Like most European visits I am beginning the second portion of this trip with very little sleep in my system. I’m here in Europe for seven weeks total, a wonderful month spent studying in Prague and these next three weeks backpacking. Yesterday evening– my last night in Prague– after a classical concert at the Spanish Synagogue followed by a dinner stretching until 11:30, my roommates and I headed home slowly and nostalgically. We all had to pack and clean our flat still and my wake up call was the earliest at 4:20 AM.
An hour of sleep later… here I am now, on a plane heading away from a town I fell in love with with no idea when I will be returning. I’m not going to talk about the now though, because I want to reflect on the past 30 days and paint a picture of the Prague I came to know for the people who haven’t had a chance to visit yet.
Prague goes in a lot of directions at once. Literally on a map the town is an explosion on a fold of the Vltava River. It’s also stacked really high, with all the beautiful, diversely colored, ancient buildings hugging each other’s sides 5 stories up. It’s easy to feel small and lost within the mazes of streets, or if you’re like me you’ll feel adventurous and explorative, even if on accident. Tons and tons of people find Prague really attractive, so as the summer reaches its’ peak you’ll be enveloped in huge crowds trying to acquaint the city the same way you are. Because the alcohol is so cheap, tons of stag parties are held in Prague. They’re not like American bachelor parties either, they’re much more boisterously apparent. Their defining quality lies within each parties’ homemade matching t-shirts, which is a ridiculous concept but is steadily flaunted so pridefully between groups. You see tons of these groups every day.
I don’t want to forget one bit of knowledge I’ve consumed about Prague, but of course I will– especially as I travel the next few weeks to several different cultures and countries. I hope this minuscule blog post can somehow serve as a justifiable goodbye to the town that let me grow exponentially within it.
I remember the fields and fields of yellow flowers when landing in Prague on my first day. I was exhausted (a requirement when traveling abroad) and I remember meeting each of my roommates one by one and wishing I were with people I already knew. In our first week I remember seeing a flier for an American rapper who was having a show in Prague. The four of us roommates bought tickets, each of us hoping the other’s opinions of us weren’t based off this show, because the artist’s music really is quite trash. We saw Riff Raff live, it was terrible, and we had a marvelous time.
I remember experiencing Letná Park for the first time, with its utterly outstanding view of the city’s red roofs and its cheap ciders from the beer garden. Being a 10 minute walk from home, it became an afternoon staple.
I remember taking the trip to Dresden, Germany, which will forever be a hilarious moment in time for us roommates— I wrote all about our AirBnB experience there a few posts back. It’s worth the time.
I remember my roommate Mayra’s birthday and how we celebrated her for a week straight with gifts and dinners and going out. We chose a boat party for her 21st (although meaningless in Prague– the legal drinking age is 18), and our whole program had probably what is considered too much fun. The next day I remember recovering at an Indian restaurant, the four of us roommates. Laughing, recapping, bonding.
I remember so many field trips, and winning a city-wide scavenger hunt, and I could probably recall each time I ate gelato too if you were patient enough to let me synopsize them all. I remember crying visiting my first castle because of it’s depth and charm and I remember being angry when I first got majorly lost in the streets of Prague.
I loved hard here- places, concepts, people- and I worked my ass off for images every day. I played equally as hard too. I hope when I look back on my month in the Czech Republic, I will feel nothing but pride for the woman it enabled me to grow into.
One day I’ll revisit Prague, and it’ll be joyful and nostalgic and I will fall in love all over again.
Featured image taken of me by Josh Guenther.