PRAGUE, Czech Republic –
After our night in Paris we took the bus back to the airport and caught our flight to Prague, Czech Republic. Here we met my parents (Joe and Kath) in the airport and took a ride into the City. We got to our hotel (no Airbnb this time!) and dropped our bags off in the room and began to explore. My parents visited Prague at the end of April, so they were pretty familiar with the area and where to go.We left the hotel and passed by the Powder Tower. The tower is a Gothic Tower in the city. It is one of the original city gates and separate the Old Town from the New Town.
We then found our way to the Old Town Square where we were greeted by a large crowd surrounding the Jan Hus monument. It was tough to navigate around the many visitors, but once we got closer to the astronomical clock it became even more difficult. ((SIDE NOTE: It was nearly four months since my mom broke both of her legs, so I was nervous she’d hurt herself walking through the busy street. Luckily my boyfriend, I’ve mentioned he’s real tall, acted like a bodyguard for her. There was one close call where a guy nearly took my mom down with him, but Matt jumped in to the rescue.))
The clock during the day (above) & during the night (below).
The astronomical clock was the first stop my parents wanted to take us to.. and for all the right reasons. It was gorgeous. The clock is a medieval astronomical clock located right in the heart of Prague. The blue/gold coloring on the clock was stunning. The detail around the clock was just so intricate.
Next stop was mainly for me. I have always wanted to go to the John Lennon Wall. After seeing pictures all across the internet, I knew I had to go there and see it for myself. There’s nothing better than going to see a wall full of graffiti (that’s what it is) and see positive, uplifting messages from people all over the world. That’s the full purpose of the wall.. to bring people together as one. The wall serves as the world’s outlet.
After visiting the wall we just walked around aimlessly taking in all the sights. One funny thing we saw was there is a really small alley in the city. It is so small they have a traffic light to let you know if someone is already in it because the two of you will not fit. We loved seeing that because it was nice to see the City use every inch of their space.
After exploring Prague the whole day we ended up grabbing a few drinks at the hotel and later in the evening Joe, Matt and I went back out to get another drink at a bar and explore the streets in the nighttime. Kath was too busy snoozing in her hotel room! Joe and Matt were funny because Prague has incredible gelato.. and the two of them love gelato. I think on our first day there they each had gelato at least three times.
Our second (and final) day in Prague we visited the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) and saw the Jewish Museum, multiple synagogues, the Ceremonial Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery. What was the most fascinating was the fact the Prague was once the largest Jewish ghetto in Europe. One of the synagogues we went into that stood out to me would be the Pinkas Synagogue (Pinkasova synagoga). The building was built in the 1500s. During the post-war years, the synagogue became a memorial to the Czech Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. Online I read that between 1992-1996 the 80,000 names of Czech and Moravian Jews were hand-written on the walls of the synagogue. I did not take any pictures when inside this synagogue, but as you walk into this room you see from floor-to-ceiling all the names. It leaves you silent with goosebumps. It reminds you how much hatred there was and is in this world. After that synagogue we walked over to the Old Jewish Cemetery, which apparently is the largest Jewish Cemetery in Europe.
The last synagogue we toured was the Spanish Synagogue. Even from the outside you could tell this was one of the “newly” built synagogues. Built in 1868, this synagogue was built on the site of the 12th-century Altschul, which was the oldest synagogue in the ghetto. The building was impressive and gorgeous.
And, last but not least, the last planned sightseeing spot would be the Prague Castle (Hrad). What I loved most about this castle is how simple it was. The castle itself is on top of a hill and is gorgeous on the outside. But when you get through the walls it’s really just a simple village where people once lived. Don’t get me wrong.. the detail on the church and buildings was spectacular. When I mean “simple” I mean it wasn’t flashy. It was just rooms, not full of a lot of expensive things. When you go see the crown jewels in London it is an over the top, “Look at how fancy we are.” There was none of that at the Prague Castle, which I admired. We walked throughout the castle and enjoyed the views of the city below us — if you’re looking for a great view of Prague, go to the castle. You won’t regret it. We even got to see the torture chamber! That was really cool, in a sick kind of way.
After a full day of touring we ended up finding this delicious restaurant my parents ate at when they were there a few months before. You knew the food was going to be good since my mom kept the receipt to remind her where she ate! That is so unlike her.. And believe me, it was delicious. Of course I don’t remember the name. But I’m sure Kath still has the receipt 😉 After eating we made our way down the hill and back to our hotel to grab our bags. My boyfriend and I caught an evening flight out of Prague to Amsterdam.
Prague quickly became my favorite city to ever visit. It was a quaint city full of surprises. Lately I’ve been missing the sites, smells and tastes. I will be back in the near future.