PRAGUE ... in a nutshell!

I can't exactly pinpoint why my plan to eventually visit Europe in my 60s changed but some how that's been tossed out the window. Over the past year, since my Paris trip with my daughter last summer, I've somehow fallen deeply in love with Europe. It seems likes ages ago, but London was the first European city I visited, followed by Amsterdam which was the first major trip for my then six month old daughter. This was also about the time of the birth of this blog.

Trinidad Carnival 2013 would have been my tenth trip to faithfully play mas. 'Though, I opted to cruise the Mediterranean instead of chipping down the streets of Port-of-Spain, visiting 5 more European cities and finally visiting the continent of Africa. So now I am proud to say that I have visited 6 out of 7 continents in this world. And hopefully soon, I can share my story when I step my big toe on the very last one, South America.  


Yet, while I loved this most recent trip to Europe, particularly Rome which I am dying to share, I felt that to do so, I rightfully had to share my 2012 birthday trip which I have not mentioned until now. 

Since turning 30, my birthdays traditionally include an annual visit to my doctor and ob-gyn (an example set by my mother) and a trip to some city or country which fascinates me: 31 - Dubai, 32 & 33 - Thailand and 34, I was eight months pregnant with my son Nikail, and was just so happy to eat Red Lobster.

Prague, Czech Republic was a top contender for my 33rd birthday, but we returned to Thailand instead. So when my 35th drew near, my hubby reintroduced the thought of visiting PRAGUE. It seemed to fit into the visual I had in mind for my 35th birthday: I saw myself in coats and boots, not bikinis and PRAGUE was cold.

And like most of my trips, there is a method to the random madness. My trips are determined based on feeling and late night reading, online searches of things to do, places to see, foods to eat while my immediate world, my kids and hubby are fast asleep. And like pieces of a puzzle, the desire to be there, in that place sparks the fire. It almost becomes spiritual. 

Interestingly enough, every now and again, I just have respect and admiration for random people, whether they are a celebrity or not. The actor, Sir Ben Kingsley is one of those people, probably most memorable for playing Gandhi in the 1982 film. 'Though his character as an Iranian immigrant homeowner, moved me in the 2003 movie, House of Sand & Fog. So the decision to visit PRAGUE became final when during one of my Google searches, I found this The Places I Go: Ben Kingsley:

"I’M NOT GOOD AT SIMPLY GOING ON HOLIDAY. I don’t enjoy being told what I’m looking at by a guide, however well intended, and I can’t just stand and look at the beach. I have to be part of the landscape. I have to be engaged. I’ve done three films in Prague, and I find it very sustaining. It’s not like New York or L.A.—there’s so much history. The first time I went, it was to visit a friend who was working on a movie. I went for a long weekend and stayed right on the Vltava River. We were pretty high up, and I remember looking out over all those copper roofs that have turned green. A few years later, I went back to do a miniseries about Anne Frank. It was really something to come off the set and find myself still surrounded by all that history. My most recent holiday there was with my darling wife for New Year’s Eve, which is also my birthday, and we watched the fireworks over the Vltava."

“There’s a restaurant called the Alchymist that I always go to. Even if it’s been three or four years since my last visit, they’re very welcoming. I love Czech food, and the service is lovely. It’s a beautiful place in a wizardy way. I also really like U Patrona, near the Charles Bridge. You must go in the fall so you can walk across the Charles very slowly; in summer, it’s too crowded."

Various things struck me. During a river tour in Amsterdam, we passed the 'Anne Frank' house. "I love Czech food" ... Oh, a man speaking my language, FOOD! Ever since my son's birth, I have a new found appreciation for food, exotic food and eating foods that I ordinarily would snub. Funny enough, noting that my palette is getting far more refined. LOL! "It’s a beautiful place in a wizardy way." ... Ah, sounded mysterious, I'm Scorpio for heaven's sake ... that drew me in! "You must go in the fall so you can walk across the Charles very slowly; in summer, it’s too crowded." ... perfect timing, my birthday is in the Fall, I definitely knew l could make time to stroll along the Charles Bridge, whatever that experience was for Sir Ben Kingsley made it sound so romantic. This was the start of my desire for 'ROMANTICISM' in 2013.

