Prague. A myriad of images come to mind at the mention of the Czech Republic’s Capital City. When I was 15 and was told that Prague was the first stop on our 10 day whirlwind European tour, I actually had to google it, because I had never heard of it before. It definitely wasn’t the place I was looking forward to most, but it shocked me with how much it had to offer, and I couldn’t believe how much I fell in love with this beautiful city.
We arrived late at night by bus from the airport, and pretty much went straight into our room at Ibis Praha Old Town. My roommate and I had never been to Europe before, and we were shocked at how tiny and simplistic the rooms were. However, the Ibis had stocked us with everything we needed, it just wasn’t as extravagant as accommodation back home.
On our first morning in Prague, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the streets, the architecture, the smell of coffee and cigarettes that now will always remind me of mornings in Europe.
We made our way into the Old Town Square to do some sightseeing. It’s a very picturesque little area with lots of tourist traps, but at 16 years old it was just what I wanted to see. We then made our way to the magnificent Prague Castle (built in approx. 880). I was amazed at the entire castle, but especially the exterior.
One of the other main highlights of my time in Prague was the trip we made to see The Old Jewish Cemetery, where approximately 12,000 tombstones are presently visible. However, as many as 100,000 burials may have happened on the grounds, and what’s left behind is a haunting spectacle of cracked and deteriorating tombstones leaning upon one another.
I’ll always remember Prague as the first place I ever traveled to outside of North America. Having only spent two short days there, it’s somewhere that I didn’t get to explore nearly as much as I would have liked. Guess I’ll have to go back someday!