Two years ago in Jasper, Canada (a small town situated in the Canadian Rocky Mountains), I met Dominika from the Czech Republic. She came to Canada on a working holiday visa and we connected so well through our love of travel and the outdoors. She had happened to end up in Jasper, somewhat unplanned, and stayed there until the end of summer. We worked and hiked together! I told myself that if I found myself in Europe I would try to connect with her again.
Fast forward two years and I met Dominika in Prague. She is originally from the northern part of the country, but she currently studies in Prague. The highlight of my short time in the city was seeing her and connecting with Alaire who I met in Innsbruck and traveled to Prague with. The castle and cobble-stoned historic city itself was beautiful, but the whole experience was so much better because I could share it with two close friends.
Czech Rebulic’s history goes back a millennium and the streets are so well preserved that it’s easy to find yourself aimless wandering and exploring chapels, gardens and old-fashioned restaurants. The first evening Alaire and I found ourserlves doing just that, wandering the streets around Wenceslas Square, one of the main city squares. We were tired from traveling so we just ate dinner and returned home.
The following day we joined a free walking tour of the city. I’ve done a couple of these and I really think they’re a good way to explore and get a glimpse of the history and interesting facts (especially if you’re short for time or money).
For centuries the city of Prague has been sweeping visitors off their feet with its charming streets and well-kept towers. It is the fifth most visited European city. As you explore the city’s streets you can see that the city was gravely affected by oppression under the Nazis and Communist regimes, but through the shadowed time, you see rich culture flourish.
Prague Astronomical Clock first installed in 1410 is the oldest one in the world that is still working. the clock was built to show the course of the sun and the stars.
Almost all my meals were Czech dishes, mostly consisting of dumplings (that aren’t like Asian dumplings but more like a bread dumpling) and meats like pork (most common meat, making up over half of all meat consumption), beef and veal. Traditional Czech dish “svičková na smetaně”, (venison) sirloin with sauce made of cream and root vegetables. Meat is served with Czech dumplings, and cranberry sauce. I also enjoyed Prague-style beef goulash.
But more popular than dumplings and meat, the Czech like their beer! This country is the highest consumer of beer per person. The famous Pilsner Urquell beer was the original pilsner and first pale lager beer. Nine out of ten beers produced and consumed in the world are derived from the original Pilsen beer!
Where is the largest castle in the world? The one in Prague of course! We decide to wander around its courtyards, palaces, museums and garden in the afternoon. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the castle grounds which have been the seat of Czech kings, emperors and presidents for a thousand years.
Our day ended with a dinner with Dominika and Alaire at a restaurant that Dominika chosen for us. It was delicious and I enjoyed traditional Czech food again! I know I’ve said it already, but this trip was so special for me. I cannot wait to see both these girls in the future and go on a whole new adventure with them.