Prague is a dark fairy tale

by Kim on December 11, 2013 · 41 comments

Europe by train: day 22. Prague, Czech Republic.

I am in love with Prague.

This city is stunning and the people are warm and friendly. When Brian and I couldn’t find the apartment we’d rented, we ducked into a pub to ask directions. The employees crowded around us, hmm’ing and pulling up maps on our iPhone, determined to help us find our way. Eventually, we did.

Prague is like a dark fairy tale. The churches and castles embody my deepest childhood nightmares where Grimm’s fairy tales came to life. There are back-alley puppet shops and a Medieval chiming astronomical clock from 1410. A skeleton, the figure of death, rings a bell to mark each hour.  My mind races here like it did when I was a kid, when anything was possible and magic was real and evil things lived in dark rooms in cellars and under bridges.

My imagination is really running wild in Prague.

Even on the busy streets, the cobbled alleys that branch off and curve around unseen corners seem to lead to something darker. It feels like there is  an ominous secret hidden just underneath the surface of this city. Maybe it’s the weather, the dark days that lend this place it’s haunting feel?

We’re exploring Prague in the same way we see other cities- by pounding the pavement. We’ve been walking miles and miles every day, snaking through alleyways and climbing down castle stairs to explore the world below ground. Somehow we always end up back at the Christmas Market in the Old Town Square, which is perfectly fine with us.

The apartment we’ve rented has a great smoky bar (you can still smoke inside here!) that we visit for enormous beers (half a liter) that cost only $2. Then we just wander and wander, wrapping our scarves around us to stave off the cold.

We’ve walked over the Charles Bridge and climbed the hill to the Prague Castle to take in the view of the city. But for the most part we’re just wandering aimlessly, turning here or there whenever it strikes our fancy. I’m sad to say that we’ve barely scratched the surface of Prague .

After my less-than-stellar attempts to get to know Amsterdam and Berlin, Prague has electrified me again. I want to stay. I want to know more.

But that will have to wait for another time. We have a plane to catch in Budapest in just three days.

Behind the Prague Castle

 

Entrance to the Charles Bridge

 

Clock in the old town square

 

Prague from the water

 

Prague puppets

 

Walk across the Charles Bridge

 

Old Town Square

 

Old Town Square Christmas Market

 

Sun sets in Prague

You can see more photos of Prague in my Prague Facebook album.

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