Czech Mate: The Prague Chronicles

Day One

I had the pleasure of playing in Prague for a week in the spring, and I am enamored. It was a solo trip. No friends, no boyfriend. However, I made some new friends along the way! The Czech people and those who have chosen to call Prague home are special, warm, welcoming individuals.

Zahrada Černínského paláce

First I met Anna, a Russian transplant in Prague. We were lucky enough to be sitting next to each other on the flight. Well I was the lucky one. When our flight arrived at 2:00am, Anna helped me call a cab since the trains were no longer running and I know zero Czech. She also helped me withdraw Czech Koruna from the ATM, explaining the conversion and how much a cab ride should cost. She then very kindly offered to have dinner and drinks with me later in the week!

After I left Anna and the airport, my cab driver took over. We could not communicate very well, but he was the kindest driver I’ve ever had. He got out of the car to make sure we had made it to the correct address, and he made sure I got in the apartment building safely. At this time it was nearly 3:00am. So far, so good. I felt like I was in great hands in Prague!

My AirBNB host was pretty cool about my arrival time, too, despite the fact that he works early. And get this– in May, the sun rises at 5:00am in Prague! I got a couple hours of sleep before the sun shone right into my bedroom.

On my first day, I took the tram to the Prague castle complex and meandered down into Malá Strana, or Lesser Town. Despite the translation, there is nothing “lesser” about this district! It lies at the foot of the castle and houses several embassies and high-end hotels. There is a gorgeous view of Lesser Town from Petrin Hill, which I wandered into accidentally. I didn’t know where I was going, hence the use of “wandering.” I used the city’s famous spires to navigate myself through town. There were vegan restaurants, elaborate gingerbread shops, and all of the buildings were the color of candy. I have literally hundreds of photos of pastel facades.

Boat tours hold a special place in my heart, I hopped on a river boat to see the city. We floated down the Vltava River on that very hot day in May. Prague was experiencing an unusual heat wave for late spring, and it was in the 90’s nearly every day I was there.

After my boat ride, I went to an outdoor restaurant very close to the Charles Bridge. Velkopřevorský Mlýn was the name, although I have no idea what that means or how to pronounce it. 🙂 I had a simple asparagus dish, but the atmosphere was my main reason for visiting. There were misting fans under the open roof with lots of flowers. I got the vibe that it’s a tourist-y place, but it was authentic enough and I went during an odd hour so that it wasn’t so packed. The food was good, and I had homemade violet lemonade. Lemonade was popular in Prague in the spring. Each restaurant or cafe had its own specialty, and I tried four different kinds while I was there!

My cute lunch nook!
View of Týn Church from Old Town Square!

Prague is quite walkable. I walked to each popular district on the first day, but spent most of my time in Mala Strana! I walked across the famous Charles Bridge into Old Town Square, to see the famous Astronomical Clock Tower and the Týn Church.  By the end of the day I had covered 8 miles, which is actually not that much. 😉 I ended my day by circling back into Lesser Town by another bridge and climbing up what felt like hundreds of stairs to reach the top of Letna Park, popular for its views of the entire city. I called it a day quite early since I had only gotten a few hours of sleep the night before. I took the tram back to my apartment and got some groceries in a store where everyone I assumed I was Czech and spoke the language. That happened the entire trip actually. I went home to relax and get a good head start on the 5:30am sunrise before it came into my room again!

Loreta Church with an antique car modeling in front.
Inside the Loreta.
Overlooking part of Lesser Town from near the castle. The pics from the castle are coming soon!

Gingerbread, a Czech staple, was also transformed into the colorful signature facades!

The photos above were taken in Lesser Town (Mala Strana), approaching the Charles Bridge, where Lesser Town and Old Town are connected. The cover photo of the candy-colored buildings are on this same street leading up to Charles Bridge in Lesser Town. Here is the bridge, the Grim Reaper, and some photos of Old Town!

I hate when the Grim Reaper ruins my pictures.
On the Charles Bridge looking toward Lesser Town!
Old Town Square
The pink buildings were my favorite.
This door!
Ending my day on top of Letna Park.

This was only day ONE, and I had to whittle down my photos for the post. I’m excited to share the rest! FYI for those wondering, the Astronomical Clock Tower is getting its own feature. Never fear. 😉 The details of Prague could be split into hundreds of posts.

For other Prague pictures and detailed captions, feel free to follow along on Instagram! @nastyjamiebee

 

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