Hi guys! Been a little while with finals & traveling back to the States but I’m back on my feet again with the blog!! Without further ado, here’s how my country-hopping semi-solo spring break trip went!
First stop was the magical, fairytale-like town of Prague, Czech Republic. With Easter just days away, the city looked the part – making it all the more enchanting.
Old Town Square
This is the main part of the city – including a temporary Easter village along with some of the famous monuments that make the square what it is today. Two of them being the famed Clock Tower and also the Gothic Church (seen below). The food was great in this village!! More on that later though, for now we’ll go into the monuments around the city.
Every hour on the hour, this glistening clock tower (oldest functioning of its size in the world) has moving statues & a rooster that pops out! Such a cute touch to it and people always crowd around it before it starts so you’ll never miss it. There are three types of clocks on this tower: Roman, 24 hr, and astrological (calendar).
The astrological one is a little more unique than just the calendar – Czechs have to name their children on the day that their name falls on this calendar. Each day lists multiple names to choose from. However, unlike a birthday, name days are not something to be celebrated – if it’s your birthday, people give you gifts whereas on your name day its reversed and people try their best not to make their name day known for this reason.
The Gothic Church is one of the most recognizable churches around Prague, I thought this church was so beautiful (especially at night!), sadly there was no way to go inside of it though.
A beautiful spot that’s on the way to the castle grounds. We stopped at a little part of the river near the bridge and fed the sassy little swans that inhabited the area. With these guys, you gotta be quick with the food, otherwise, they start to come close to you and get a little hangry! Cool to see but remember these are wild animals still.
The funniest part about this wall is that John Lennon has never even been to Prague! The wall was more of a way for people to “come together” (see what I did there?!) on something and give locals a way to express themselves. Definitely an artsy piece to see for fans of his as well as those looking to leave their mark on the world. You can add to the wall if you want by bringing your own spray paint or there is usually a cart where you can rent all different colors for a set price (plus it comes with hot wine too)!
At the end of the trip, we got to tour the castle grounds & basilica within the Prague Castle that the royal family live in. It was so beautiful with all the stone buildings and perfect views; not to mention huge! Another bonus was the rooftop Starbucks (sorry not sorry) – exactly where the great views are so not to be missed for sure!!
Guys, let me tell you, the food here was AMAZING! Bratwurst, hot wine (like hot cider but better), and beer are just a few of the great items found here. Prague was also the first to drink beer in a glass (not Germany) and they also invented the modern way we make it as we know it today.
Like the Eiffel Tower to Paris, the Berlin TV Tower is a landmark of the city best known for producing radio waves throughout Berlin. This was especially present during the Cold War when it was used to block out the Western ideals radio so that locals would be shut out from ideas other than Communist.
Currywurst is a local food favorite for Berliners (and so yummy)! The true version has curry poured over it but since curry is not my favorite, I just went with regular bratwurst & fries.
There was also a beer garden located in the center of the city – such a cute little village and great stop for a quick bite!
The Brandenberg Gate is the only one of the multiple official entrances to Berlin. Originally the woman on top of the Brandenberg was the goddess of peace but once Napoleon invaded Germany (then known as Prussia), the locals felt she didn’t do her job well enough to earn her spot at the top. After winning their country back, they changed her into the goddess of victory. When she was revamped, she was turned to face the French embassy so that she can keep her eyes on her invaders.
Hotel Aldon is a very famous hotel in Berlin; everyone from the current Queen of England to Michael Jackson has stayed here. This is also the famous site of where MJ dangled his baby boy, Blanket.
This memorial was so moving. The location was very well thought out; it is smack dab in the center of the city so as not to be missed by anyone. The artist leaves the meaning of his design a mystery, so everyone can come up with their own unique feeling from it.
It doesn’t look like much being in the middle of a random parking lot but this little patch of grass is actually where Hitler’s WWII bunker used to be. The apartments around it were where his main offices were. For the longest time, the spot was actually unmarked so that no one would try and use it as a shrine for Nazis or fascism. Only recently has it been recognized (and in the finest of print on a sign nearby). The city actually destroyed everything down there so that you cannot go down even if you tried to dig. Comparing the open & visible Holocaust Memorial to this, I could truly see that the city did not take this tragedy lightly. Another interesting part about this location is that since the artist of the memorial is American, the American embassy sits just next to the memorial to – you guessed it – keep watch on Hitler & his goons.
Fun fact about these bricks in the street – they mark where the Berlin Wall used to break up the city!
With the Berlin Wall in mind, the last part of Communism left in Berlin is this little man above. He represented a “happy” Communist laborer going to work and is only present from East Berlin (the Russian side of the wall). The Western side (American/England/France) does not have him, but instead a regular pedestrian stick figure sign. Berliners thought he was more of a mascot of Berlin so they kept him when they were taking out everything that represented Communism in the city.
They have these markers all around the city to mark where families who got sent to concentration camps lived. Such a humbling detail of the city.
We visited Hofbräuhaus, a popular brewhouse chain in Germany serving in-house beer and amazing schnitzel!
Thanks for keeping up with my Euro adventures – there are more posts coming soon!
See you in the next post!