Last weekend, I ventured to Prague with some of the other students who live in my apartment complex. Prague is roughly 5 hours by train from Vienna. Once I got there, I connected with a family friend who lives in the area so she could show me some of her favorite sites.
My favorite part of any trip is exploring the cuisine. I was never much of a foodie growing up. On the contrary, I was quite picky. However, the older I get, the more I realize that the quickest way to experience a culture is through the food. Prague is well known for their honey, so the first thing I tried as we walked through the outdoor market was Medovina (also known as Mead) – honey wine. Medovina or Mead is usually served warm and around the holiday season, though you can find it year round if you like. At first, I thought hot, sweet alcohol sounded kind of gross. But, it was one of the best drinks I have ever tasted in my life. Imagine the perfect cup of tea with a faint kick of alcohol. It’s the perfect drink to keep you moving through the markets!
Later that weekend, I had the opportunity to try Trdelnik. Trdelnik, known as chimney cake in English, is a traditional Czech pastry. Bakers wrap pastry dough around a stick, grill it, and top it with sugar. The traditional filling options include chocolate, ice cream, or whipped cream and berries.
I must say, I wish I had more than one weekend to explore Prague. There are endless beautiful, historical sites. But, I made the most of it. I came, I saw, I conquered. First stop: The Dancing House. The Dancing House is not at all what it sounds like. Actually, it’s a hotel that parallels as a rooftop bar and restaurant. The roof provides patrons with a magnificent view of the entire city of Prague. Naturally, this is where we scouted out our next destination: the astronomical clock in the city center. We traveled by tram to Old Town where we saw the astronomical clock. Every hour, the clock sings a little song and performs a dance that amuses tourists from all around the world. This weekend, I was one of them.
Next, we ventured to the Prague Castle. The castle was built in the 9th century. Currently, it houses the office of the President of the Czech Republic. So, there are quite a few security measures we went through before entering the castle. Perhaps my favorite security measure was the very decorative – yet very armed – guards standing outside the castle. Have you ever seen the videos of people attempting to get a reaction out of the guards at the Buckingham Palace? Picture that, but in blue uniforms. These men do not react to anything. I know what you’re thinking – was I really that tourist? No. A kid tried to rile up the guards and I simply reaped the reward of entertainment. Equally as entertaining: the changing of the guard. In short, the new guards march side by side to their post, perform rifle tricks and exchange formalities with the old guards. Then, the old guards march out and leave the post to the new guards.