I awoke in the morning feeling recharged and relaxed for the first time on my trip, grabbing some toast on the run I headed to the outskirts of Prague. The views over the city were amazing and the cool but sunny day was refreshing. After many hours of walking I ended up at Prague castle or Hradcany Castle as it is known. The castle was built around 800AD and was once home to the royal family however is now home to the president of the Czech Republic. The cathedral within the centre of the compound, St Vitus Cathedral, has impressive views from the top with a sorted array of artwork, typical of Catholic origins. The remaining complex housed various cobbled street alleys and souvenir stores, typical of many castles within Europe. However this was one of the most magical castles I had seen on my journey so far.
I continued on from here strolling the various streets along the North bank. With the many marionette and craft stores I felt like I had stepped back into medieval times where Knights were Knights and true craftsman perfected their skill. With so many Baroque churches and cathedrals it was easy to feel the presence of religion on this city. The beautiful art work and architecture that was evident at every corner was intoxicating however definitely not suffocating. Once I completed my walk on the northern side I knew it was time to approach the one attraction that I was eagerly awaiting, the Charles Bridge.
Upon crossing the bridge my breath was taken away! The statues of the various saints, the views of the old town, the dominance of the overlooking castle, the striking bridge gates and moody weather above were a sight to behold. I had truly entered a fairytale world and something that I can not explain except to say this is a must see! Various local characters were playing music and dancing with marionettes and friendly art work sellers dotted the bridge, it was forever fascinating. However do not expect to share this moment by yourself, as the hundreds of other people around you will also be awe struck at exactly the same thing you are seeing. I just stood there for an hour taking as many photos as I could, trying with all hope to be able to create the atmosphere on film, however I honestly failed. This would be the first of many trips to this bridge over the four days in Prague.
After some hesitation and with the cold starting to affect me, I headed towards my hostel to gain some much needed warmth and rest from the cold air outside. On my way back I passed various little markets selling all sorts of things from marzipan blocks to steins, it was a fantastic look into the local produce. Glass is a typical product of Prague and their abilities in hand blowing is original and gifted. I bought some fresh fruit and headed back for a few hours, however not before I grabbed a sausage from one of the vendors. Okay here is a handy tip for you:- No matter how good they smell, how clean the stores look and how busy they may be……DON’T EAT THEM. Unless of course you want to have serious indigestion for the next week and not see anything more than the toilet seat!
I spent the night in my hostel chatting to the various travellers, who along with myself, found it a little too cold to venture into the night. It has always surprised me about the many interesting people you meet when travelling. From Canadians, Australians, Americans and Europeans – travelling has sure opened my eyes.