Prague was a poem. That’s exactly what it was. It was arriving during sunrise on a smelly bus from Kraków, Poland. It was a scary ride on the metro, where you can only get tickets with coins. No cash, no cards, but good ol’ fashioned coins. We learned that Czech Republic was occupied by the Germans for 300 years, then the Nazis during WWII, followed by the communists, and is currently flooding with tourists. So the least you can do, as a guest, is say hello in their language: ahoj! (pronounced like “chips ahoy!” My favorite cookies!)
We stayed at the most charming AirBnB in a residential neighborhood with a farmers’ market. I finally tried mülled wine! (even though it was not winter anymore). The honey wine was also good, and Pilsner is now one of my top three favorite beers.
Prague was a poem. It was accidentally finding the famous statue of King Wenceslas on an upside-down, dead horse. It was walking into a store with one of my best friends, looking for her moral approval to buy some absinth and marihuana infused chocolate, even though I don’t like either but because Prague. She peered pressured me out of that idea quickly.
The breath-taking skyline made me tear up because Europe finally made me feel something again! I was impressed again. I was surprised, excited, and giggly all over again. After a period where every city began to look exactly the same as every other city in Europe, I was finally in a place that gave me proper butterflies.
Prague was a poem about time. It was understanding the symbolism behind the statues on the astronomical clock, an overrated tourist attraction for those who do not know its meaning. It was waiting there in the Old Town Square, with all the other tourists, for the rooster on top of the clock to welcome the new hour. The four statues next to the clock began to shake their heads. On the left there was Vanity and Greed. On the right there was Death, and a man warning that you are running out of time. We are all running out of time. But we are here now.
Good ol’ Charles’ Bridge, seven centuries old was a stellar photo op spot. So was the John Lennon Peace Wall where we imagined “all the people living life in peace.” I grabbed a blue pen and wrote “HAVE ADVENTURES” on it because like the astronomical clock reminds us, we are running out of time. And because it would have been tedious to write that “Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures” – a Lewis Carroll favorite.
Prague was a poem.
It was lying down on the ground to have a sweet view of St. Vitus cathedral and stare at its clock. I was obsessed with all the clocks. They even have a Hebrew clock in the Jewish Quarter, which is backwards because Hebrew is written “backwards.” And no one can understand what time it says it is, not even the Jews, so they put a normal clock above it to tell us what time is it really, though?!
We did two average long tours with Sandemans walking tour company. One free tour of the city center, and another one of the castle complex. Prague holds the Guinness record for housing the largest medieval castle complex in the world. We fell in love with the views, but then found out that Hitler loved Prague as much as we do, and that’s why he did not destroy it like many other cities (take Warsaw, for example). He even preserved the synagogues, which were supposed to become museums of the “extinct race.” A despicable garnish on evil.
Prague was a short poem. It was a short 48 hours, quickly gone, but slowly savored. It was a Czech dinner in Café Louvre with raving reviews and a recommendation from our host – http://www.cafelouvre.cz/en/ . It was a moment of gratitude to the Rolling Stones for putting their bucks towards lighting the castle and bridge so we can get a nice night time view of the skyline.
Prague had that weird statue in the castle without a plaque. The boy with a golden penis that everyone kept touching for good luck and taking pictures of. I touched it for fear of missing out on something important, though I did not know why people touched it until I googled it later. The statue is called “Youth,” and it is not particularly significant other than people have polished it golden. However there is an important statue of John the Martyr on Charles’ Bridge which you must touch if you want to return to Prague one day!
Prague was a poem about Europe. It was the pink crystal ring I bought to wear on my middle finger, to remember this city. It was a poem about dreams, and how I must never give up on them. It was a short poem, a spectacular poem, a spectacular view.