Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We are now in Potsdam, Germany, a small town outside of Berlin. We have been able to see 3 of Europe's most beautiful and influential cities. And looking back on the three we have both agreed that our favorite city so far has been Prague. Although Budapest was absolutely gorgeous, it was a bit too big and busy for us. The architecture was incredible and unlike any other place I have been. It was like taking a trip back in time but still being surrounded by the modern world. But where many other people love that, we felt it was a bit stressful. Not to mention the weather was a bit on the warm side for my comfort levels. Prague on the other hand was much smaller. The buildings and the architecture though, was just as incredible as Budapest. Maybe because Prague was smaller, there was a much more light and happy feeling in the city and in the people. We had a similar schedule of exploring the Czech Republic as we did in Hungary...


We arrived in Prague in the evening and spent spent the rest of the evening searching out some food. We walked into the main city center, which was called Old Town Square and got some dinner and people watched. We sat down at a little restaurant in Old Town Square and ordered some dinner to split, like we normally do, and it came out about a quarter of the size we were expecting at a high price we were not expecting. So, we made some mental notes to be more careful about where we choose food from, went back the hostel and made some peanut butter and jelly rice cakes.


We decided right off the bat to rent bikes to see the city because you can cover so much more ground on two wheels than on two feet. We are not into bus tours and walking tours are too long, so we got a map of Prague and found our own bike route around the city. We rode from Old Town Square up to the Prague Castle, which was a rather hard bike ride on a fixed gear beach cruiser. Those bikes are HEAVY! But like normal, Becca blew me out of the water and was waiting at the top of the hill fully recovered by the time I came huffing and puffing up it. We locked up the bikes and explored the castle by standing oddly close to some tours to hear what they were saying. The city was absolutely gorgeous! We fell in love with the Prague vibes and the loving feeling. That night we did one of our favorite things and went to a jazz club and watched a Czech Jazz band play. They were incredible.


Just like in Budapest, we felt we had had enough of the bustling city and decided we wanted to explore a bit more of the Czech Republic. So we took a bus about an hour and a half to a small town called Jichin (pronounced Jee-cheen). It was a small town a single street for all of the towns needs. From there we rented bikes and jumped on a trail that took us from the small town and wound us into the rural fields and forests of the Czech Republic. It was absolutely incredible. The scenery was unlike anything I had seen before. We spent the whole day riding the fields on our bikes. We came across a Czech prison and turned around and rode away as quickly as our legs could peddle. There was a sculpture outside of these 10 foot high walls that were lined with barbed wire. The sculpture was an extremely gruesome and violent depiction of a prisoner being captured and at that moment Becca and I were able to put two and two together and realized we were outside a prison and literally didnt say another word before booking it out the direction we had come. But, after that we made it to some open fields and were able to breathe in some fresh Czech air. It was amazing!


We again spent a day getting everything organized for the places we were planning on traveling after. I did a nice run down the Danube in the city and Becca took the day for her hip to recover. We walked into Weencelaus Square which is the main square in Prague (and we just found out, was the sight of many huge riots at the end of the World War through until the fall of the Berlin Wall). We explored the city again, trying to find some of the important buildings we had missed before. Then, that night, while we were trying to find something for dinner, Becca decided we should try some of the famous Prague ham. So we went into Old Town Square again, and it turned out that it was the opening night of the Prague Jazz Festival. So we sat on the Old Town Statue in the center of the square, ate ham and listened to some amazing avant garde jazz. We enjoyed it so much.


When we had gone to Jichin the first time we had asked for some suggested hiking trails... but it turned out we had missed the only bus to get us there. So we decided we would get up early and make the morning journey to Jichin again and from there catch another small bus to a region called Chesky Raj. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in the Chesky Raj, the most famous of which is called Prachovsky Skally. The hike follows several different and in our typical fashion, we threw the maps our the window and wound our way through the trails. Prachovsky Skally is made up of towering rocks that you can climb up and down, wind through and explore. At the top of the rocks you can oversee all of the Czech Republic. We could see all of the fields we rode our bikes a couple days before. From the bottom you looked straight up walls of rock and trees. It was incredible and it was so much fun to hike and be in nature again. It made me so excited to get back to the mountains of Colorado and Forest Park in Portland!! That night we again made the trip back to Prague in time to catch the Jazz Festival. This time we were charmed by a two person spanish band. They were mesmerizing and drew the crowd to silence with their music. It was so simple, the woman, Silvia Perez sang in a natural spanish voice while her other band member played a new instrument that was like a steel drum but upside down. The two were fabulous and caught the full attention of everyone who was in the square that night. If you get a chance download their album called LLAMA. It was amazing.


We packed our bags and made our way to Berlin. The trip was not fun as we were sitting in coach and there was not much room, but it was only 5 hours and so it was not too bad.

More about Berlin coming at the end of the week. Hope that paints a good picture of Prague for you... I HIGHLY SUGGEST GOING, if you ever get the chance. It is an incredible city.

I miss you all and cant wait to talk more. All my love!!




1 comment:

  1. Thank u for taking me on the tour of Prague! I feel like I am right there with u both! What an amazing time! So happy that u r having fun and experiencing different cultures and places! Have loved reading all of ur posts:) U both r so adventurous! Can't wait for Germany! Love u! Xo