Play Day in Prague
Updated: Jan 26
On February 14, 2020, my team and I left Durham University and drove to the Manchester airport. We flew to Prague, Czech Republic to play against the Czech National Lacrosse Team and the U19 Czech National Lacrosse Team. The primary reason my team flew to a different country was to compete in a serious lacrosse game. However, my coach recognized that we would also want to experience some Czech culture and allowed us to party at night. (Thanks Dave!)
February 14, 2020
Our team landed in Prague late at night then got on the bus to Kolej na Vetrniku, our team's hostel. When we first walked into the hostel, we were all taken back by the smell of cigarette smoke. From there, things got worse. The restrooms did not have toilet paper and we were given dirty bed sheets. After spending thirty minutes in the hostel, two of the girls on my team started screaming that they had found bed bugs in their room. As a team, we decided we needed to leave the hostel and find somewhere else to stay.
It was 1:00am at this point and we needed to find a hotel that could accommodate 17 girls. After what felt like hours, my friend Livy called Ibis Hotel. The hotel had enough rooms for all of us so we packed up our bags and headed there.
By the time we made it to Ibis Hotel, it was 3:00am. My team had an early morning game so the second we got our room assignments we went to bed.
February 15, 2020 - Lacrosse
My team woke up bright and early and Ubered to the lacrosse field. Although I was exhausted from the night before, adrenaline was rushing through my system and I was excited for the game to start.
At this point in my lacrosse career, I was already accustomed to playing overseas. However, playing lacrosse in England is a lot different than playing in the Czech Republic.
It was the first time in my life that I had bilingual refs that had to tell us the calls in both Czech and English. It was also the first time that I had no idea what the other team was saying. Usually, on defense I would be able to understand the offensive plays the team was calling out so I could position my body the right way. On attack I could usually hear the defense shouting which player they thought was the driver or the passer and my team could adjust our offensive plan. However, in the Czech Republic, I did not understand one thing they were saying so we had to play just off of body language.
Playing against the Czech National Team was also eyeopening. I always knew that Americans (and apparently British people) were underachievers when it came to learning another language but I didn't realize how it could impact my lacrosse career.
As my team struggled to understand their team, the Czech players knew exactly what we were saying and could speak perfect English. I chatted with the girl defending me for a bit because she had family in North America. I was so impressed by her. She went from having an English conversation with me to shouting down the field in Czech to tell her teammate something in a matter of seconds. It was unbelievable.
Even though my team had the language barrier, we were able to win the game against the Czech National Team. After the game we played against the younger team and also won.
February 15, 2020 - Exploring Prague
After the lacrosse games, my team went back to the hotel to shower. Since the game was competitive and fast paced, everyone was exhausted. However, I knew I wanted to explore Prague. Thankfully, my friends Elise, Teagan, and Kat were thinking the same thing as me. When the rest of the team napped, we went into town.
We walked to the Old Town Square from our hotel. As we were walking there, we walked past Národní Muzeum. Since we were on a time crunch, we didn't have interest in going into the museum. However, the sun was setting so we stopped to take pictures.
When we finally made it to Old Town Square, we went to the Prague Astronomical Clock. Aside from its beauty, it is famous for being the third oldest Astronomical Clock (e 1410) in the world and the oldest Astronomical Clock still operating. When visiting the clock, it is important to go between 9:00am and 11:00pm when it is about to hit a new hour. During these times, the clock shows the 12 Apostles moving.
**If your trip was cancelled due to Covid, you can take the virtual tour here.**
The next stop on our Prague tour was Candy Miners. On Yelp, Candy Miners is described as a tourist trap. While I agree with this in the sense that the candy is overpriced and the store is overcrowded, I must say, it was still fun to go to. I enjoyed seeing all the foreign candies and even the set up of the store. Teagan, Elise, Kat, and I all got a small bag of candy to munch on before dinner.
The final stop on our quick tour of Prague was dinner #1 at Mlejnice. Even though my team had dinner planned, it was important to me to have an authentic Czech meal before we went home. At Mlejnice, Teagan, Elise, Kat, and I each had a pint of Pilsner along with traditional Czech dishes. I would recommend this place to anyone traveling because the food was fantastic, they had an English menu for travelers, and the aesthetic of the place was great. It was also located right off of Old Town Square so it was super easy to get to. The picture above was taken from Trip Advisor.
When dinner ended, Teagan, Elise, Kat, and I went to Pepenero for an Italian dinner with our team. This place had a completely different feel than Mlejnice but it was also great! The restaurant put my team in the basement at a long table that seated all of us. Since I was still full from my first dinner, Teagan, Elise, Kat, and I split a flatbread and a bottle of wine. After our second dinner, our team went out.
Our team social chairs organized for us to go to Aloha Bar. I had a lot of fun at this bar because I was surrounded by my teammates. I also enjoyed this bar because the prices were awesome. During happy hour (7:00-10:00pm), Mojitos, Moscow Mules, Cosmos, and other drinks were under $4.
After the Aloha Bar, my team went to James Dean. I recommended this place to my team because my friends from the Czech Republic and United States said they had a great time there. It was the perfect setup for my team because the upstairs had lots of space and room for people who wanted something more low-key. The downstairs had a DJ and had a dance floor for people who wanted to get a little crazier.
Next, I took my team to Karlovy Lazne, the five story night club. I warned everyone that there was about a $20 cover charge ahead of time. Since clubbing with your team in another country is such a once in a lifetime opportunity, everyone decided that the money was worth it. Since it was already around midnight and we had played two full lacrosse games some girls decided to go back to the hotel on our walk to the club.
By the time we made it to Karlovy Lazne, 10 or so girls were left. Once we paid the cover charge, we went in and started exploring the place, which was insane. Every floor had a least one bar and a completely different setup. To this day, I think Karlovy Lazne is my favorite club.
Around 4:00am, my team left the club and decided to Uber back to the hotel to get a solid three hours of sleep before our next day of lacrosse.
February 16, 2020 - Lacrosse
Our first game was at 9:00am so we had to wake up at 7:00am to be at the field in time to properly warm up. After getting three hours of sleep the night before, the team was completely exhausted. Part of being an athlete is the ability to switch off your tiredness (and hangover) and focus on just playing the game. Once we laced up our cleats, we were ready to compete against the Czech National Team.
The first game was against the U19 Czech National Team. Since I was a few years older than most of the girls on the team I only played for one quarter. My team beat the U19 Czech National Team.
Our second game was against the Czech National Team. Like the day before, the game was fast and competitive. This was my second favorite game I played abroad. (Loughborough was my first.) Unfortunately, our teams went into overtime and the Czech National Team won the game. We walked away from the weekend 3-1.
February 16, 2020 - Exploring Prague
After the games we went back to our hotel rooms to shower and get ready for our flight. Dying to see more of Prague, Teagan, Elise, Kat, and I got ready as fast as we could and went back to Old Town Square. First, we went to Charles Bridge, a popular tourist attraction. The picture on the left was taken from here.
After walking across the bridge, we stopped to get trdelnik (chimney desserts). These desserts are similar to a churro but with toppings inside. My trdelnik had Nutella and Kat's had whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
The next stop on our tour was lunch. Craving one last authentic Czech meal before our flight home, we went to Kitl. I enjoyed this restaurant because they had the option to make traditional meat dishes vegetarian.
After lunch, Elise and Teagan went back to the hotel while Kat and I rented city scooters and zoomed around town. Around 5:00pm we met up with the rest of our team and flew home.