Studying abroad and traveling to all of these cities reminds me of choosing a college to attend. Each time I visit a new city, I try to rate it in comparison to the others. I make judgments about the city based upon the locals I meet, the experiences I have, and the weather. Prague was my favorite city thus far.
The Prague experience began at 6:50am on Saturday morning, March 1st when the train pulled out of Wien Praterstern and I was sitting in a train car by myself. Wyatt and I agreed to travel to Prague together, but he overslept and missed the early morning train. I could not get a hold of him, and I was utterly terrified. Could I navigate this city on my own? I had only traveled in groups so far, and I was a bundle of worries.
Eventually, I got over it. I knew if I stood tall and entrusted in a map I would be okay. As one of my mentors, Conway says, “It’s all about stature.”
And so, I survived the train ride and made it to Prague. I exited the train station and headed towards the hostel near the center of town. Within moments a beggar approached me. After a few words of rejection, I confidently passed him and continued on my way. My sense of direction took me on a one and a half hour detour through the city before I was able to locate the hostel. Honestly, I did not mind because I was in awe, as I am with most of these European cities. This is some of what I saw during my unintentional tour:
|Beautiful statue of musicians|
|I loved the vintage sign!|
|Sculpture made entirely out of recycled tires|
|How did they do it?|
Finally, I made it to the hostel, which was wonderful. It was called Old Prague Hostel. The location was perfect, the staff was friendly, a towel and linen were provided, and the rooms were clean and pleasant. Here is a view of the street from my hostel window:
|It was a clear, sunny day|
After settling in, I decided to go out, explore, and enjoy the spring weather. My first encounter was a large statue glistening in the sun. It was David Cerny's 'In Utero'. This was a perfect introduction to Cerny's work, as he is a popular sculpture artist in Prague (You'll see another one of his works at the end of this post).
|David Cerny's 'In Utero', 2013|
Near 'In Utero' was the Franz Kafka Monument. To the right of the statue was a couple I chose to crop out. When I snapped this photo, it looked as if the couple was trying to take a "selfie" with the statue. I asked them in English if they wanted me to take a photo of the two of them. The woman responded, "Was?" and I knew they were German speakers. We went on to have a short conversation in German, I took their photo, and I was on my way. I love being able to practice my languages!
|The Franz Kafka Monument|
I continued on to the Old Town Square (using the handy map the hostel gave me. I think I've become a decent navigator since coming abroad). The sunlight was perfect as I approached the square, and this bustling area looked like paradise. Busy with locals, tourists, musicians, and vendors I felt very at home.
|Old Town Square|
|On The Charles Bridge|
The next day, we started by walking to The Charles Bridge from the hostel. It was a Sunday morning, and the streets and the bridge were very peaceful.
|The Astronomical Clock|
|The Charles Bridge on a Sunday morning|
|The John Lennon Wall|
|The St. Vitus Cathedral|
|'Piss' by David Cerny|
|As artsy photo of 'Piss'|
|Mucha's 'Princess Hyacinth', 1911|