One of the sweetest cities in Europe.. I am sure you will long to go there a second time just for the ”FEEL GOOD” factor. After the split of Czechoslovakia, this city is the capital of the Czech Republic. We were here in later winter, so warm clothes were mandatory. It also drizzled on the third day. Check the weather predictions and be prepared.
The city center has the famous clock tower which has moving dolls coming out at the bong of every hour. So don’t miss to go near the clock at the 55th minute of the hour to watch the fun. The city center is full of activity – musical and dance shows that are really native- you can explore attractions nearby on your own or with a Free walk tour. The reverse clock won my heart. We were strolling along when a guy in early 20’s asked me if I can make a video for him. We started rolling the camera when he suddenly pulled out a ring and proposed marriage to his girl friend. She said YES ! It was like a movie unfolding in front of us 🙂 Love gives so much happiness – even when you stand witness to it 🙂
The Charles bridge, with beautiful figurines adds unbelievable beauty to Prague. We kept walking along this bridge everyday that we were at Prague as it was really addicting. The Prague castle is one of the biggest that I have seen. It is housed on the mountain top and looks very charming from the Charles bridge.
We did a day tour to Kutna Hora – the gold mining and money minting town(not now). We booked a tour to this city and I had this as my main agenda in the Prague vacation plan. We couldn’t find the meeting point of the group and we missed them. I was completely upset. A brilliant plan stuck my husband like a lighting !! We decided to go to the train station. Since there was only one train to Kutna Hora, this group must be on it and we could catch up with them. The plan sounded bingo and we were literally running to the train station.
My husband Arun, happened to ask the way to the train station to a local..
- Arun : Can you tell us the way to the train station?
- He : You are from India?? Oh wow. I love India. I love Bollywood movies.. Oh superb. Indiaaaaaa yeahhh !!!
- Arun : Oh that’s great. Thanks. Can you tell us the way to the station?
- He : Yes.. To the right..
My husband shook his hand to say Thanks and that guy caught hold of his hand. He wouldn’t let go in spite of seeing we were in a hurry.
- He : Do you know this song ”Yaadoon ki.. something”
- Arun : Ya.. It is Yaadoon ki Baaraat !! (Mind voice: leave us man. We have a train to catch)
- He : Pls pls pls.. sing a line for me..
Oh my God !! What the hell !! I was so furious. My husband had no other go and he started singing”Yaadon Ki Baraat.. Nikli Hai Aaj.. Dil Ke Dwaare..” That man joined in chorus ” Dil Ke Dwaare.. Dil Ke Dwaare..” I was literally like – ”whats wrong with both of you!! We are gonna miss the train” He let go my husband’s hand and started stretching his arms out for a dance. We ran away in a second and heard him shouting ”You sing very well”. Not the time you would long for appreciation !! But now every time we hear this song, we have something to laugh about 🙂
We succeeded in meeting the group at the train station and joined them for more than an hour-long ride to KutnaHora. Success 🙂 When we got down from the train, I was taken back to see such a quiet town- I had read a lot about it and expected it to be touristy. (I mentioned this place to a friend. She said that no local in Prague could guide them to this place and they missed going to KutnaHora – looks like its not very famous in a typical tourist plan. A place too good to not be out of your itinerary)
Kutna Hora is a gloomy place. Looks like the sad stories of the blind miners, the deaf goldsmiths and the people who suffered in war and economic fall, are still lingering in the air. People started burying the dead in a particular area and soon it ran out of space. So a royal family employed an artist to dig out all the graves and design a Chapel with ONLY BONES that were dug out!! To imagine how someone can think of such an idea- leave alone getting it executed – but yes, today the bone chapel stands in glory. Its not very scary or disgusting. In fact the beauty is, it makes you awe at its marvel. In the below picture you can see a chandelier, which contains all the bones of the human body.
That night we went up the Petrin tower. Mountain tram takes you up the hill. The walk down is filled with wonderful statues. You get a lovely view of the city as well. We had been to Paris hardly a month back. This tower looked like a crazy mobile tower lighted with green bulbs(no offense pls :-P). The view of the city and the mountain train are good 🙂
We are never early raisers, but Prague is a cute city which can be best enjoyed in the early mornings.We walked up the enchanting path to the castle at dawn. Don’t miss this walk(even though you have the option to go by train) !! The fresh breeze and the lovely walls.. 🙂
The Prague castle is more of a small town on top of the mountain. It has a huge church and a narrow lane called the ”Golden Lane”. You need to buy complete access pass to go to all the areas of the castle. The Golden lane is so well preserved and so amazing that you cannot believe this existed for real in the past. Looked more like a film set to me – but that’s what Europe is – medieval beauty so well preserved !! We watched the changing of the guards(not like that in London – but small party and charming too).
There was a guy who was protesting outside the gate as the march was happening. I was curious, spoke to him and found out that he has been protesting in front of the castle for many years against the Government’s policies. He told me this ”Oh you are from India? Indian government is very good. You have a great democracy” That Independence day flag-saluting patriotic moment for me.(unable to find more details about him now) 🙂
There is good night life too, with some of the largest pubs in the world. Pub crawling and Segway tours are the in-things. We went to the church of Infant Jesus which has a small statue made of wax. Its origins are unknown and it is definitely the best statue of Jesus I have seen till now.
- The day passes work the best. 24, 48 hour passes etc.
- Its a relatively cheap town(if you have been to the Swiss recently or if you are used to spending in Euros) Doesn’t accept Euros. So carry your credit card or exchange there.
- Stay close to the Charles bridge so all the attractions become easily accessible. There are wonderful Indian restaurants too 🙂
- Trains to and from Kutna-Hora run only once at hour. Check the timings well in advance. Separate tickets need to be purchased to travel in that train.
Do not miss this wonderful city which gives you mystic and beautiful memories. I will definitely back after a few years to visit this city again. A less sung city in Europe – hope you add it to your bucket list. 🙂