On Friday, July 4, 2003, Larry and I went on a trip to Prague with another couple we are friends with, Paula and Robert. Around noon, we piled in the Honda, stocked up on snacks, and were on our way. Getting there is always at least part of the fun. It took us about four and a half hours, with only one wrong turn getting to Prague, and only one wrong turn getting to our hotel, the Brezina Pension. We had directions in English printed out from the hotel's website. The directions were very descriptive (as seen on their website):
"Follow the signs CENTRUM. You will be lead through the western parts of the city, always driving on wider highway-like roads. Finally when you get to the river and across it you get to another bigger street named RESSLOVA, which goes up to the KARLOVO NAMESTI. Then you follow all the other cars going straight up. The same street is named JECNA behind the Karlovo namesti. The Jecna street finishes at the I.P.PAVLOVA square. Here you take the right turn and at the very next crossing left and left again. You find the Pension Brezina just behind the last turn on your left side."
Looking at it now, it doesn't seem all that funny. However, after spending about four and a half hours on the road, we made jokes about what "wider highway-like roads" might look like and laughed at the mental image of "cars going straight up."
We parked on the street, which was rather busy and also somewhat congested with construction. Larry and Robert stayed by the car while Paula and I checked in. Reception was a tiny front a few yards down the street with a separate entrance from the rest of the building. There were two different surveillance cameras in the room. As with the first time we visited Prague, we had to hand over our passports in order to check in.
When I had made the reservations, it was my understanding that I had reserved parking as well. Apparently not. When checking in, I was informed that the hotel's two spaces were full, but there was a guarded lot a block or two away we could use. We didn't have much of a choice. We couldn't leave the Honda on the street and unless you park somewhere with security, it's likely your car won't be there when you get back. Larry and Robert parked the car at the lot. When they returned, they said the lot wasn't exactly what they'd call secure, but it was supposedly guarded 24/7. We took a deep breath, said a prayer for the car, and moved on with our weekend. The hotel itself was interesting. There's a romanticized photo of it on the homepage of their website that gives a decent impression of what the outside looks like. It seemed very old, and was unlike any other places we've stayed. It was almost more like an apartment building, rather than a hotel. We had two keys, one for the door to the building, and one for the door to our room.
Click here for the Hotel Brezina.
Our room was definitely different than any we had stayed in. The entrance was a set of double doors that opened into a fairly big hallway. The bathroom was on the right. There was a closet at the end of the hall, then our bedroom to the left. The bathroom was very small, with a glass door. The shower was a walk in, back out deal. The towels smelled like smoke. Our bedroom had a very high ceiling. The bed was so hard and uncomfortable, we started referring to it as, "the floor." It was made up of two single beds pushed together, with German style bedding. There was a chair in our room that was very likely older than we were. There was also a shelf, desk, and rattan chair. We had a very small tv and fan, as well as a phone. Fortunately, we weren't planning on spending a whole lot of time in our room. Unfortunately, we didn't sleep very well at all.