Prague Never Lets You Go

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It was already dark outside when we pushed open a heavy wooden door to enter a rustic brewery.  While life on the street was dying down around this hour, inside appeared to be the contrary. The room was spacious to accommodate many. With its candle holders from the ceiling and warm light, the brewery radiated a welcoming atmosphere. If music were to be playing, the sound must have been lost within the loud laughter. We were seated in a booth in the corner. We could hear the autumn wind blowing around the thick fieldstone walls and sometimes leaves, which the wind had picked up, pattering them against a glass window.

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 To warm up, we ordered mushroom soup served in bread. When I took off the bread-lid, a whiff of garlic and pepper escaped. We ate in the flickering light of two white candles that were already burned down halfway. When our waiter made his round to our table a second time, we all ordered a small glass of dark beer. He laughed a deep laugh and he slammed his fist on the wooden table. “Men drink big glasses of beer.”, he announced in a Czech accent. Then, he crossed off my friends’ order, replaced the “small” with “big” and brought back the changed order.

 Throughout the night, we began to understand what he meant. The guests drank beer like water and with every glass, the conversations seemed to get a tick funnier. We watched a table of twelve people ordering shots, but the waiter came back with thirteen. He gave every guest a small glass, keeping one for himself, raising his glass to a loud “Prost”.

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We mingled in the bustling part of Old Town Square in Prague. The mixture of various architectural styles tells a story about the importance of the principal public square. The Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn has ruled over the plaza since the 14th century with its towers over 80 meters high. The pink and white Kinsky Palace, which was added in 1755 in a Rococo style, and tall buildings in orange, green and blue frame the square. Most of them have been changed into cafes and restaurants. With seating possibilities outside, the many small tables and wide umbrellas reached far into the plaza. On the opposite side, horse carriages were lining up. The old-fashioned two-person carriages were filled with soft blankets to snuggle up in during the autumn weather. Over daytime, street musicians and performers hoped to hear the money clinging into their instrument boxes and hats, which lay neatly in front of their performance.

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 A big crowd came together to marvel at the Prague’s greatest treasure since 1410: the Astronomical Clock. (Also on the Old Town Square.) At first glance, the clock appeared as two circles with golden metallic rings and lines. A closer look revealed its decorative ornaments on the side and symbols that inform about the movement of the sun and moon as well as time. Below is a calendar keeping count of the day. In the Middle Ages, the mechanical masterpiece was considered one of the World Wonders.

 In the Old Town, we explored hidden courtyards and small streets. There are tiny stores behind every corner. We found one that showed the Czechs’ passion for beer goes far beyond the drinkable liquid, as it was manufactured into cosmetics such as body lotions and soaps.

It is impossible to escape the smell of cinnamon and sugar. The trdelnik, a popular street food, is made from pastry dough rapped around a metal stick and roasted right above the fire. A real treat! (I recommend to stay away from ice cream or whipped cream fillings as they melt immediately from the hot dough and create a big sweet mess.)

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 The 500 meter long Charles Bridge, the signature stone bridge from 1357, picks up the colorful goings from the Old Town Square. Street musicians play their compositions and artists sell their colorful art. Like an outside museum, the bridge displays statues and monuments. Above it all towers the fairytale-like Prague Castle.

 Record-breaking

 The Prague Castle is the cultural heart of the Czech Republic. The outer walls guard a complex of towers, churches and palaces. With its 570 meter length and an average of 128 meter width, the castle landed a Guinness World Record as the largest ancient castle in the world. Its early beginnings are dated back into the early 9th century under the name of Prince Sobeslav. Yet, its architecture has undergone many changes as four more additions followed in the 12th century. A must-visit for history geeks!

On top of the hill is a beautiful restaurant Na Baste overlooking the park below. I strongly recommend it as you can sit either outside or inside. In autumn, the yellow and golden leaves set a magical atmosphere. I have to admit the restaurant is only worth going if you are willing to experiment with the traditional cuisine. (Otherwise, the menu is rather disappointing.) I ordered potato pancakes with red cabbage -one of my new Czech favorites.

 As I stumbled onto the first courtyard, Prague’s Castle Guards marched in lockstep toward my direction. The men in blue uniforms, with a rifle resting over their right shoulder, kept a straight face. (The front man tried to suppress a smile.) Eventually, the two groups of three came together and marched side by side off the plaza.

My personal highlight was the St. Vitus’s Cathedral, a pivot point of religious life in Prague. The building is flooded by colors as light breaks through the stained glass windows. On a sunny day, the walls light up in purple, gold and blue. Its high ceiling seems unreachable, making me feel small -insignificant and part of something big at the same time.

 My piece of travel candy for you

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 On a final note, here’s an insider tip. Try to find places to eat where locals go and stick to the traditional Czech cuisine. Not only is it cheaper, but you’ll also receive a true Czech travel experience. My favorite place to go to is Novomestsky Pivovar –The New Town Brewery Restaurant, a stylish old brewery, where the food is simply delicious and the people are great!

