The engines roar, loud and high, eager for take off. I slip my hand into Adam’s and I feel a slight squeeze, a reassurance. I feel our bodies being pushed back into our seats as our plane goes full speed down the runway, and suddenly, we lift off! I smile, what a magical feeling – flying! Prague is dark when we arrive, showing off it’s beauty with lights and accents. The buildings ornate in a Baroque and Rococo style, my design senses are tantalized and I soak everything in. We walk along stone sidewalks, 3 inch squares, such beautiful craftsmanship that we can’t help but admire. The market square holds a beautiful cathedral, but the top looks like a castle, something from Disney, and I feel like a princess. This was the perfect start to celebrating my birthday weekend! We begin the celebrations underneath the market square, in a dark jazz lounge and we enjoy a late meal together, traditional Czech duck with cabbage for Adam, a simple tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad sprinkled in balsamic vinegar for myself. The jazz singer croons away to the swish of the drum while we enjoy bite after bite and each others company. Bellies full we enjoy the quiet of the city while tourists start making their way home. The Astronomical Clock chimes and moves, and flashes of light fill it up from the cameras capturing the moment. I always find tourists attractions amusing, people taking endless photos. We enter our Art Deco hotel, a surprise gift from Adam. It’s not our usual choice of hotel, but it’s filled with dark mahogany, dark green tiles, linear symmetry and flowing asymmetrical organic forms. In a single night I feel like my Interior design education is finally being put to use!
The light is diffused under the morning clouds, teasing us with thoughts of spring. We enjoy a quiet morning while drinking lattes and croissants, people watching as they begin their morning errands. The last sip enjoyed, we head towards our destination. I comment on the quiet of the city, for one so large you would think it would be bustling and noisy, people going this way and that. However, it was like they enjoy the moment along with you, admiring their city. We walk up a thick red carpet staircase, and purchase tickets, for two. The Communist Museum, off the map, not filled with tourists and difficult to find, is exactly what we were looking for. I want to understand, to know it’s history more then Kings and Queens and Castles. We make our way through taking everything in, the stories and artifacts, and I feel the weight of the consequences of people’s decisions. I begin to understand. I see why the city is the way it is. Filled with information our spirits a little somber we exit and wander more, walking slowing along the flowing river. We talk of nothing of importance, mostly just saying whatever comes to mind as I photograph decay and graffiti. We laugh with each other, smiling, flirting, enjoying this. Together. A shopping excursion is complete and I feel fashionable, I ask for photos to be taken of me. To remember this moment, this feeling. Us achieving a dream together! We walk by a few sights, but nothing strikes our fancy enough to actually enter. The evening winds down in a minimalist lounge, white upon white. We enjoy drinks of bubbly, filled with mint and black current and walk home laughing. Together.
The sun is shinning, another tease that spring is upon us. We wear lighter clothing eager for the sun to be on our faces, we leave the tours and attractions behind us for a little while and walk towards a traditional Czech market. We pass by modern day Gypsies, more known as squatters. The smell is unbearable, their camps next to the river, broken down, filled with others trash. My heart breaks. The market is filled with products and produce, where the locals shop. We feel less like tourists when they start speaking to us in Czech. A new purse is acquired before we jump on the tram to join the tourists. The grounds are beautifully manicured, the guards stand to protect (or attract I’m not too sure) the majestic Prague Castle. Such a distinct difference from the squatters and locals. The view of the city below is breath taking. The cathedral inside the grounds, intricate, ornate, and so cold inside that we see our breath when we whisper to each other. If it wasn’t so cold it would be a place for quiet meditation, to stand in awe and wonder. The windows are a beautiful array of stories told through rainbow coloured glass reflecting onto the dark walls. Slowly, everything is done in slow movements, we walk across the Charles Bridge. Buskers, singers, artists all fighting for our attention. Everyone scrambling for space, moving towards their destination, but we stop to take in the architecture of the bridge. A bridge built in 1357 has so much history that I try and imagine Prague through the years, how the past has made such an impact on this beautiful city. The sun starts to set and a warm glow peeks through the small streets and alleyways, the shadows beckoning the night to come.
The sky is gray again the morning but before we leave to catch our flight home, but we decide to visit the National Museum. It’s large, dark, almost angry looking as it stands at the top of a hill looking down the street. In front of the museum we pay our respects to two very brave individuals who took their lives in a attempt to fight Communism. Years later they are now respected, a plaque in the place of their death. There is so much history here. Kings, and Queens, and Castles, along with wars, fighting for freedom, and times of rejoicing. It puts things in perspective, and I feel blessed that such a city could have such an impact on me in such a short time. If you’d like to see more photos, I’ve created an album of our photos in Prague, here!