Many apologies to all of you lovely readers! I know it’s been a while since my last blog and it doesn’t quite make sense that I’m finally writing about Prague while I’m getting ready to leave Slovakia. Travel has tinkered with my time and admittedly, I’m a few steps behind in the blogosphere. I’ll blame it all on the time difference and hopefully redeem myself by describing one of the coolest cities I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.
I visited Prague for the first time four years ago with my parents, who were well-acquainted with the famous capital. A recent high school graduate soon to start college, I traipsed around the jovial city older but not wiser. Would college be worth all the hype, I wondered. Would I indeed “find myself”?
Four years later, I’m not sure if I’ve found myself yet, mainly because I never lost myself in the first place. The core of who I am has kept me standing for twenty-two years and will continue to do so. But now, perhaps, I can step against the cobblestone streets with more purpose, more appreciation for those who placed the first stones.
Prague, four years later, was the same and completely different experience. The weather was cooler, the company was smaller, but the contagious energy and recognizable spirit of the extraordinary city still moved me in much the same way.
I arrived in Prague in the morning after an arduous twenty-three hour-long bus ride from Tallinn, Estonia. I was wiped, wrapped in that strange bus odor, and hungry, and grumpy, and frowny-faced, and internally whiny. Thankfully, Prague read my moody mind and cured me off all my mental maladies.
First, I drank a cup of hot chocolate at the bus station café. This glorious cup of pure, melted chocolate mixed with cream brought me back to life. Soon enough, I was less zombie and more human.
It took a while to trundle over to my hostel since my tattered suitcase lost two of its wheels to the streets of old town in Vilnius, Lithuania. But once I was in my hostel, showered, napped, and jittery from a chocolate-induced sugar high, the best of Prague was there to welcome me back.
Prague is on a sugar-high 24/7 so naturally, we get along well. There is never a dead moment in the Czech capital. Everything is fully alive, fully invested, fully alight. Prague is a professional party-goer who puts many a young whippersnapper to utter shame.
So much art–beautiful, mind-warping, heart-cuddling art. So much culture– authentic, deeply rooted culture. So much talent– raw, highly original talent. Put eloquently, I freaking love Prague and I’m certainly not the only one.
There are, of course, a plethora of tourists in every nook and cranny of Prague. Charles Bridge is always one push away from a mosh pit while the center of old town would be a great place to hold a global census. People from any which place are enamored with Prague and it’s easy to understand why.
Prague’s main attractions are magnetic, even to the anti-tourist tourist who wants to experience the best of the city without sharing it with thousands of others. The fantastic Charles Bridge, lined with illustrious statues and bookmarked with gorgeous spires, is a must. The old city center, with its grand and sure-standing architecture is a favorite for all those who love history, authentic art, and the best and most ballsy of street-performances.
And then there’s the food, mainly the only type of food anyone should care about: Trdlnek. Trdlnek, a sweet, sugar-dusted dough roasted over a fire on a wooden cylinder, is proof that heaven exists. I have been thinking about trdlnek ever since I tried it for the first time four years ago. One bite and I knew that this sweet morsel of perfection had stolen my heart.
My reunion with trdlnek was a blissful one. I even took it to the next level and tried some trdlnek filled to the brim with thick, creamy, soul-cuddling ice-cream. I clutched it close to my chest as I navigated the crowds of Charles Bridge, smiling fully and deeply. To me, Prague will always be the central pulse of happiness.
A good portion of my last day in Prague was spent at the Lennon Wall, a beautiful mural painted in honor of John Lennon shortly after his passing. Not surprisingly, in a city where art is the blood that keeps the city alive, the music legend is an idol.
The Lennon wall is gorgeous and crazy colorful and a permanent fixture of peaceful protest. That’s what I love most about Prague-art has a commanding voice that tugs all those little mechanisms inside that make you feel something deeply and wholly.
After the crop of eager, selfie-stick yielding tourists moved away from the wall, I remained and listened to a singer with a lovely voice sing the best of John Lennon and the Beatles. In truth, I could have listened to him for hours as I explored every part of the wall, words like “imagine”, “Alaska”, and “live” jumping forth. Prague has so much to say, to reveal, and I could easily spend weeks, months lending an attentive ear.
I finished Prague where I started, sitting in an empty bus station, sipping on a cafe latte I got from a vending machine (it wasn’t too bad for vending machine coffee). The caffeine hit me quickly or perhaps it was the jolting vibes of Prague weaving through the air. In any case, I soon found myself playing the air drums, stomping on the sure-fired beats catapulted from my headphones. I couldn’t stop moving, couldn’t stop conversing with music and art. I had Prague fever and even still, I can’t rid myself of this city’s contagious spirit.
In short, Prague is always a good idea, a great idea, the best of ideas.
In fact, I’m already planning our next reunion.
Find Your Prague,
PS: I’m having trouble uploading pictures at the moment but once my computer decides to cooperate, I will add them to this post!