Posted on October 3rd, 2016
Prague is the only city that I’ve visited this year that I have memory of being to before. I was there three years ago with my family and it was my favourite place that we visited on that trip. The magical city completely stole my heart. Coming here for a second time I was reminded as to why I had loved this place so much, even if the first time sparkle had worn off. This time round was obviously completely different though as I was with my friend, Amy Davis, and traveling with a friend is always different to being with your family. Amy is busy writing Matric but had flown up to do this last leg of my trip with me and then to continue with her mom and sister in Italy. I was beyond excited to see her after 9 months apart. The airport reunion was nothing short of massive hugs and, ‘oh my gosh I’m touching you!’s.
That afternoon we took it easy, having a little walk around the town, checking out the gorgeous astronomical clock and Old Town square which was filled with bubbles, joyful children running around trying to catch them and happy tourists.
We were starving after not eating much that day, having been stuck in airports, and so went to the open air markets along side and bought ourselves traditional trdelnik. This is a Czech specialty of dough rolled around a rod, slowly roasted over open coals and dipped in sugar. We relished in the sweet dough warming us as we felt the strong change of seasons to cooler weather.
We strolled on down towards the Danuabe river, just in time for sunset and so watched the sky blaze with orange as we walked among the throngs of tourists across Charles Bridge. Truly magnificent!
Amy’s older sister, Ashley has been working as a chef on the yachts in the Mediterranean for the past four months. Just a few days before Amy and I were supposed to meet up, Ashley messaged me saying that she had finished work and her captain would be driving through Prague on his way to Poland and why doesn’t she join him and meet us in Prague, surprising Amy. I thought it was an amazing idea but we kept it hush-hush so that when Ashley hugged Amy from behind as we were eating dinner at a restaurant that night, Amy was so surprised and confused and happy to see her sister. And so the three of us, exhausted, had an early night, getting ready to take on Prague the next day!
The first thing on our agenda was the John Lennon wall. I found it very interesting that this wasn’t something I’d come to see with my family a few years earlier but is definitely a major must-see in Prague. This is a wall filled with graffiti which initially played a part in the communist regime but now serves as a symbol of peace and love. We added our own little touch of inspiring quotes and took the classic pictures.
We then spent a long while meandering through the Mala Strana neighborhood of Prague trying to get up to the St Vitus Cathedral. It was a beautiful walk though cobbled streets lined with red old school trams up to the high point where we could look over Prague’s red roofs and the Danube straddled by countless bridges. Truly breathtaking.
We arrived at the cathedral and gasped in awe as the perfect positioning of the sun reflected the colours of the stain glass windows onto the walls. It was honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. We walked around the cathedral area admiring the Gothic architecture and the Prague Castle.
For lunch we decided to give some traditional cuisine a go, getting such a good deal for a three course meal of potato soup, goulash with bread dumplings and apple strudel. I’m always such a sucker for traditional foods, wanting to tick to-try’s off my list and this meal was perfect, ticking lots of boxes.
We went back to our hostel and rested up before our first night out in Prague. We did a bar crawl and got to experience the jol in one of Europe’s party capitals.
The next day we took it slow and checked out Wencelas square and the Dancing House.
That evening we took a hike up to Letna Park where we had the most incredible view of Prague’s lights beginning to shine, all the gorgeous bridges and Prague Castle lit up like a fairy tale. When I was here 3 years ago, one of my most vivid memories was of me trying to capture the beauty of Charles Bridge lit up with the background of the castle. I had a very flimsy tripod which was blowing over in the wind and had only just got into proper photography so was having a tough time trying to get the lighting right. I never ended up getting the photo I wanted and left frustrated and angry. This time around I made peace with that and with my better equipment and much broader knowledge of photography, got that perfect shot.
We had an awesome last evening out, rocking out to golden oldie tunes in Prague’s famous 5 story club Karlovy Lazne. And the next day we set off for Vienna, saying goodbye to Ashley.