Ahoj! I’m back in Rome after spending the past few days in Prague. The city was absolutely enchanting and so unlike Rome or anywhere else that I’ve ever traveled to.
After we arrived on Wednesday, we strolled through Wenceslas Square, which ended up being one of our favorite places in Prague because it was so vibrant and exciting. Hotels, stores, and restaurants lined the square and there were food tents sent up around outside. The food in Prague was delicious. I did not go to the Czech Republic expecting to love the food, but found myself constantly snacking on something. We ate pork, ham, dumplings, steak, potatoes, potato chips on a stick, roasted almonds, french fries, cinnamon rolls, goulash, bacon, cold cuts, fresh rye bread, and sausage and drank hot wine and famous Czech beer. It was weird not to eat pasta and drink wine for a couple of days.
It wasn’t hard to walk off all the food we ate by being tourists in Prague. We spent a day walking around the huge castle complex. Prague Castle overlooks the city from its position on the top of Castle Hill. The views from the top of this hill were stunning and walking up the sloping steps to reach the top was an experience in and of itself. I felt like I was in a dream while I made my way up these steps where people were singing and playing guitars. It was chilly and cloudy and the aerial view of the changing colors of leaves on the trees combined with the red roofs of the houses completely charmed me. The castle complex is also home to palaces, churches, museums, and shops.
One of my favorite attractions in Rome was St. Vitus Cathedral, which is in the Prague Castle complex. St. Vitus Cathedral is an enormous Roman Catholic Gothic cathedral with the most detailed and beautiful architectural designs I have ever seen. There were (both literally and figuratively) treasures inside, including the silver funerary monument to Saint John of Nepomuk and the crown jewels, which are not displayed but safeguarded by seven locks above the Saint Wenceslas Chapel.
Old Town Square is home to Prague’s Astronomical Clock and the tower at the Old Town Hall. Like Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square was a perfect place to eat, shop, and people watch and we spent a good chunk of time doing all of the above. I would also recommend climbing to the top of the tower at the Old Town Hall to admire the stunning panoramic views of beautiful Prague.
The next day, we wandered over to Charles Bridge. The historic bridge is the primary connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town. I could’ve spent an entire day strolling along Charles Bridge, which is lined with baroque style statues of saints as well as artists, vendors, and kiosks. Charles Bridge is currently a pedestrian only bridge and was bustling with tourists snapping pictures of each other and the statues and shopping at the many little kiosks. I was completely captivated by Charles Bridge, much like everything else in Prague.
We spent our last evening in the city at a hockey game. Seeing a hockey game in the Czech Republic was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The fans were dedicated to their team and their enthusiasm was contagious. Needless to say, everyone was ecstatic that the home team, Slavia Praha, beat visiting Mountfield.
Prague was so unlike Rome and I am grateful to have been able to spend a couple of days there. My time in Prague was characterized by castles, cathedrals, walks down picturesque roads, people watching, and shopping and I would recommend visiting this beautiful Eastern European city to anyone. I’ve traveled and rested and am ready to tackle the second half of my semester in Rome!