03.06.2016 - 08.06.2016
Prague!! The Bohemian Kingdom where the beer is (no joke) half the price of water!! I arrived in Prague after a gorgeous four hour train ride from Berlin on June 3rd and was immediately in awe of the beautiful landscape and architecture! The hills and mountains are bright green and there are tons of red-roof houses scattered about. The beautiful Vltava River flows through Prague and there are lots of unique bridges that span the river. My Mom successfully landed the following day and I met her at the airport. She had to stop in Moscow and despite months of worry and anticipation it was quite uneventful. She can't stop talking about how hot the Russian flight attendants were. Despite taking a red eye, she was as eager as I was to explore the city. That first day we walked around on our own, over the beautiful Charles Bridge, to the Lennon Wall (a wall dedicated to the life and music of John Lennon, decorated with quotes and cool street art, and a busted dude with an acoustic guitar), and around the neighborhood we were staying in -Old Town- which is now a UNESCO world heritage site thus very preserved. We had our first traditional Czech meal- lots of delicious duck, pork, and sauerkraut! And cheap beer ofcourse!
The Czech was the birthplace of Pilsner beer, first made in 1842 in a town called Pilsen and there is definitely plenty of it. The average pint of Pilner Urqell will run about 1.6 euro while a water is over 2.5 euro. Apparently Czechs revere their beer industry so much that it is not taxed! My Mom and I went to a beer museum (obviously had the sampler) and I can finally say I now thoroughly know the difference between an ale and lager!
The following day we did a wonderful walking tour of the city to orient ourselves and learn some history about the beautiful city! Like any country- it went through many years of dark history including religious oppression, wars, and lots of "defenestration"- which was a term I learned that means to throw someone out a window for doing something you didn't like (mostly being a different religion). These bohemians were really dramatic. For a while they would throw people out windows of the Prague castle onto large wooden spikes but one time they forgot the spikes and there is a legend that one guy survived the fall because he was saved by angels/landed on a pile of cow poop. I like the latter. My Mom and I visited the Prague Castle and saw this infamous cow poop window. The castle towers over the Vltava river and can be seen from very far away; it dates back to the 9th century, consumes 18 acres of riverside and has beautiful cathedrals and gardens. Other sites we saw include the astronomical clock (800 year old clock in Old Town Square), Franz Kafka museum, Old Jewish Quarter, and we walked (Mom took the lift 😉) up to their version of the Eiffel Tower which gave us an absolutely gorgeous view of the city! The Old Jewish Quarter was very interesting to walk through: they have the oldest synagogue outside of Israel dating back to the 13th century and we also visited a Jewish cemetery that had to be built up due to its limited space and is thought to have possibly up to 40,000 people buried.
Our last night in Prague we took a beautiful boat ride along the Vltava and enjoyed the city lit up at night. Hard to believe but it was even more gorgeous at night!
Overall I absolutely loved Prague for its beauty, its beer, its quaint streets and neighborhoods, cobblestone literally everywhere, and the fact that it was cheap as hell!!