“Uggh! I hated prague” Every time i said it, i have had friends and strangers look at me weirdly. The truth is ever since I got off the bus, Prague had put me off. The romantic cobbled roads hurt my feet and hip, the cold seeped into my bones, the lack of directions everywhere made me irritable and sights like the dancing house housed in the centre of the city and stood out like a sore thumb between rivers and bridges.
Since our hostel was located in the old town, it made it easier to see the sights and walk to the famous Charles bridge. The walking tour was good guide taking us through Prague’s tryst with catholic church, the trade culture due to the church activities, building of St. Vitus church, the many wars between Hussite and Catholics,the Jewish expulsion during world war all led to interesting listening.
While we paid the tourist price for the palace walk, only to realise the gothic styled church of St.Vitus and the palace is closed to the public to celebrate the Feast of St. Jhon and we had a superfluous walk through the streets, looking at the exteriors of the church and the palace and posing outside Kafka’s home as bonus.
Prague known for its confusing numbering system threw our orientation off-gear when we went looking for the Jhon Lennon Wall, David Cerny’s sculputers, and the Infant Jesus church. After a couple of wrong turns and accidental stumbling into the Babies, we found the popular graffiti wall dedicated to John Lennon.
It was everything that I expected it to be – a wall with colourful graffiti; While we took a lot of selfie and solo pics with this wall in the background we started walking towards Charles bridge. This was the hero of our trip but 2 days into Prague we still had not seen it or walked on it. On our way there, our group split up as some of us wanted to look for the fisrt Infant Jesus church while the rest wanted to walk back into the old town.
One of the highlights of the trip happened as we were walking back towards Charles bridge after locating the church and realising it was closed for the day; We got encompassed in a procession of people from various denominations of Christianity led by people of all ages carrying props such a sculpture of a bible, palm leaves, candles etc. Then entire bridge was filled with people singing hymns and walking towards the statue of St. Jhon to say a prayer and offer thanks. There were some high end officials who came in a carriage carrying bouquets and formal staffs. This whole experience by itself was interesting and exciting.
I was determined to explore more of Prague, so while the rest of the mates went to Karlovy Vary I roamed the streets of Prague, visited the farmers market selling crafts of silver wear, leather products and many such hand crafted products. I continued to walk through Charles bridge while enjoying the handmade arts and craft kiosk on either side of the bridge. The lesser crowd on the bridge also gave me the advantage to take photo of nature and the city.
While I can honestly say, I do not care if I never visit this place again, I did try to give this place a fair chance. Never have I felt so disconnected to a place as much as I have felt in Prague.