Czech Republic

The best thing about being in Europe is realizing how close you are to everything. It doesn’t really matter if you’re in France or Germany or Portugal etc. You’re always a couple hours away from somewhere very cool. In the US we drive 5 hours every other weekend to go snowboarding and we never leave the state of California. Living on the west coast means you have to drive further to see the national landmarks or neighboring states. In Europe, driving 5 hours sometimes means driving through multiple countries and the mentality usually is that 5 hours in a car is an extremely long time to be driving. With that being said, Carolin and I always wanted to see Prague and it’s only a 6 hour bus ride from Mannheim which is about ten minutes from Carolin’s house in Germany. We booked a hostel and off we went. On the way there we got lucky and sat at the front of the bus on the second level so our views the entire time were amazing. Once arriving in Prague we took the metro to our hostel and just hung out and had some drinks in their basement pub. The next morning we set out to see the city. Usually when we’ve been traveling through big cities, it’s a little overwhelming and after the first day we’re ready to get back out into the wilderness and into our tent but Prague had a different vibe. Firstly, Prague was probably the most beautiful city either of us has seen. It’s hard to pinpoint why we felt that way but the way it’s situated nestled into the river and the surrounding hills, combined with a couple absolutely stunning cathedrals and architecture, makes it a visually stimulating city to walk through.

We only had a couple days in Prague and immediately felt like we could stay longer. The first day we visited a communism museum in downtown and learned a little about the history of communism in Prague. Relatively speaking it wasn’t that long ago that Prague was controlled by communists. Even before that somebody explained to us why Prague was so intact. In a nutshell during WW2 Hitler was looking to take over Czechoslovakia, Prague was basically annexed to Germany and from what we understood, there was less fighting going on in this city then in other parts during the war. There were also terrible things that happened in Prague and to the Czech people but talking about how intact the structures are and how they survived is pretty amazing. There were over 200 historical sites that had been damaged but the city feels more intact then any we’ve been to.

On our third day in Prague we jumped onto a non traditional walking tour. What that means is that our guide is someone who prefers showing tourists the non touristy areas and we see the city from different angles. Instead of seeing the front of the Prague castle we saw the back and surrounding gardens for example. Everywhere he took us he made a point to show us a different view of the city. After the walking tour Carolin and I walked down to the Charles bridge and the main square in downtown Prague. We familiarized ourselves with their efficient public transportation system and spent the rest of our time just enjoying the streets and cruising around. It was a short lived trip into Prague and we were convinced it was definitely worth a trip back. It’s funny when we book our destinations in advance and try to decide how much time we need. Usually when we only have a couple days somewhere it turns out being a cool place and we wish we would have stayed longer. But we have to push on south to Munich so we can’t stay but we will be back.

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