I know been away for too long and you guys missed me. OK may be you do not even care, but let’s say you did miss me, otherwise the following part you’ll read would be irrelevant (and I really don’t want to change it!). So, yes been absent for the last few weeks because It’s been quite hectic at work and yes I actually still need my day job, as my flight tickets aren’t going to be given to me for free, yet.., I also faced an inspiration crisis (I always think it sounds cool when writers say that by the way), so I didn’t write anything, well when I don’t have anything interesting to say I’d rather keep it quite 🙂
Well luckily for you (and obviously for me too) many of my friends were telling me lately about Prague and how much they loved it, so when the opportunity presented itself I went for it. (Editor’s note: for future articles every time I say “the opportunity presented itself” what you should really read is “I robbed my own bank account, took couple of weeks off, packed and took off”).
As you know Prague is the capital city of Czech Republic and the biggest city in the country. I always had a weird fascination for Central and Eastern Europe countries (I actually might end up moving there someday!), probably because of the world and cold war stories that happened in that region and that I always loved to read and learn about.
Prague is kind of split into two parts, the city historical center and the modern part. I’m quite sure it wasn’t done on purpose, but it’s the result of all the historical chapters the country witnessed, from medieval heritage to the 20th century, in fact in this city history is around every corner!
The medieval part actually reminded me of the dark fairy tales (The real dark tales by the Grimm brothers not the happy boring ones 😉 ) : the gothic style of the churches and castles, the back-alley puppet shops you find everywhere (marionettes is a huge weird tradition in Prague by the way, even grown-ups can play with them!) or the Medieval chiming astronomical clock from 1410 where a skeleton rings the bell to mark each hour.
Even on the busy streets, the paved alleys that branch off and curve around unseen corners seem to lead to something darker. It feels like there is some dangerous secret hidden just underneath the surface of the city or in one of the statues along Charles Bridge! I explored the city in the same way I do in every city: walking and walking for hours, sneaking into the dark alleys and climbing down castle stairs to capture the best view on the whole city. Somehow I always ended up in the Old Town Square, which was perfectly fine with me. Contemporary history was also written all over the city: the Jewish quarter; Terezin concentration camp few miles out of the city, the museum of communism, the house where Madeleine Albright was born or the one where Franz Kafka lived for many years…
There is also another thing which I found quite impressive in Prague: the people’s rich culture! I have to admit that they’re not the warmest hosts on earth, I mean they’re polite and nice and everything but I’ve met more friendly and smiling people in the country just around the corner (I even started to think that being super happy can be seen as bragging or being false in Prague..). However, I was impressed by how they genuinely love to preserve their old classic culture – if you love classical music, this is your place. Instead of Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber concerts, they have classical music concert almost every day and affordable to everyone! You can’t walk few miles without being stopped by some guy handing you a flyer for a Mozart guitar concerto or an opera play. Some major organizations and universities even host classical music composition competition for serious musicians. Also, you can walk across Charles Bridge or old town square on any evening and find something lovely happening – a choir, a quartet, or a random musician with a horse Mask playing music with a small poster saying “It’s for an engagement ring” (True story!). Well first, the romantic girl buried somewhere in me found it cute; then I thought “That’s a smart way to lie for money!”
I can keep talking about this city forever, but the bottom line is that I loved Prague! I truly loved that feeling of being lost in time and in some place which is different and electrifying. I wanted to stay, to learn more about the tiny little details, but Italy’s Cinque Terre was calling, and that my friends is another story!
Cheers to the places we yet have to go to!