Hello you lovely lot I hope you're keeping well and having a great week!
It's been a week since my 21st and I thought it was the perfect time to look back and reflect on how it was a brilliant and special birthday.
To think this time last week I was exploring the secretive streets of Prague is just crazy, I feel like it was a lifetime ago- I miss it quite dearly!
So what made me want to visit Prague in the first place?
Well to start at the begin I guess the idea came from on my 19th birthday when I didn't really get up to a lot, a simple meal out with my family was pretty much the itinerary. The one thing that sucks about having a birthday in January is the fact my friends are away at university, and so I can't just organise a gathering and enjoy their company. However, this gave me the thought of going away for my birthdays instead. So on my 20th birthday my Mum and I decided Belfast was our first stop, and quite frankly it was the best birthday in a long while and from then on I was pretty determined to make a point of going away every year as an excuse to celebrate my birthday.
I begun to draw up a list sometime last year and it consisted of: Florence, Rome, Berlin, Prague, Copenhagen, Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam- a wide variety of choice!
I'm not exactly why I chose Prague out of all of these but it seemed rather different to choose to go to the Czech Republic and no one close to me has visited, and so I guess this gave it even more appeal than it already did.
An early start on my birthday (14th January) to catch our flight at twenty to seven in the morning I was in such bright spirits to venture somewhere new. The flight was great, we reached Prague airport at around quarter past nine in the morning but sadly we had a mishap with our transfers and had to wait a good hour to be picked up.
A bit of a disheartening start but we were here and on the way to our hotel, admittedly I didn't take photos of the hotel but it was a Best Western- full of comfort and welcoming staff so you couldn't ask for much more!
Dropping off our bags I was excited to go out and explore the city and oh my it was such a gorgeous day as you can see from these photos.
I was stunned by how diverse the architecture was, every building is a different style, colour and size- just simply breathtaking. I love gazing at buildings but it was so hard to take everything in, every twist and turn in the winding streets uncovered a copious amount of gorgeous buildings.
I would by choice just post pictures of architecture in Prague, but not wanting to bore you I guess I should show you some of the more iconic photos you'd expect from a travel post like this.
What I found rather amusing in Prague and other cities I've visited, there's always an Irish bar somewhere and as luck would have it, I found one in Prague. Not wanting to be a prude I diverted away but it was a comfort to know it was there if I took a bit of dislike to the local food (which didn't happen because I eat everything and anything), but me being a bit of culture whore I wanted to embrace everything Prague had to offer.
I don't recall any restaurant we visited to be disappointing, we had a variety of pasta, stews, and steak and oh my the portion sizes were bigger than I could handle and as you can see by my chubby face I definitely love my food! The charming locals were so very helpful and welcoming wherever we explore, and were happy to be of assistance. Thankfully everyone spoke English but I did find myself to be a bit rude, I at least wanted to say something in the native language but all I called manage was "Ahoy" which apparently means hello- I'm questioning that but a quick look on Google translate while I was there admittedly was my only source. On my next adventure (which I've already decided to be Berlin) I will be more prepared to speak the native language as I always find it to be at least polite and a small gesture of appreciation to another person's country and hospitality- even if I can only manage a hello, please or thank you!
We were lucky on both days to have such lovely weather, even though we did feel the odd sprinkle of snowflakes looming in the air. Walking through the main town square you're immediately taken aback by the variety of different buildings but one that stood out to us was the Astronomical Clock Tower:
We couldn't quite make out all of what it meant other than the position of the sun, moon and the time of day- oh dear how very lack in information I am but isn't it spectacular? The detail is simply astonishing.
On the second day to gather a bit more historic information on Prague we decided to go on a guided tour, by far one of the best tours I've had of a city. Our tour guide was SO informative that I had a job to take it all in, I had no idea that Prague and the Czech Republic was so wealthy in its historical background.
This was perhaps my favourite part of the tour, Prague Castle and it's cathedral spanning several centuries of development. The architecture again was just amazing, the gold illuminated in the sun and the fine detail of the mosaic work is simply mesmerising.
King Charles IV apparently not a native but of German and Roman background, was the prominent figure of Prague as he built its university- one of the first in all of Europe. Again, the architecture is so diverse, the gothic presence of the cathedral to the Roman/European surrounding out buildings that the prime minister still occupies some time of the year. (Note that I got the Prague flag in this photo perfectly!)
We took our tour along the river Vltava, here we got a much better view of the stunning architecture of the Charles bridge. Here we have several sculptures of catholic saints and bishops, here I would say was the main touristy area for taking photos all around Prague to capture its diverse buildings.
I can't just put in a couple of pictures of the wonderful buildings so you can appreciate this one that I adore so much it's taken me a good five minutes to continue this post...
My trip to Prague wouldn't have been the same without my parents coming with me, I don't spend a great time with them one-on-one and so this trip was the perfect opportunity- although we did miss my brother a great deal as there was definitely a missing link!
Hopefully next year we will all take off to Berlin together and have just as much of a swell time as we did in Prague.
I'm forever thankful for my parents as they're supportive in everything I do, and even more so they're quite happy to come on these adventures with me!
Here we are at the end of my Prague experience, a somewhat short and sweet guide I have to say but I hope it may have given you some inspiration of visiting this beautiful city. The people are friendly, the food is scrummy, the history rich, and the architecture...well it's something incredibly special. Prague I love you and someday I will return, there's not doubt about that. You and your people have a special place in my heart and I'm excited to share more experiences with you soon in the future! If you'd like to see more of my pictures from Prague then be sure to check out my Instagram. Hugs and love from me and Prague,