Although I was only in the Czech Republic for a short time it got under my skin. Prague, the historical capital of Bohemia, made my blood sing. As I walked through the medieval city’s cobbled streets discovering Gothic architecture and fresh cherries I couldn’t help but feel a sense of joie de vivre.
Hradcany is an amazing area to explore and includes Prague Castle, said to be the biggest castle in the world, where I watched the changing of the guards. Listening to the Prague Funfair Orchestra helped open my mind to the bohemian feel of the place, while seeing the huge, Gothic, St Vitus Cathedral reminded me that there can be beauty and faith in darkness.
I walked down into the town, buying a punnet of fresh cherries to munch, via the Charles Bridge.The bridge is a beautiful, romantic place, however the kiosks and painters do make it feel very touristy. The Old Town Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is good to visit by itself but makes a great base for exploring interesting little book shops and seeing the Astronomical Clock.
The Love Lock Bridge and Lennon Wall give Prague an edgier, creative feeling. The Love Lock Bridge is a symbol of everlasting love. Lovers fix their locks and throw away the key in a romantic expression of their desire to be together through time. Since the 1980’s the Lennon Wall has been filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti. The wall changes continuously and represents ideals such as love and peace.
For me, Prague was a feeling, a slip of a thought, an imagining. Impossibly hard to define it reminded me of midnight on the hottest summers day. A place with a dark history but where my spirit felt free and where I was reminded constantly of love, faith and hope, with a little wickedness mixed in for good measure.