and let them enjoy their au natural afternoon. Everyone was comfortably naked standing very close to strangers in line for the showers, or simply laying down without even considering covering themselves.

I felt too uncomfortable to continue scanning the crowd for the group I was trying to meet up with, and I wasn’t going to leave because it was a very nice lake and took a lot of effort to reach, so I put down my towel and stuck my nose in my book – a comfortable place to keep my eyes.

A new thought occurred a few pages into my book – I was the only person in the vicinity wearing anything. A few suit bottoms were on here and there, but I alone was clothed from the waist up. I was alone, at a nudist beach, with people I would never see again – so with a quick inhale and a bold decision, I took off my top and for an afternoon basked in the sun with a group of about 200 people in the nude.

I never found the Couchsurfing group, but in the end, I just wanted my own privacy amongst hundreds of naked people. It was a lovely day sitting by the lake, reading my book in the buff, and stifling laughter every time I looked up from the pages.

I left the lake with sunburns on skin that never sees sun, a smile on my face, and a hilarious day accidentally spent at a nudist lake.

The Small World Effect defines that night.

I met some fun Australians in Budapest. We literally ran into each other on a busy street in Prague. It was like a cheesy Disney movie – we walked right by each other and then turned around shocked and embraced. The Aussies joined the group I was with from my hostel and we had a hysterical time catching up. We all did most of our site seeing after dusk because the temperatures became almost bearable. Maybe the daytime heat was a gift in disguise, because it led us to see the Charles Bridge at night – a truly spectacular site.

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Posted on by Reagan J Payne in Part II, Uncategorized

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