Jacob and I landed in Prague on Monday afternoon after a grueling trek from Sweden that involved dragging our luggage across three different kinds of public transportation. Exhausted, and immensely frustrated that we packed so much crap in the first place (more on that in another post), we dropped off all our stuff and went to take our first bleary-eyed look at Prague.
We saw this.
We were amazed. And overwhelmed by the enormous crowds of tourists. Unable to process much, we walked until we thought our feet would fall off, and decided to call it a night.
The next morning we started bright and early to catch a free guided tour of the city. Caveat: normally I despise tours. I hate being picked out as a tourist; I love being taken for a local. Being herded around a city with a large group of people gawking up at buildings is NOT my idea of fun. That being said, this tour was awesome.
Our tour guide was a young British expat who spoke and looked like Austin Powers. He was very knowledgeable, an engaging speaker, and had a penchant for acting out historical events a la Eddie Izzard. Awesome.
Beyond that, it became abundantly clear how few details I knew about Prague. It is amazing how a pretty building can transform when you know the stories it has to tell. I have to swallow my pride and admit that guided tours can actually be a really great thing.
Prague is comprised of a mish-mash of architectural styles that makes for a very visually diverse city. It’s a pretty impressive thing to find Baroque, Art Deco, Communist Functionalism, and Cubism all in one glance. If you are not an architecture buff it means this: Lots of pretty things to look at.
Like this, the only Cubist lamp post in the world.
In the evening, Jacob and I wandered back to the area of our apartment and into a local park. Hoping to just have a nice walk, we stumbled instead onto a popular local hangout spot. Groups of students studded the grass, all with their ½ liter cups of beer in hand, watching the sunset over an incredible view of the city.
Not wanting to be left out, we got our own beer (Czech beer: two thumbs way up), and joined them.
To Be Continued...