Spring Break: Day 2 – Prague
Prague was amazing. It was a great surprise as I was not expecting to have such a great time in the city because I knew so little about it. I am starting to lean more and more towards coming back to Europe next summer to backpack after I graduate college. There is so much in this world to see and I feel so much more enlightened having spent only two days in Prague!
Yesterday, after our hostel’s amazing American style breakfast buffet, our tour guide took us to the Lennon Wall. While Czechoslovakia was under a communist government, this wall was one of the ways that the Czech people were able to express their displeasure towards the government. They mainly wrote phrases or drew pictures on the wall to express their hopes for peace. Many of these were related to songs by The Beatles, hence the wall’s name. Initially, the police kept painting over the wall saying it was unacceptable as the wall was private property, but the owners of the wall told the police that it was fine and asked them to stop painting over it. It eventually became a symbol of rebellion against the government. An interesting fact is that what was written on the wall when I was there was not what was written on there during the communist regime, people are always writing over what people wrote the week before. My tour guide said she noticed a lot of things that were new from when she was here last week. It was a very cool concept.
After the Lennon Wall, half our group went to eat at a traditional Czech restaurant, u Fleku. It was very, very similar to German food and a German restaurant. I suppose that makes sense given that the Czech Republic is bordered on the north by Germany. I had beef goulash and potato pancakes. The food was good, but the atmosphere was even better. The restaurant was huge and had an older man playing an accordion.
Beef goulash & potato pancakes
After lunch, we took a tour of the Prague Castle – the largest castle in the world! It was not exactly what I expected as it was not just one big building that was the living quarters for the king of Prague, but a whole complex that was open to the people of Prague for things like church services, welfare, or jousting matches. I was most excited to see the Rose Window at St. Vitus Cathedral. I had heard so many things about it and it was beautiful! We also learned about monks that brewed their own beer and about how one of the towers of the castle was built after the others, so it was completely different. Two are gothic and one was baroque – it looks really weird! I don’t know what they were thinking. The castle also had some beautiful, panoramic views of the city!
St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral – Interior
St. Vitus Cathedral – Rose Window
St. Vitus Cathedral – Exterior Rose Window
View of Prague from Prague Castle
After the Prague Castle Tour, a few girls who are studying abroad in Siena and I went down to the Charles Bridge to go souvenir shopping. I found the two souvenirs I am collecting – a Prague shot glass and a book of postcards. We also took a few pictures of the bridge.