Saturday, December 20, 2008

Prague, Czech Republic

Having the opportunity to visit this “gem of Eastern Europe” again was very exciting since my first trip was far too quick and long ago!
Almost as soon as I landed, I immediately remembered the funky, cool vibe I experienced during my first visit. This feeling can only be described as uniquely Czech…an old man horn band with giant flowers in their hats, an almost-comical looking nativity scene with oversized doll-like depiction of the holy family, or my personal favorite, the mechanical “Peeing Man” statues.
What I missed the first time around (because clearly my eyes were closed), was the overwhelming romanticism of this city. The gothic architecture blanketed in a mystical yet cozy fog with street car style trams and the Prague castle overlooking everything from the banks of the Vltava river gave an unmistakable feel of being right in the middle of a 1950s European spy movie.
Sadly work took up most of my time but I did have a chance to stroll along the Charles bridge and admire the dozens of incredible 18th century statues that line the sides. And although I’m still waiting for the payoff, I got in a good luck touch on the John of Nepomuk statue, the national saint of the Czech Republic who was thrown off that bridge for not revealing the queen’s confessions. Afterwards I walked over to have a look at the medieval astronomical clock, then on to the Old Town Square to check out, and by check out I mean eat my way around, the Christmas Market. Although there were many sweets to be had, the real treat of the market was the festive dancing we saw performed by some Czech teens in traditional costume.
My only complaint about this trip to Prague was that it was not long enough, but I will be back in the spring so I have a lot more exploring to look forward to!

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