 

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Sources:
 The Telegraph Travel Destinations: “Prague attractions”. URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/czech-republic/prague/articles/prague-attractions/ (21.10.2017)
 Prague.eu: “The Official Tourist Website for Prague” URL: http://www.prague.eu/en (21.10.2017)
  Lonely Planet: “Welcome to Prague”. URL: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/czech-republic/prague (21.10.2017)

24 Comments

      1. Haha I live in Kansas City and they call it the Paris of the Plains due a large amount of fountains in the city. I think Paris might start getting offended! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  1. The images of food alone are cause enough for me to venture to Prague! This is such an engaging read and you’ve done a wonderful job capturing the amazing energy, sights, and sounds of the city both through images and your compelling narrative! I also love the “travel candy” or “insider’s tip”, which you’ve included. That’s a neat feature, which you should definitely keep doing.

    Also, I smiled when reading your lil’ bio/profile pic blurb, where you reference using this forum as a playground for your “spaghetti-like” thoughts. I feel much the same way about my own blog and writing space. Spaghetti-like is the term appropriate for my way of thinking as well!

    I look forward to following your blog and reading more of your posts!

    Jackie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jackie, your comment made my day. Simple as that. Thank you so much for chipping in on the conversation. 😀

      Also, thank you very much for your advice. I experiment with my pieces and once in a while I like to include a new feature. I was very grateful for your feedback on the “travel candy”. I will try to put a little extra for my readers in more regularly. 😀

      Haha, seems like we both have “spaghetti-like thoughts”.What can I say, Jackie, two great minds think alike. :*

      Welcome on board, btw. You are a very welcomed follower. 😀
      (I will definitely swing by your blog today. Have an amazing Tuesday.)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice take on the city. I live here, it’s fairly impressive. If I might tack on an additional piece of advice, it’s a brilliant idea to get a little further out of the centre. There’s an amazing array of treasures just a little beyond.

    Good blog, following.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What are the chances to have a local read over this post? 😉
      Thank you for giving out just a little more travel candy, btw. I am probably coming back to Prague again next year. Is there something in particular you would recommend to see or do there to get the ultimate Prague-experience? I am always happy to receive some insider-tips. 😀

      Lastly, I want to send you a heartly-welcome as a new follower to this blog. I am really excited to share my writing with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, though I’m not a native local, just the world’s worst traveller who went one place then stopped.

        Tips: Zizkov television tower has some amazing views. Vysehrad also has the city from a different angle, I strongly advise looking down the other end of the river as well for a good natural view. The Namesti Miru area is exactly like the fairytale style of Europe that everyone anticipates.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am so flattered. Thank you so much for your compliment.
      Trust me, nothing gets posted on this website unless I believe it’s my personal best and I am content with my work.
      Putting my thoughts into words is what makes me happy. Receiving such positive feedback is simply the cherry on top. -Well, maybe it’s more like two cherries.

      I saw that you are following me now. Thank you. You are a very welcomed follower 😀 I will try to keep putting out more quality work to keep your cuddly panda happy. 😀

      p.s.: The panda in your profile picture looks like it’s reaching out for hug. Simply adorable ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That food all looks amaaaazing! It definitely looks like the right idea to eat local dishes! The trdelnik you mention sounds good too. Did you try it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Live. Love. Eat.
      Seems like we both are pros at that. – Especially, when it comes to the eating part. 😀
      Pictures of food simply had to be included in this post. To me, experiencing a place through the flavours of local food is always part of the journey.
      I did in fact try a trdelnik. I can really recommend them to you if you have a sweet tooth.
      I am horrible when it comes to discribing food, but I’d say imagine it like a cinnamon bun with an extra coat of sugar. Also, instead of having the dough shaped into a snail-shape, it’s a cylinder shape. It’s simply delicous. Especially, when it was just taken off the fire, which adds a smokey after-taste.
      The stands also offer different fillings for the trdelnik, such as ice-cream or whipped cream. I had mine with whipped cream. It melted immediately and created a crazy mess. So I will stay away from that next time. A very popular choice was a chocolate spread.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That does sound really tasty (even if I don’t have much of a sweet tooth!)

        I had never even heard of it before I saw your blog so i am glad that you educated me! 😀

        Like

    1. I am Hooman and I approve your blog. I read over your last article and I really enjoyed it. Honestly, your writing style is so natural and funny. I could literally see your go “Whuuuaaat”. Really cool and fresh work. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Then I achieved my goal. Thank you very much for your feedback. I really tried to capture the spirit of the place.
    There are so many places I still want to see. Yet,experiencing them through another person’s eyes makes me feel like I have been there in one way or another. -Or at least caught a small glimpse at the place. Also, it gives me sense of connectedness. Makes me think of how small the actually world is…

    Like

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