The last city on the European leg of our journey was Prague. At this point we were starting to get weary of the winter weather in Europe and were looking forward to the warmth of southeastern Asia. And the lack of sleep was catching up to us. So we decided to take it easy, and just hit some of the main sites in Prague that were close by, spending most of our time at the old town square and Prague Castle.
No trip to Prague would be complete without watching the Astronomic clock strike. Even though I’d seen it before it was still sorta mysterious and magical to watch it again.
We decided to pick up a Prague card, which included a trip to the top of the clock tower. The view of the old town square is nice, especially since it was decked out for Christmas. It had a Christmas market similar to the ones in Vienna.
We probably didn’t get our money’s worth on the Prague card, since we didn’t visit any museums and we didn’t ride the subway very much. But we did get to ride a boat underneath the Charles Bridge, which we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.
One of the things I love most about Prague is the architecture. There’s a ton of old buildings and towers with beautiful spires.
Much of our sightseeing time in Prague was spent at the Prague Castle complex. We arrived just before the daily changing of the guard. I had staked out a spot outside of the gates to watch and take photos of the ceremonial changing.
But then I later found that it was actually more interesting to watch from inside the gates. Inside of the gates you can watch the band playing in the windows, and you can watch the officers performing their inspection of the soldiers.
Inside of Lobkowicz Palace there’s a daily classical concert. The ensemble and performers apparently changes daily. We had a piano, flute, and violin perform a lot of classical pieces, some of which I recognized even with my extremely limited knowledge of classical music. I wasn’t sure on etiquette during these sorts of things so I didn’t take a picture during the performance, but in hindsight I wish I had since they were so talented.
Even though it seemed like we didn’t spend too much time in the castle, we stayed until it started to get dark. During the golden hour the lights came on at St Vitus cathedral, and the tree in front of the cathedral was lit up as well, making for a much better nicer photo than the one I took earlier in the afternoon.
By the time we reached the front of the castle it was getting pretty dark. The lights were starting to come on throughout the old town. Prague is a beautiful city, and the old town is even more beautiful at night.
The city of Prague holds a special place in my heart. Prague is the first city I had ever visited in Europe, and the similarly titled “Passage to Prague” is my first trip journal on this blog for an international destination. The train ride from Prague to Vienna during that trip was my first time riding the rails through Europe, and it was also my first experience traveling solo.
It’s been almost two years since that trip, and I’ve seen a little more of Europe since then. And it’s amazing to see how far I’ve come as a traveler– back then Prague and Vienna were the destinations, this time around Vienna and Prague were just stepping stones in a much longer journey. But even though I’ve become somewhat of a more seasoned traveler, it’s nice to see that places like Prague still have a bit of magic left in them.