For me and for most who have visited this historical fairyland, would probably agree that Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, if not, ‘the’ most beautiful. And I am not exaggerating. Pictures do not do it justice. I remember my tour guide saying that you would need “maybe three lifetimes to see everything that this magical city has to offer.” Only after my trip was over, did I believe her.
They say after visiting Prague, one always comes back.
A must-see installation in the Old Town Square – The Prague astronomical clock or otherwise known as the Prague orloj. Dating back from the Middle Ages and constructed in 1410, this medieval treasure is the world’s oldest astronomical clock still working today. It displays moving statues and visualization of time, Sun and Moon position with the Astronomical Dial as one of its main features, used in medieval astronomy.
With its astonishing gothic and baroque-style towers, The Charles Bridge or Karlův most crosses the famous Vltava river, joining the Prague Castle district to the Old Town.
Just on the border with the Czech Republic we visited Dresden, a city in the State of Saxony, Germany. There were many cultural and historical buildings and residences to visit. The first one that caught my attention was the famous opera house – Semperoper. Built in 1841, it was named after architect Gottfried Semper. The house offers tourists a look at the baroque and neo-rennaissance architecture that defines most of the city’s edifices.
The Fürstenzug is a mural representing the princes that once ruled the State of Saxony. Starting with Conrad the Margrave of Meissen in the 12th century, the procession of princes goes on to King George who ruled in the 20th century. However, visitors seemed more enthralled in the motionless figure and his dog companion which was not real by the way! I did not see him flinch at once!
A visit to the Zwinger Palace was breathtaking. Built for Augustus the Strong, the palace today stands as a huge complex for four museums: the Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon.
My Eastern European tour this summer was firstly enriched by our stop in Slovakia’s capital – Bratislava. The weather and the brilliant blue sky served us well as our group set off to explore the many grandiose buildings and castles. There were no signs of the city’s Communist period – the archiecture and town squares were enlivened and built in a renaissance and baroque style. Around every corner it was easy to come across one of the city’s funny statues such as Cumil. We’re not quite sure what he is up to, cleaning the sewer or just having a rest after a hard day’s work.
The soldier resting on the bench reminds visitors of Napoleon’s first visit to Bratislava in 1809.
A charismatic figure known as Schoner Naci wearing a top hat is ready to greet you in the beautiful city.
The highlight of the day was definitely a tour up the Bratislava Castle built in the 9th century. From the top there are great views of the city and parts of neighbouring countries such as Hungary and Austria. Known for its history with the Romans and the Celts, the castle stands as a major tourist attraction.
Thank you Bratislava ! It was lovely !! Dovidenia
It has always been my desire to explore the unknown and discover the unseen. I decided to venture into the wilderness, setting off on a hike in the surrounding mountains that encircled my parents local city in Serbia. The ascend up was very tiring yet rewarding. Every step revealed a view that would take my breath away.
I noticed many small houses or cottages that were barely visible from all the trees that obscured anything that seemed out of place. I thought the houses were abandoned, yet on closer inspection I discovered that people actually inhabited these secluded and distant shelters. The people I encountered seemed to come from another time, far from the fast-paced world we live in today. They seemed perplexed at first, seeing me with a phone in my hand, taking pictures of everything with every chance I had. However, one greeting from me seemed to make their day as well as mine. Their dog terrified me by the way. Its size was magnified in my eyes in which I hurried off, skipping down without a backward glance!
Even though they probably don’t have the necessities that we all need like sufficient clean water or electricity or even food, they seemed happy; something that this world needs, more laughter and smiles and appreciation for the chance to live in such a beautiful world.
Only when we step out of our shoes and see how the unprivileged and less fortunate than us live, will we start to appreciate the small things in life that give life its true meaning.
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That, is the purpose of life.” – Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)