Dobry’Den Prague! A recent short-notice trip to Vienna was the perfect excuse to hop over into the Czech Republic, the historical Bohemia (Somehow i dont think it means the same today! ) and see a dear friend, Vašek, who I haven’t seen in twelve years! (Side note – always a good idea to volunteer at your University’s international student centre, because you have a chance to make friends from all over the world and visit them when you finally do globe-trot!. I have always taken major advantage of this, and so have they!)
So after quite a few hectic meetings, some interviews and good Austrian food, I took the super efficient RailJet train from the Vienna Central Station to Prague – a 4 hour journey that was really great, and gave me the opportunity to see the lovely countryside! Just to say, public transport is so good in both Vienna and Prague, I didn’t even have to consider taking a taxi to the train station! A few minutes walk each way took me to the closest metro/tram stop, and that usually went to the train stations on both sides.
Now, when going on longer trips I usually travel with at least 1 big suitcase – and this time some good advice from my husband made me take 1 big suitcase, and 1 small carry-on sized one, along with my usual travel backpack and my expandable travel handbag. In Vienna I had tried using self storage lockers, but didn’t have change and was running late. So when I got to Prague with all my bags (advice – big suitcases are no fun to carry on European trains with steps!) I found a luggage storage office where actual people take your bag and keep it for you – there went the big suitcase! Most train stations and airports in Europe usually have some facility for stored luggage.
Off on a tram to my Airbnb magic, in the heart of ‘Lesser Prague’,Malá Strana. This neighbourhood hosts many embassies, really nice restaurants, and is super close to quite a few sights. My Airbnb was in a block, owned by a couple of friends it seems who also have quite a few other places in the building. All the buildings are built around the idea od mindfulness, have much Buddhist inspiration, and also include a co-working space. I was really lucky to get the lovely Attic! Imagine light streaming into the windows when you wake up, as the church bells toll! If you are looking for a place, I highly recommend this one of one of the properties owned by this group!
After a quick bag drop I met my friend and he took me on a night walking tour of Prague, which was lovely, including the view from the largest ancient castle in the world! A lovely evening of really good local wine and reminiscing!
The next day, after some sleep, and some yoga with my amazing travelling Yogo mat (highly recommended for anyone who wants to keep up the practice while on the road – AND its made from sustainably sourced rubber, biodegradable and one tree is planted for every one bought!) I was out and about to explore! The Lennon Wall was a 7 minute walk, alas, it was closed for some renovations after some right-wing vandals defaced it.
Then off to the Charles Bridge , which was thronged with tourists – you literally have to walk in one direction or risk being trampled! Beautiful statues with stories, and all sorts of wares on sale – I even met a lovely owl out for some sunshine!
Charles Bridge links to old town – where I quickly walked into a somewhat creepy exhibition near the house of Franz Kafka, before I went into the town square to see the oldest astronomical and oldest working clock in the world (600 years!) – the Prague Orloj! Every hour Death (represented by a skeleton) strikes the tolls and the 12 Apostles make their rounds and are seen in the windows. Quite the show!
It was already afternoon, I was hungry and tired! So walking all the way up the castle did not really seem like the greatest idea! A really hearty lunch of goulash, and an indulgence of a traditional chimney cake , and back to the attic for a nap, before a lovely dinner down the cobble stoned street!
Next morning, I was up early, back on the tram – train to Vienna – train to the airport – back home!
I know I will be back – I have visited quite a few medieval towns, but Prague definitely has my heart!