I am doing a little bit of catch up here by talking about the amazing city of Prague after just enjoying the sunshine in beautiful Nafplio for a program field trip to the Peloponnese. Pictures and info about that trip to come hopefully before I head to Barcelona (!!!) next weekend.
The Czech Republic is the first Eastern European country I have visited. Upon landing at the airport and taking a bus to the metro, we were able to see the outskirts and suburbs of the city that show the scars of Czech’s years under Soviet rule. Prague, however, is a jewelry box of beautiful architecture, wonderful restaurants, and cheap beer.
We first went to our Air B&B, a cheaper equivalent to VRBO where multiple people can stay in a fewer number of rooms. Our hostess failed to speak any English, opting to speak in German as she explained the ins and outs of the apartment. Up on the 5th floor with only a two-person elevator (many stairs were climbed), we were rewarded with some views of the city. Unlike Greece’s modern propolayias, it seemed that all of Prague’s buildings where ornate and brightly colored, almost like Rainbow Row in Charleston. One of my friends compared it to living in a doll house for the weekend.
After we got our luggage unpacked, we walked down to the Old Town by the river. I was thankful for bringing along bean boots, scarf, and gloves as it was significantly colder than our hometown of Athens. Prague proved to be manageable by foot as we walked all around and crossed the river to see the John Lennon Wall, a site of communal civilian graffiti featuring the face of Mr. Lennon. We crossed back over the Charles Bridge and saw the Town Square with its large clock tower, catching the end of the chiming with all the characters moving around. We ducked into our first Czech tavern to get a break from the cold. Thankfully, hot wine was on the menu. Our group was split on the warm drink, some finding it repulsive and others enjoying it. It was a weird feeling adding granulated sugar to red wine but it turned the drink into more of a “grape” cider that I thought was delicious. We ate at a nearby restaurant before meeting up with somebody’s friend who was studying in Prague for the whole year.
Saturday was filled with even more walking, including a trip to the Jewish Cemetery (unfortunately closed for Sabbath) and the castle that overlooks the city. Our attempt to find the famous site of defenestration that lead to the Thirty Years War was given up after it started raining, but we got a good look inside the Cathedral and an aerial view of the city. I finally was able to get my hands on some goulash and dumplings for lunch, perfect meal for a cold and damp day.
Overall, Prague was an enjoyable city filled with wonderful architecture with an abundance of neat restaurants, cafes, and taverns. While we agreed service and hospitality could not compare to that of our “home” in Greece, all of us were glad that we took a weekend to travel to Prague.