April 4, 2016

LAST CALL: Prague

Some cities are great for a short visit before you feel like moving on to a new place. Other cities, like Prague, make you want to stay for a long time. I loved the city, and I loved its people.

And I loved THIS surprise that happened outside my hotel window one night!

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But the time had come to leave Prague for my next adventure. Here are some things I want to mention in one last post:

  • The John Lennon Wall!  In 1980, after John Lennon was murdered, someone painted his picture on a blank wall in Malá Strana. Graffiti was a big no-no at the time, and you could be jailed if caught doing something considered a subversive act against the state. But, no matter how many times authorities painted over artists’ messages of peace and  freedom, they kept reappearing. Today, there are always people gathered at the wall that’s now entirely covered with graffiti. Often, there’s also someone singing a Lennon/Beatles tune.

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  • There’s plenty of good Czech cuisine to be had in Prague. While there, I had my fill of sauerkraut, pork (including my first pig knuckle), dumplings, and buttered potatoes. Here’s what a typical menu looks like at Lokal, where they serve traditional food. And lots of beer! In Prague, beer and wine are usually the cheapest things on the menu.

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  • There’s another Czech food that I loved — chlebíčky! These are small, open-faced sandwiches that are often served at parties and gatherings. Traditional chlebíčky usually have some type of spread, along with toppings like sliced egg, capers, herring, wedges of brie, and ham or roast beef. They come in all kinds of combinations. At a restaurant called Sisters, they really get creative. Here’s what I had one day:

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  • I was lucky to be in Prague just as the Wallenstein Palace and Garden was opening for the season. The trees weren’t in bloom yet, but the peacocks were out and showing their colors! There’s also a white peacock. Plus, a giant wall of artificial stalactites:
  • I made point to check out the bust of Frank Kafka, another work by Czech sculptor David Černý. When the wind blows, it rotates the layers of the sculpture. Very cool!

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  • On my last full day in Prague, the weather was incredible, and everyone was outside soaking up the sun. I got an early start and repeated the walk from my first Saturday in Prague. This time, though, instead of walking in the rain, I had perfect, sunny skies.  I made one last stop at the Náplavka market for a grilled cheese sandwich before walking along the river and watching the Prague Half Marathon.
  • I also took a few more photos …

Sadly … just as it was becoming second nature for me to say dobrý den (good day), děkuji (thank you), and prosím (please, you’re welcome, sorry?) … it was time to say na shledanou (goodbye).

Although, I never could seem to remember the phrase na shledanou, or how to say it. Being in Prague is easy. But speaking Czech is hard! 🙂