Prague: I Left My Heart in Bohemia

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
Trip End Jul 02, 2012

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Saturday, February 4, 2012

The end to my Central European adventure brought me to Prague. No city can adequately be described with words or seen merely in pictures to understand it's true character, but this is especially true of Prague. No matter how much I look back at my pictures fondly, admiring how beautiful they are, even they don't fully portray to how beautiful, romantic, historic and intriguing Prague truly is. I won't even try to describe how enamored I became with the city while there, but I'll settle with saying simply that no city has ever captured my heart like Prague did. I've never become that attached to a place in such a short amount of time. 

My mishap in Budapest with getting a train ticket to Poland turned out rather nicely, as I got to spend an extra half day in Prague. My first order of business was trying some Czech cuisine. I tried some bread dumplings and pork in a tomato sauce at a Czech restaurant and washed it down with a Pilsner. The warm food was great. Prague was in the middle of one of the coldest winters in recent history. Temperatures were down in the teens (in fahrenheit). It was quite frigid, even to the point that I was worried my new camera would get temperature damage from being outside with me all day. Luckily that didn't happen!

Afterwards, I took a quick peak at Old Town Square, which is stunning with the Tyn Church and Old Town Hall. I then began my great Prague tradition of going into souvenir shops intermittently while walking around to look at souvenirs and mostly to warm up. I ended up going into one shop so much that the workers started to know me by name. They even tried to sell me a chandelier, which I thought was rather funny. 

That brings me to the second thing I loved about Prague, after its beauty - the friendly and relatable people. I even made a friend that worked at the hostel who is planning to visit Amsterdam. 

My next day was spent seeing the Church of St. Nicholas, Franz Kafka's house, the top of the of Old Town Hall tower, the famous Astronomical Clock and walking along the midieval Charles Bridge at sunset. 

My second day was spent predominantly doing a free walking tour, which was excellent! I went to the Church of St James, the Jewish Quarter, the Franz Kafka memorial, Wrenclas Square, Powder Tower, Charles University and the Estates Theater - the only still standing concert hall where Mozart performed. I took another walk across the Charles Bridge at nightfall and saw a rather large street protest march against an EU bill similar to the SOPA bill that sparked the Wikipedia blackout protest in the States. It was a neat unplanned thing to see. It's nice to see people constructively and non-violently voicing their opinions on political issues. 

My final day consisted of touring the sites at Prague Castle, the largest historic castle in the world. I got to see the St. George's Church, St. Vitus's Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace and the Loreto. 

After that, I had to reluctantly part ways with Prague. I had a wonderful trip through Central Europe. I got to meet many interesting people in the hostels, try some great local dishes and see many beautiful historic sites. I got back to Amsterdam, which was having similar, though not quite as cold, weather. We got about 3-4 inches of snow and the canals even froze over. People were skating on them. So fun!

Next on my travel agenda is a visit from my Aunt Kay. We've always been great travel buddies, so I'm really excited for her to get here. I'm going to show her around Amsterdam and then we will go south to see Delft and the Hague and finally on to Belgium to see Brugge and Brussels.

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