Last week I left my desk behind and set off to Prague - gorgeous capital city of the Czech Republic - with some girlfriends for fun and frolics. I just know I'll be inspired to set a story here very soon, the atmosphere, the architecture and the people were stories/plots/characters waiting to happen.
INXS - remember them? - were my first introduction to Prague back in the 80's so I was super keen to see how it compared to this moody video.
I love the gothic steeples.
These guys were great and had quite a crowd!
Astronomical Clock. Beautiful. Apparantly the man who designed it (hundreds of years ago) impressed the local authorities so much that they cut off his tongue and gouged out his eyes so he couldn't build (or tell anyone how to) another one. Nice! He was obviously furious so climbed up the tower and hurled himself onto the clock mechanics. His body stopped it working and it took 100 years to be fixed. I guess he was ahead of his time.
Monument on the Charles Bridge.
View from the Charles Bridge - reminded me of Venice.
Entrance to Prague Castle - We climbed 260 spiral steps to the top to enjoy the views...
After a couple of days the busy city was making me a little stir crazy (I'm a country girl at heart) so we hired bikes and cycled 40k out of town to Karlstejn Castle. It was completely magical when we arrived but the journey there was equally so. I particularly liked these little 'summer houses'. When the country was communist, citizens were either allowed a car OR a second home. Second homes, despite building materials being in short supply, were very popular as they offered privacy from stewards (locals who would report people to the authorities for listening to the 'wrong' music or having the 'wrong' attitude toward their family) and the chance to grow their own food. They're very sweet, these houses, and actually quite expensive now.
View from the summer houses - this pretty, lazy river. And proof I was on a bike LOL
A refreshing glass of Kofola (see how they cleverly got around the copyright!). Cola was banned under the communist regime so a pharmaceutical company came up with this. It tastes like coke but with a healthy sprinkle of herbs. I really liked it, very refreshing. It's still incredibly popular with the Czech population.
Not a summer house, but a gorgeous chateau I could easily live in!
Our destination! Karlstejn Castle. Another endless set of steps to the top, but well worth it.
Original castle door.
Trip back to Prague with a stop off at the Ice Bar for a vodka cocktail!
Frozen wall decorations.
Then lazy jazz in the Square before heading to the airport. I'm already planning a trip back!
Thanks for reading, and if you've visited Prague do let me know your highlights.
PS. Just to prove I'm totally inspired by beautiful cities, check out One Night in Cape Town, a story I was compelled to write after my trip to South Africa.