Trip Start Sep 13, 2005
Trip End Oct 15, 2006

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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Friday, September 23, 2005

All I've ever heard about Prague is that it's amazing and a must see. Let me tell all of you now that that is completly false! Having said that, you all have to take that comment with a grain of salt. Prague is a gorgeous city. Its buildings are fabulous and definitely bring you back to another era. You can wander around the city endlessly just gazing at the buildings and architecture of the place. They say that Walt Disney loved Wencesles' castle (in Prague...duh)and used it as inspiration for Cinderella's castle in Disney world (personally I don't see the resemblance). Charles Bridge (which is probably one of the most scenic and beautiful bridges in the world) is said to be the site of numerous acts of chivalry and loyalty to the crown. The statues that line the bridge each have their own story to tell and you want to listen to them all.

But then....the TOURISTS!!!

There are so many tourists in the city that I think I only met four Czech people while I was there and they were running the hostel I was staying in. Prague is a city that has lost some of its character and dictinctive personality because of how unbalanced the city had become. The crowds were overwhelming and everywhere you walk people are trying to sell you some doodad or trinket. The hawkers cater to and/or take advantage of all of the tourists who visit the city. Unlike the street markets in other parts of Europe where you hear hawkers trying to sell fruits and vegetables to the locals and tourists alike, those that line the streets of Prague have one goal in mind and that's how to seperate you from your money.

Perhaps my expectations for Prague were just too high or I was in a bit of a funk when I visited the city, but Prague is one place I couldn't wait to get out of.

The one place I found a bit of solace in the city was in what my guide book calls one of Prague's most overlooked must sees. Wallenstein garden was my sactuary away from all of the crazy chaos that seems to be everywhere in Prague. I sat for a luxurious amount of time just gazing at the drip stone wall where different creatures are hidden. It's like a little fantasy world or game where the lines of reality and the imagination are blurred. (can you find the two creatures the picture? this is an easy one)

Prague is a city that you'll have to make your own decision about. Ever since my visit I've hear countless raves about the city and encountered just as many surprised looks when I tell people that I didn't particularly care for the city. Perhaps they're right and I have to give Prague a second chance someday...afterall I already have an excuse since Prague's must see attraction, the astronomical clock was under reconstruction.
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