The next day in Prague presented us with not-so-nice weather. Fortunately, we’re used to this kind of weather when we travel Europe. It’s pretty common over here. If you live in Europe, you know that you should never let the weather dictate your plans. We didn’t.
Although we did have to buy the Viper Pilot new socks and shoes (he apparently had a hole in one shoe and was walking around with a sopping wet foot). And after this trip we also pitched the umbrella (shown above) and got new ones. It was time for a new set.
We took a different bridge across (the one next to the Charles bridge) to see the Prague Castle. This side of the Vltava River was so unique. Exotic, easy-going, and jumbled with history.
Along the way, we stopped to see the Lennon Wall.
Once upon a time it was just a normal wall. But then came the Cold War. And the city’s hippies made this particular wall a place of pilgrimage, dedicating it to their idol and scrawling messages of love, peace, and rock ‘n’ roll all over it.
The police whitewashed over the graffiti in the 80s but every time it all reappeared the next day. This game never really ended and the wall has lost its poignancy. I think it’s colorful and nostalgic, nevertheless. I read that the the John Lennon Peace Club encourages modest graffiti, preferably in the form of little flowers. Riiiight. I think “little flowers” got misinterpreted…
The message the wall gives is very clear. And I like it. The world needs more Lennon Walls.
We wandered up the hill to find a nice place to grab lunch before getting to the castle. Along the way we took a detour to see the US Embassy. It’s a 17th-century Palace that is heavily guarded. We were informed not to dilly dally too long unless we wanted to be searched. Photography supposedly isn’t permitted (I didn’t see the sign until after taking a picture – oops). The guard saw me and didn’t say anything and if he did I would have shown him my passport and my best American smile. 🙂 But just to be safe, here’s a snippet of my photo…
Lunch was amazing and had a nice view. We ate a three course meal and washed it down with a beer. Or two? I left one of Owen’s shoes there as a token of my appreciation. (No, not really. I liked those shoes, dang it. And they were new, too.)
The Prague Castle is the most popular sight in Prague. It’s also the largest ancient castle…here’s your fun fact of the day so you can impress your friends: the total area is bigger than seven football fields. It even has an underground Starbucks.
Its history starts in the 9th century and it grew and grew and grew. It has had four major reconstructions to date. We didn’t pay to tour it, we just wandered around the gardens and saw what we could see for free. (Which was a lot, so be warned, there’s a ton of pictures to follow…)
The castle grounds are indeed enormous and wandering them took up our entire afternoon (hence the photo album I just shared with you). Prague is by far one of my favorite European cities. I want to go back and see everything we missed. I want to go back and spend a week to tour everything and learn more. I want to drink more beer, see a cheap Vivaldi or Mozart concert (they were all over the city) and pretend I’m living in the 18th century. It’s a top stop if you’re planning a European vacation. Even Owen loved Prague.
I’ll see you guys later for all the adventures of my parents’ visit! Stay tuned.