Cross off all your personal required necessities for your upcoming Airbnb accommodation. Kill your preconceived notions and wary first impressions that the photographs attached have given you. Give me your attention, and I will convince you that this is the next place you are staying.
"Dont look for luxus, we are a bit punk" is how the discourse between Mira, the owner(?) of the property, and I began. Not something you would usually expect to hear from a host. A refreshing and welcome change of pace from the normal conveyor belt IKEA apartments and homes that flood this site's listings.
He courteously answered all the questions I had. Getting there was straightforward. Just a metro ride to the north of Prague, then an easy bus ride away. Once in the town, a 10 minute walk from the bus stop. Simple.
As I walked through the gates marked "Gastown" into the complex, I could tell this was the right decision. Old, rusted hangars lined the destroyed pavement road. Cars in mid-repair were strewn about, surrounded by dilapidated and graffiti laden buildings. People were around, busy and working.
The building that housed our suite looked like a medical wing. Remnants of wheelchairs and a stretcher laid about intermingled with various types of debris. Mira led us to our room. No frills, but comfortable. A bed, desk, chairs, electric kettle.
My stay here was anything but ordinary. It was actually quite charming in it's own crude way. From the huge iron key that locked the room door, to the electricity that worked intermittently. From the makeshift outdoor grills, to the only working toilet being in the next building over. Mira even shared some of his beer. Talk about a gracious host!
The surrounding area is beautiful, with stunning views and scenery of the Czech countryside. Walk back into the town and you can find some amazing restaurants.
They have been doing renovation work on the place for the past two years. The complex houses a bar, a restaurant, an airsoft field, and other businesses. It makes me wonder how it used to look like before. Great progress has been made in the restoration efforts. But honestly, I think it's perfect just the way it is.
Do something different. Live a little. For real this time. You won't regret it. You'll have a great story to tell. You'll have stayed at an abandoned military barracks in a small town north of Prague. Your social currency among your friends and family will reach all time highs. You can thank me later.