Whew! When life decides to happen around here, it goes all out! In the past month we’ve gone from traveling around Europe (and taking all these pretty pictures) to coming home, buying a house, evicting a hoarding renter from said house, completely renovating said house, dealing with the breaking in and burglary of said house, and welcoming Papa home from Turkey just two days before the coup madness took place. Oh, and the added excitement of finding out we are expecting our 2nd little one this coming January.
So here I am again, posting pictures and recaps from our travels a good two months later. Working 12+ hour days on the house and fighting through the first trimester nausea and exhaustion didn’t leave much room for anything else. We can’t wait to share all we’ve done with our house, but for this moment I want to take a trip back and visit each memory we had on this glorious 2.5 week, adults only escapade through Prague, Barcelona and Nice.
We often ask for recommendations for places to visit, or restaurants to try, or whatever it is we are planning to do in the near future. And often we’ve found the more our friends talk something up, the more we are disappointed with the reality, because in our minds we’ve already set our expectations above and beyond what could possibly be delivered. So when we added Prague to our itinerary after being promised by many that it was the “most amazing city in the world,” and their “absolute favorite,” we were a bit leary that it would result in the same letdown.
We are happy to say, Prague did not disappoint.
Each ancient street reminded us of something out of Harry Potter.
The beers and food were crazy cheap and also crazy delicious.
One minute you could be walking medieval streets, and the next you could be lounging in a lush green park wasting the afternoon away.
One of their specialties were these rings of grilled pastry dough, usually topped with sugar, and in our case smeared with chocolate on the inside, but you also have the option of having it stuffed with ice cream for a serious sugar coma.
As usual we booked an Airbnb apartment, this time a little outside of the main thoroughfare of the city since it was just the two of us and we felt we could be a little more adventurous. Our apartment ended up being situated practically next door to this guy.
The Žižkov Television Tower, one of Prague’s most hated and loved skyline features, complete with very disturbing crawling faceless babies with barcodes stamped into their heads. Not exactly the most romantic and settling view, but unique nonetheless, and it glowed a nice red, white and blue at night and gave us something to look at (and walk towards when we were lost).
On our second day we finally ventured across the famous Charles Bridge.
It is lined with a number of artists, performers, and about five million tourists trying to cross the river.
One thing I loved about the city was no matter what direction you looked, the neat little terra cotta roofs highlighted the landscape.
Our goal that day was to visit the Strahov Monastery (and brewery) located up on the hill overlooking the city. Prague is known for it’s beer, and the monks at the monastery have been perfecting theirs for years and years.
Not being aware of the nice tram that takes you from the city up to the top of Petrin Hill, and also not wanting to miss some of the other sites along the way, we took the scenic route.
I would not necessarily recommend, except that we did get to enjoy some spectacular views of the city, and we did burn a few
hundred thousand calories, earning us the right to stuff ourselves silly with the delicious lunch and lots of beer at the monastery.
We found the Petrin Hill Observation Tower, accompanied by a pretty little park.
And finally we made it to the monastery.
I was apparently so tired from our hike up the hill that I scarfed down my food and beer without thinking to snap a picture. All the more reason to visit and try/see it for yourself!
On the way back down the hill we took a detour through another part of town, which ended up being one of our favorites. Everything felt a little more laid back, and it was filled with neat little restaurants and shops.
We stopped in a little market and grabbed some snacks and a bottle of prosecco and located a spot on the little island in the middle of the river to rest for a while before dinner.
The next day Will booked us the Fairytale Afternoon package at The Alchymist hotel. Walking and exploring made up the majority of our trip, but it was necessary to work in a little down time here and there.
We were greeted with a beautiful breakfast of fresh fruit and champagne, then relaxed in the saunas and pools until time for our 90 minute massages.
Post massage we were seated on the patio to enjoy a gorgeous 3 course lunch, complete with wine pairings.
No vacation is complete without a little splurge 🙂
On our last night in Prague we attended one of the annual “witch burning” festivals taking place around town. The name is a bit more intriguing than the actual event. There is an actual wooden witch that is burned atop of large pyre, but the witch is a symbol of winter and is burned on the last night of spring to welcome summer and warmer weather.
We thought the witch was being burned at dark, and sadly after making a not exactly brief trek 30 minutes outside of downtown via train and a lengthy walk up the hill to a festival attended by locals instead of tourists, we arrived just in time to see the very last post of the witch go down in the hot coals (you can see it resting on the side of the pyre above).
We didn’t fret too long though, seeing the locals roasting huge sausages over the various in ground fire pits was still a very interesting site to see. The field was lined with food vendors offering so many delicacies we nearly couldn’t decide what to get. Nearly.
We did make sure to grab up a couple of these sort of potato pancakes (Bramborák) though, to munch on while we listened to the live music and people watched.
We would definitely go back, and just like our friends, Prague is now one of our favorite cities we’ve visited, and one we highly recommend for anyone looking for their next vacation spot!