Insights: news and views from the International Center

International Center

University of Missouri

Easter holiday in Prague

Filed in Blog, Czech Republic, United Kingdom by on April 12, 2016
by Valerie S.

We arrived in Prague very late on Wednesday night. We were at the train station for almost two hours trying to figure out how to get to the hostel. Normally, we would walk or take a train. But it was too far to walk and too small of a city for trains. We decided to take an Uber, but our hostel was on a pedestrian-only street, so our Uber driver got us as close as he could. We couldn’t find a sign for the hostel, so we asked a girl about our age working as a small message place to help up. When we found the hostel, she walked us all the way up to reception before she said goodbye. She was so very nice and we appreciated her help so much.

Because it was so late, we went straight to bed before our day of exploration. When we woke up, we decided to walk to the main square of town (Old Town Square), which was only about a 10 minute walk, and find something to eat for breakfast. We were there at the best time of year — the Easter festival. We ended up forgetting about breakfast for a while and walked around to look at all the food and handmade crafts they had to offer. It was an absolute fairy tale walking into the Old Town Square.

We broke away and found a small but absolutely amazing little cafe, off the beaten path and down a small side street (that also had a cat store called Cat Gallery that we did wander into after breakfast), and the food was amazing. We each got coffee and split three main meals, and didn’t even feel guilty about getting so much food because of how delicious it all was.

Handcrafted Easter eggs

Handcrafted Easter eggs

After breakfast, we made a point to look at every single little shop at the festival. There were so many stores with painted eggs (a traditional Easter activity), jewelry stores were Meredith and I got semi-matching rings, blacksmiths who made all these medieval looking necklaces, figurines and trinkets, so many food stands (including hot wine and trdlos, which is bread made in a cylindrical shape, open at both ends and filled with Nutella and ice cream), and so many little Prague (or Praha) items like magnets or little ceramic cottages. Mere and I ate way too many trdlos while we were in Prague, but I definitely do not regret it at all.

Prague from the tower

Prague from the tower

Once we’d visited every single little stand on the square, we bought a ticket to climb the tower to see a panoramic view of the city. The view, as well as the climb, was breathtaking! Prague is such an old city with so much history and there were signs to read about the history of the square as we walked up to the top.

Astronomical clock on Old Town Square

Astronomical clock on Old Town Square

When we came back down, there was a massive crowd gathered around the famous astronomical clock because it was just before the hour. The sound that the clock made when it rang was beautiful, and as it rang, all the apostles came in and out of the little windows above the face of the clock, and death (a skeleton) rang his bell and turned over the hourglass. There are so many different aspects to the clock, including the astronomical dial representing the positions of the sun and moon, a calendar dial representing the months of the year, and all of the apostles and other figures. It is also the oldest operating astronomical clock in the world and was built in 1410.

After witnessing this amazing clock, we explored a different part of town, and then came back to the square for dinner. We sat for two and a half hours on a restaurant’s patio under heat lamps, just eating and people watching. At one point, we were eating dessert and drinking our coffee, the clock was dinging in the background, and a horse and carriage walked by. It was the most beautiful moment that I will remember for the rest of my life, and I’m so glad I was able to experience it. The whole day was really just a fairy tale. Nothing seemed real in this city because it’s all so old, beautiful and historic.

We had the whole day on Friday before we had to get on our overnight train to Vienna. In the morning, we got a taxi up to the top of the castle and walked through the castle, cathedral and a street called Golden Lane. This was almost too touristy, so Meredith and I didn’t stay very long and started working our way back to the hostel by stopping at a few sites along the way. Our first destination after the castle was the Lennon Wall, which had a bunch of quotes on it. It was pretty hard to read because it has all been painted over so many times, but was still very interesting and colorful sight to see. Next we walked to the old Jewish cemetery, but decided the entrance fee was too much, so we made our way back to the Old Town Square again. We walked around the shops and had an earlier dinner. We had so much time to waste that we ended up going to a coffee shop for three hours before we had to head to the train station. Now off to Vienna we go!

About the blogger

Valerie S. is studying abroad at Lancaster University in Lancaster, United Kingdom.

Comments are closed.