Prague: At the Heart of Europe

Prague: At the Heart of Europe

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Little Quarter Spires, PraguePrague is known as “The Golden City,” “A Symphony of Stone,” and “Rome of the North.”

But for over fifty years after I first heard “Radio Prague Calling” to me over the radio, it was “The Unattainable City.”

Finally, on my fourth trip to Europe in 2009, I made it to “The Pearl of Cities.”

There are two ways we could route our month-long journey across the European Continent once we’ve reached London:

  1. Head first to the place that will be the eastern-most stop and back-track to the British capital, or
  2. Take a short hop by train or plane across the English Channel and then wind our way eastward until figuratively reaching the end of the road.

I’ve discovered that option #1 works best because after four weeks of meandering our way through several countries, finishing the journey in London allows you to take a relatively short non-stop flight back home.

While we could take the Eurostar under the English Channel and switch trains a few times along the route to Prague, we would either depart in mid-morning from London and arrive in Prague about 11 pm local time, or take an overnight train, sleep aboard and get in around 9 am the next day.

Rather than spend that much time on the train, we’ll opt for a two-hour flight between the cities.

So on this trip we’ll follow the same path that I took back in 2009 and make our first on-the-Continent stop in Prague.

We’ll begin our two full days in Prague by making our way to the Prague Castle complex at the top of the town. It’s not just a single building, but rather a group of structures inside of a walled area.

Prague Castle Gate

Along the way we’ll walk through the “Little Quarter,” see a stark monument to the victims of Czechoslovakia’s Communist era, stop to snack on trdelniks served by a street vendor, take a peek into the Church of Saint Nicholas, and gaze up at some of the city’s famous spired buildings.

Little Quater Collage

Before entering the castle complex, we’ll pass by the Strahov Monastery and the ornate walls of the Schwarzenberg Palace.

Monastery Castle Collage

If a wedding is going on, we’ll just have wait our turn to enter the famous St. Vitus’ Cathedral inside or walk on a bit further to the Basilica and Convent of St. George.

St Vitus Collage

If we’re lucky, before we leave the castle area will have a chance to visit the toy museum where we just might find one of America’s most famous dolls, “Barbie,” on display.

Toy Museum Collage

(Tomorrow we’ll explore Prague’s Jewish Quarter and Old Town, and learn about the “Velvet Revolution.”)

(Click here to read more stories about the month-long Tales Told From The Road virtual trip across Europe.)

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