Hello, Kelli here!
It’s hard to believe our month of traveling is almost up! In just a week I will be on my way back to Nottingham to take exams! I don’t want to think about those just yet, so here’s a look at my time in Prague, Czech Republic.
Meghan and I took a bus to Prague on December 27th and found ourselves staying in a hostel located in a 17th-century palace! After admiring the original paintings on the wooden beams, we set out to explore our neighborhood, Mala Strana. We crossed the famous Charles Bridge and walked to the Old Town Square where we paused to look at the Astronomical Clock. The Astronomical Clock dates from 1410 and is the oldest still working clock of its kind.
We tasted our first examples of delicious Czech food, sampling potato spirals, chimney cakes, goulash, and Czech beer throughout the day.
We spent most of our second day exploring Josefov, Prague’s Jewish Quarter. Josefov is home to the Jewish Museum, a set of museums on the practices, history, and lives of the Jewish population of Prague.
On our third day we went to the Lennon Wall, a piece of ever-changing grafitti art that began after John Lennon’s death. Next we climbed the Old Town Tower Bridge to admire the views of the city, Vltava River, and the Charles Bridge. We also took a free walking tour that showed us more of the city and gave us some of the city’s history. Our guide grew up in Prague during Soviet rule, so he shared with us what it was like to live under Communism.
We began our fourth day by visiting Prague Castle. The castle was founded in the 800s and is the largest castle complex in the world. We spent a few hours walking the castle grounds and exploring St. Vitus Cathedral. In the afternoon, we spent some time at the Prague National Gallery where we admired works by Kokoschka, Klimt, and Orlik. There was also a striking exhibit by Ai Weiwei that displayed thousands of articles of clothing abandoned by refugees during the forced closure of a refugee camp in Greece. This work shed a lot of light on the modern refugee crisis and was very moving.
Luther College has connections all over the world, and Prague is no exception! We were able to meet up with Norma Hervey, a retired Luther professor during our time in Prague. She showed us around the city, shared the city’s history with us, and took us to some amazing places! We had dinner with her a few times during our stay, and on our last day she took us to Vyeshrad, a beautiful park overlooking the city. Here we were able to see the graves of composer Dvořák and Karel Čapek, an author we studied in Paideia freshman year. Meghan and I had a great time getting to know Norma and learning about Prague from her.
Meghan and I went to the old town for the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Fireworks had been going off most of the evening, but this was nothing compared to what happened at midnight! Fireworks were set off all over the city. We couldn’t look anywhere without seeing fireworks. It was absolutely amazing to see so many at once!
Meghan and I are in Vienna right now, and soon we will leaving for Budapest, our last city!
Bye for now,