24 Hours in Prague
Have you ever felt the wind (like in a movie ‘Chocolate’) that breathes a spirit of adventure in you?
At this very moment you know exactly – you gonna have a trip. Where, when, with whom?..
You are going, that’s what matters. The generous mechanism of universe started working and you better hurry to catch up with it!
The wind of adventure blew in my face a month ago. I was in the Popes residence in Vatican at this time. Handsome young Pope said ‘Close your eyes and point anywhere on this huge neon lighted globe.’ I did so. My finger landed on Czech Republic. So destination was set (in reality I was standing in my living room before big scrap map of the world, imagining handsome Jude Law by my side, but the rest is true: the finger picked Prague for me).
Most people know Prague as a history book, city full of captivating old stuff. But in reality Prague is way more versatile.
Me and Vlasta (two adventure addicted shameless companions) started planning with picking the hotel. After Tripadvisor search, five emails and three calls we had the finalist – Hotel Savoy.
Location – old town, walking distance from all the tourist destinations. In addition to it, we would have three parks in the area.
Parks are a must, since we love love love doing yoga in the outdoors. It is way more fun on the grass, don’t you agree? Another detail we paid attention to was hotel restaurant.
The food got to be healthy and delicious. Vegetarian options, organic ingredients, all of it is a must. Savoy gave us three of life’s top pleasures (comfort, beauty, joy) wrapped up in a single package.
7 am (just trying to be cool here, 9:30 am in reality)
We go downstairs for breakfast. While sipping on cappuccino and enjoying perfect eggs benedict me and Vlasta planned our day.
The guide picks us up at the hotel lobby. We have 4 hour tour in downtown Prague. So hard to frame in the verbal text what we saw. We were simply overwhelmed with the grandeur and beauty of Prague.
Watch Casino Royale, Mission Impossible, Amadeus to get some motivation for the trip to Prague, because all these Hollywood movies and many more were shot there!
Charles Bridge (locals call it Karlov Bridge named after the king Charles IV who built it) is Prague’s Eiffel Tower. We loved this place because it has so much beauty in it. You take a walk and you see beautiful sculptures, each one tells you a story.
Another thing that made our heart beat race as if David Beckham gave us (well, at least me) a kiss, was cubism in architecture. Correct me, if I’m wrong, but Prague is the only city where cubism was implemented into architecture. It is beautiful, it is stunning, it is breathtaking! Prague is filled with witt, love affairs of the greatest minds, enigmatic symbols. Each house has its name. Can you imagine how fun would it be to live in the city like Prague?! ‘Hey Kathy, I’ll see you at 3 pm am on the corner of the Red Lion’ or ‘My love, I will meet you under The Golden Star.’ Sounds amazing! Ohhh I wish we had more time, but moving on to the next ‘wow’ experience.
Jewish area stole our breathes, the watch that goes in the opposite direction (much admired by Guillaume Appolinaire) made me philosophical, until rumbling stomach reminded me that it is time for a snack.
Our guide Lara offered us a variety of places for lunch from traditional Czech beer/gulyash restaurants to raw/vegan cafes. Surprisingly, in Prague there is plenty of places with healthy food. Although Czech Republic is known for its traditional food, new generation of Czechs is pretty mainstream, following the trendiest trend of all – healthy lifestyle and healthy diet.
I had vegetarian curry and vegan cocoa icecream for dessert. Tasted like heaven.
And we are moving on!
The hotel car picks us up somewhere close to Staroe Mesto.
We were digesting food and thoughts on our way to the castle outside Prague.
Astronomical watch, masonic symbols everywhere, overwhelming beauty, timeless art, history, mystery, broken hearts, tragedies and beautiful stories, streets filled with music, Mozart’s love affair, Albert Einstein on his way to Prague University where he taught philosophy for 10 years – all of it swirling in my tiny woman’s head…
Vlasta is pushing me (pretty hard): ‘Wake up, we arrived.’
Ok, here we are at Castle Melnik 30 km from Prague
900 year old beautiful castle never touched by war or fire preserved its medieval beauty for us. Once owned by a famous Von Furstenberg Family, this place tells the stories of former glory. Like two boys we climbed up the walls, snicked into every corner, trying to discover the secret path. Quite an adventure for two millennials – to hunt all gone mystery instead of pokemons. An old man aka security told us that there is a beautiful trail we may want to take. Guided by his advice we started 10 mile adventure up the mountain. Once again there is no words to describe what we felt when we reached the top of the mountain with the view lit with golden light of descending sun. Even if we could describe it, we wouldn’t do it, because we want you to grab your pretty a** and see it with your own eyes. You won’t regret it.
Dusty, sweaty happy we climb into our S-class and drive back to the hotel. Despite being drunk with fresh air and being tired after a long walk, we grab ourselves out of our rooms and have delicious vegetarian dinner with a splash of Czech wine (decent taste by the way).
Tonight we decided to play big and go out. One of the places that we noticed during our tour was Social House that hides an American Bar in its charming art nouveau walls. We landed at a bar stand hoping to meet young and cool Czechs. But only bartender was there for our entertainment. Well, it is what it is: Czechs don’t go out on Tuesdays.
Bartender recommended us jazz boat (not the tourist one!), but we didn’t make it there. We chose to spend the rest of the night with our best friends – pillowzzzzz…
7:30 am (for real!)
Me and Vlasta start the day in a proactive way. Warming up and doing yoga in a beautiful park steps away from Savoy. The grass is green, the sun tenderly caresses our skin and we are willing to stand in all the asanas we know!
After a workout we did a little spa treatment. It is surprising, but despite the fact that our skin gets much more tired during long flights and climate change, people don’t pay much attention to it. We are different. Spa indulgences are not only joyful, but also a vital part or any trip. Masks, scrubs, creams. We had some stuff with us, but also we tested organic treatments from famous local brand Manufaktura.
We are descending in a beautiful lobby of Hotel Savoy which is tastefully decorated with Lea Vivot’s sculptures.
We are about to have delicious breakfast and dive into another Prague adventure.
But for now it is our 24 hours of overwhelming, yet resting and joyful Prague experience.
When we think about famous cities, very often we think stereotypically. But in reality there is so much more to discover. Prague surprised us with the variety of vegetarian and Vegan places, modern art, active lifestyle of local people and the ability to enjoy ourselves.
Czech Republic used to be a Socialist country. But there is no a trace of communism right now. The country is blooming and has this feeling of spring and growth in it. Inspiration, joy, comfort, surprises – is what is waiting for you in Prague.
While we are planing our next adventure, we hope you will use the tips from this one.
Text Leila Ismaili