Wanderings of Prague
Prague was really wonderful! It was very similar to Budapest and I was told that most people like the one they went to first the most. I'm not sure about that, right now they are very close, almost tied because I liked both cities so much!
When I first arrived to Prague is was around 6pm so I had plenty of time to walk around the city. Someone in my hostel told me to walk along the river then go up to the castle for a great view of the city from the Royal Garden. This would be one of several times I would trek up to the castle on the hill. Along the way I accidentally walked onto an island. There was a Christian band playing a concert and I recognized the songs except they were in Czech! The view of the city from the island was amazing! The streets leading up to the castle were insanely steep but had lots of cute little shops! I arrived at the Royal Gardens only to find out they were closed!! It was ok though because there were other nice views outside of the garden. I walked over the Charles Bridge and around the Old Town Square, saw the astronomical clock, ate some ice cream in a tradelínk chimney and called it a day. I'd say I did a lot considering it was a "travel day".
Monday, my first full day in Prague was also my only entirely sunny day. I took advantage of it by going on a walking tour. I love these free walking tours, they tell you so much and are full of people that are doing similar travels! We heard about the history the Czech Republic, of the old town hall, the astronomical clock, Wenceslass Square, and the Jewish District. It was really great since I didn't know very much about Czech Republic or Prague. After the tour I tried to look for some places that are mentioned in a book series I really like called Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I'm sure none of you have read it but if you haven't then you should! It takes place in Prague! I was unsuccessful since some of the places were made up but they do mention a lot of real landmark areas that I had already visited! I walked up to the castle again to get that city panoramic view from the Royal Gardens because I knew today might be the only day to get it while it was sunny. It was once again a long hike up the hill then a very long walk to the end of the long and skinny garden. I finally made it to "the spot" and it was totally worth it!
On Tuesday I did a walking tour that went up to the castle (time #3) but we took a tram to the top. Thank goodness because I was getting exhausted of walking all the way up there. It was nice to know the history of all the parts of the palace and to go inside the St. Vitus Cathedral to see the incredible stained glass! Luckily it didn't really start raining until after my tour. After the tourI really wanted a burger, I haven't really given in to my American food cravings yet, I always try to eat things that are authentic to the country I'm in. The burger place I found was actually really good, had amazing fries, and served Heinz ketchup (praise the Lord! Ketchup in other countries can be kind of gross). It rejuvenated me and I was ready for some more Czech food later!
Wednesday was my last day in Prague and I think it was my favorite day. In the morning it was sunny so I took advantage of that. I went to the island I stumbled upon on Sunday and did some drawing and painting of the city. I saw the John Lennon Wall, which was nothing like what I expected it to be. I thought it would be a little wall that had John Lennon's name on it or something but it was a crazy huge wall with tons of colorful spray paint all over it! There was even a guy with his guitar singing some Beatles songs. Near the wall there was a French Market so of course I had to buy some macaroons since I won't be going to France this summer! I had a traditional Czech lunch of pork with potato pancakes in a plum wine sauce and it was amazing! I was able to relax by the river and do some more sketching of the Charles Bridge and catch a river boat for a cruise. During the cruise it started raining but I didn't want to go back to my hostel and it was really cold rain. I didn't want to buy an umbrella because when I lived in Rome I held out, but I was miserable so I said, "WHATEVER I'M BUYING AN UMBRELLA!" Backstory: When I lived in Rome I volunteered to help at an elementary school with their English class. The school was almost an hour walk from my apartment but I wanted to save money and not take public transportation. One day it was pouring rain during my walk and there were tons of people literally chasing me down the sidewalk trying to sell me an umbrella but I wouldn't give in, I used my map and ignored the umbrella people. I didn't want to buy an overpriced umbrella from some street seller. Fast forward to present day and I caved. I decided if I was going to buy an umbrella it wasn't going to be one of those plain ones, no, I was going all out and getting a cheesy Prague umbrella. In the end I was happier and it aided me in walking around the city for a few more hours. On my way back to the hostel (under my new umbrella) I came across a painted brick display (some of you may have seen this on my Facebook post but I'm going to write about it again anyway). When you bought a brick the money went towards people with special needs. I walked up to the guy in the booth, I told him I didn't have enough money but I would like to paint one. He let me! I gave him all the cash I had and painted my brick for Project Hope. It was the prettiest brick of all if I do say so myself. Now Project Hope is represented in Prague! It was a great way to end my stay in Prague.
Next up, Vienna.