Prettiest Prague....

My latest little travel adventure took me over to the wonderous and oh so charming, Europe...most specifically, Prague. Having heard only good things about Prague, I was super excited to turn off my phone, forget my stresses and worries, and just explore...and feel. There's something so free about travelling and nothing really compares to it; that feeling of being alive, of finding new things, meeting new people, making new memories and delving into the depths of the unknown.

Cafe Lavka

One of the many bridges in Prague overlooking the Vltava River

The first taste of Prague was the pleasent drive to the hotel. Inititally I was drawn to the cleanliness of the streets, the intriguing architecture of the houses, and tram lines...everywhere! It was reminiscent of Amsterdam, and I have yet to actually ride one! After checking into the hotel, we stayed at Red & Blue Design hotel (really good); touching up my less than tidy make-up, throwing on a dress (because it was slightly sunnier than England...at that point), enquiringly opening every cupboard and drawer, sneakily checking out the mini bar (because we all do that, right?), then changing into my comfy 'can walk for hours in' sandals, it was finally time to explore. The skies were overcast and the weather was pretty inconsistent which gave me that soothing homely feeling...sort of. After the first half an hour of walking, we stumbled upon a little cafe, named Cafe Lavka overlooking the Vltava River which was exceptionally pretty. You can check them out here. One of those relaxing places where your mind wanders and inspiration seems to find you. I could have happily been left there with a notebook and pen and jotted down all the ideas that flew into my mind.

Vltava River
We continued on walking to the Charles Bridge, which was swarming with tourists, most of them armed with obnoxious selfie sticks that more than often I had to dodge. It was a platform for talented street artists, and musicians playing traditional Czech music (which actually sounded like old Scottish music). The views were well worth it for the river and to truly soak up the true history of this amazing city. Putting aside the buzz of tourists, you could easily saturate your mind with Prague's culture and transport yourself back in time. Of course once I crossed the bridge, and possibly four seasons all in one, I was tempted by the display of delicious looking ice-cream. Each and every building in Prague has such intricate detailing, some with imposing doors, others that just scream history, so much so, that you could almost imagine children hiding behind the windows, spying on the lines of patrolling soldiers outside during WW2. Prague was one of the only major cities in Europe not to be destroyed in WW2. The colours of the buildings bring such positivity to your mind - everything from peaches, yellows, greens, pinks and blues... the city boasts such eclectic styles and there really is so much to see. There is also such a plethora of gothic buildings, which seem so forboding, yet so magnetic! It would make the perfect location for a thriller movie - although that is definitely just my writer's mind wandering there! Prague is much bigger than I orginally thought, but with the perfect walking shoes, and probably a backpack, you could walk to all the sights.

View from Charles Bridge

Having done the typical touristy thing of jumping on the hop on hop off tour bus (which was a complete waste of time and awful service), I sat listening to the classical music through the headphones as the bus cruised down the untouched streets. Some of the facts piped through were incredible - the fact that women can walk around the streets and parks at midnight, and still feel safe, told me so much about the city. The one thing that I had been keen to do, as the park was literally right opposite our hotel, was stroll around and explore, as I'd heard the views at the top were incredible. Well, needless to say our feet gave way before we reached the top, but even half way up, you can see the most incredible views of the city. The park is called Kinskeho Zahrada and I can assure you, you wouldn't be disappointed with it. It's huge! You would probably need a full day just to explore the park itself, but it's very green, very pretty and lends itself perfectly to a romantic picnic!

Kinskeho Zahrada Park with stunning views
The sun came out!
Prague's Old Town is literally the heartbeat of the city - it's also the most commercialised, so be aware of the cafes that charge extra, and the apparent overabundence of pickpockets. In Old Town Square, you can see Prague's astronomical clock, which I had been told I had to see! An overwhelming amount of tourists (including myself) stopped to take a snap of it. The clock itself was first installed in 1410 in that exact spot. The workings of the clock are far too scientific for my creative brain to make sense of, but it's well worth a visit. I had already pre-booked a bite to eat at the U Prince Hotel in Old Town Square because it was a roof terrace and to me there is nothing better than lunch with a view! The food was wonderful, and filled with chatty American tourists, which was nice. You could feel the ambience, hear the hustle and hum of tourists and street performers below. Big thumbs up for the food too! Delicious cod and a lovely glass of merlot. You can see more from the U Price Hotel here. The weather in Prague was so unpredictable, sun one minute, rain the next, but honestly the rain added to the magic of the place.

The street with every designer label you could think of!
Old Town Square
Astronomical Clock
View from Hotel U Prince Roof Terrace
After being abandoned (pretty much) by the tour bus at the Castle, we followed the steady stream of tourist towards the most incredible view. By the side of the castle, you could see stunning panoramic views of the city - but one of those views that is just not captured accurately on camera at all, but one of those views that stays in your mind forever. A hazy mist seemed to fall over the entirety of the city, and the view was so vast that your eyes struggled to take it all in. Is well worth the visit just for the view even if you didn't want to visit the castle.

Prazsky Hrad - view from of the city from the Castle

On the way back to the hotel, the ominous clouds were descending upon us, and the heavens opened. After being dropped by the tour bus in downtown (miles away from our hotel) we wearily stepped off the bus, flung up the umbrella and headed for old town...I was desperate for a sip of something wet and warm. Preferably a hot chocolate with lashings of whipped cream! The prospect of an hour's walk in the wind and rain with wet feet wasn't one I relished. Then...our saviour arrived! We stumbled upon a stylish little restaurant called Rugantino, where we were welcomed by our super sweet waiter Martin who recommended their hot chocolate! After collapsing in the chair and desperately trying to salvage the curls in my dishevelled hair, the hot chocolate arrived - a cup of hot bubbly milk, accompanied by hazelnut chocolate on a wooden stick - it was a sort of DIY hot chocolate but was true nectar to me that night and tasted delicious!! The overall experience of the city was fabulous, the atmosphere is really electric, you will never ever need to look for a cafe or a bar because they are all over! I wish I'd been able to spend more time in Prague, because it's such an incredible city. I know I felt as though I'd visited a few countires all in one... it has such an Italian vibe to it too, mixed with eastern Europe, which makes it so magical. I kind of feel that if Florence and Budapest had a baby, it would be Prague!! I will be back. At some point. Of course I love to travel, and I have a long list of cities I'd love to tick off the list first, but I can hear Prague calling my name already! For anyone wondering where to take a long weekend, Prague is the place!!

Big shout out the the Red and Blue Design hotel for their kindness and a warm welcome. Highly recommend! Check their rates out here.

View from hotel corridor - where I snuck out at midnight to see the lights!
Breakfast! Prague style!
Pretty street near Prague Castle

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