Visiting Prague, At Last!

View of Prague's terracotta rooftops and the Vltava River
Prague’s rooftops and river, seen from St. Vitus Cathedral Tower

I’ve wanted to go to Prague for longer than I can remember, although I couldn’t have said why that was. Perhaps all travellers to Prague come home transformed into fervent advertising features and I met one of them on a train years ago. That might seem a wild guess, but people on trains have often told me things.  

I usually had a book with me and used to think it was the presence of the book that drew so many people in to interrupt me with a comment. Looking back, I’d guess it was a manner of being that drew them in – something that made them feel it was OK to interrupt.

In this spirit, a dishevelled-looking fifty year old man sitting opposite once asked what I was reading. I showed him the cover. It was D.H. Lawrence’s travel essays: fairly dry; definitely not a pot boiler.

He looked at me slyly and said: ’That’s ’im as writes them mucky books.’

I had to indicate that it was.

All kinds of vague protestations rose up – I was an English student, studying; it wasn’t one of the ‘rude’ ones; what was it to do with him, anyway – but I suppressed them and have treasured the moment ever since. It tickles my sense of humour. And, as Oscar Wilde said, if there’s anything that anyone can wrongly accuse you of, that’s something to be grateful for (I paraphrase).

Colourful houses in Prague's Little Venice area
Prague’s Little Venice

A really nice older gentleman I met around the same time on a broken down train from Edinburgh chatted to me, gave me sandwiches and assured me I had to go to Delphi – that it was the most wonderful experience. Delphi is still on my to-visit list. I wonder if it is still as lovely as he’d found it back then.

So it does seem logical to suspect that I once met a long forgotten, fervent human advertisement on a train, fresh from Prague. After our short visit earlier this year realised the dream, I’m scared to write as lyrically as I feel about this lovely old European city. I don’t want you to spend a lifetime feeling a vague but insistent desire to go to Prague, no matter how far away, unlikely or inconvenient it might be. 🙂

The only trouble is Prague speaks for itself.

Prague silhouetted from Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge, Prague, at dawn

Shared for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Favourite Place. It’s definitely one of them!

52 Replies to “Visiting Prague, At Last!”

    1. I don’t know if I’d climb the tower again to get the city view, but it was good to do it once. The bellringing started while we were up there, and was almost as disorienting as the narrow spiral staircase.

  1. I think Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s so sprawling and the fact that the roofs of the buildings are basically all the same color fascinates me. I read a book about a Holocaust survivor from Prague. It described the city very well. Sso glad you got to go.

  2. Travelling with a book is the best way to start a conversation. But it’s also a great way to ignore people if you don’t fancy chatting to anyone.

    Where I live in Seville, you hardly see anyone reading books on the metro. It’s a shame really, all those lost conversations. Everyone is buried into their phone, checking WhatsApp, taking selfies, or playing a rubbish game that will leave them feeling empty and frustrated. If I was the president of Spain, I’d make it compulsory to read a book and chat to other book lovers.

    I’d love to take a train from Seville to Prague, your photos show delights that await. I’ve heard the beer is fine, but I’d look most to conversations with other book lovers, especially travel literature lovers.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    Barry O’Leary

    1. Compulsory might be a step too far, but you make a good point. I’m sure you’d enjoy Prague. I’m not a beer drinker, but my sweetheart found a dark rose beer he liked.

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