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. Prague is magical! The castles, the Charles Bridge, the ornate architectire, they are all right out of a fairytale storybook!! One of our favorite holidays, I hope to go back there again.

    1. That’s going to be a great trip. Is it one of the ones you lead and arrange that take in all the best gardens, or a holiday?

  2. Lovely shots. Years ago on an underground train I sat reading Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses. Sitting next to me, a bearded gentleman of Eastern appearance leant over and advised me to put a cover on it. I then noticed he was reading the same novel, wrapped in brown paper. He had been to Brighton to purchase his copy because he was afraid to be seen buying it in London. I didn’t like the book anyway.

    1. That’s a great story. I’ve often felt that train travel can intensify the moment so we remember it vividly. It might be a side effect of the passivity of it, or all that waiting.

  3. Brilliant introduction to Prague and your reason for being there. It is a fascinating city I will agree. And your view of Charles Bridge at dawn is wonderful – so very different to what it is like several hours later.

  4. Prague was always on my list too. However, the last two sets of friends who visited were overwhelmed by the crowds, and it’s put me off. Whom should I believe? Them? …. or you (I want to believe you!)

    1. We were there in February. I don’t enjoy being in a crowd either but my sweetheart, who likes crowd-watching, wondered whether it might be too quiet at that time. Neither of us had any cause for concern – there was a nice balance of life, bustle, space and peacefulness. If you can pick your time to travel, you’ll be fine. It’s a great place for walking too.

  5. We loved Prague altho I must admit we never saw little Venice. I suppose we’ll just have to go back! Loved your story about the people on trains.

    1. Yep, there’s no help for it! It is fairly small, so is easy to miss – this view was taken just a few steps away from the castle side of the Charles Bridge.

  6. I’m smiling at remembered train conversations. We loved Prague, but it was indeed very crowded and somehow we overlooked little Venice, which certainly looks worth a visit. The photos are beautiful, Susan.

    1. Thank you. I don’t know what it is about train conversations – if there was a database especially for them, I’d love to research it!

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