So welcome to my November 2012 trip to PRAHA (Prague).... 
Prague reminded me of the John Le Carre spy novel, 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.'  I read that book in high school in St.Lucia, The St.Joseph's Convent. And apparently Czechoslovakia was a loyal ally and a satellite state of the Soviet Union (USSR / Russia), a member of the Warsaw Pact, until it became a sovereign country, Czech Republic. Anyway I dressed the part!


Long belted jacket ... like the guard below!
 ... but with far better shoes. Now that was my weapon! LOL!


PRAGUE was mysterious, sexy and dark (like me. I had to add.) LMAO. Typically during every journey, I always have one profound memory about the place or its people. In Prague, it was PDA (public displays of affection). Couples basically had their tongues down their lover's throats. Not even Parisians were like this!

In Prague, I visited ... 
The Charles Bridge











I had to take a picture of this bride.








I love detail!




One more Church with PYRAMIDS.



View of Prague from here ... 





Sex Machines Museum ...  I like naughty!


Museum of Medieval Torture ... Get me out of here!




Prague Toy Museum ... CREEPY!

I got the sense of the kids who used to play with those toys staring back at me.  


But I did enjoy the BARBIE Collection.  Fun memories.
Shopped in Laly Vintage Store (currently Prague Fashion Museum & Vintage Shop) where me met the nicest Asian young lady whom the following week, was off to Miami, my hubby's hometown.  She was super excited.


This gentleman made me, my very own perfume ... Zámecká Parfumerie


Prague Beer Tour ... I took an evening beer tour, since they consume the most beer in the world.



Pilsner
 Their beer is Pilsner. So knock back a few when you get a chance.
On the Beer Tour, I visited about 6 different brewery/bars of which I graduated with a beer diploma! 'Though I stumbled when asked, where are you from? Hmm, America or St.Lucia? LOL. Anyway gave in, went back to my roots, and responded, St.Lucia. Sounds more exotic anyway.


Absinthe in Prague is for the tourists.
Loved these lil' bottles in the liquor store window. Forgot to buy one!


... And this local bartender / bar owner by our hotel gets the award for
CUTEST BARTEND'ING GRANDPA IN THE WHOLE WIDE WOLRD!

Also interestingly, it was the first country that I did not understand a lick of their native language. They spoke very little or NO English. No French. No Spanish. Nonetheless, we made friends with 20 year olds at this bar whom just so happened to be lifeguards in the summer in the US. So after grandpa poured us our shots, we ended up going to a hip-hop club with them and had a roaring time.

One young man climbed a famous statue in the Town Square. Hmmm. I knew it was trouble then, cause I knew he had a few drinks and it was not a wise idea.  When he jumped off the mountain of a statue, he landed, and not too nicely. The entire time at the club he was in major pain. The girls he and we met for the first time, kindly were able to bandage his ankle in a bag with some ice.  Here's some evidence. I think he's safe with the following pictures. LOL!






As for the food, talk about COMFORT, just like we eat in the Caribbean. Nothing felt foreign.
Lots of gravy, stew, garlic, bread, etc. I was in heaven! 






My favorite ... waffles and chocolate!


And PIPING HOT RED WINE ...  Not a fan, as yet!


Sushi Go was the spot for my birthday, also my final night in Prague. Over the most recent years of my life, I've been opening up to new foods. Sushi was a food I hated, and within the last two years, I absolutely love it. So much so, I think it's time I take a class to learn how to make it, to save some money! ... And like all my life experiences. I allow myself to be taken over by what captivates my spirit. Most times, that's music ... so when one song played in the background, I immediately was able to communicate to the waitress that I wanted to know what it was with hand gestures.  Reminder ... I don't speak their language. She wrote got a piece of paper and wrote ... 


Engulf yourself with the music I heard on my last night in Prague which gripped my heart and soul finally a familiar language, I could translate and simply understand ...  SPANISH.
ADIOS AYER ... translation, GOODBYE YESTERDAY!



I told you my trips become spiritual! Muah.



3 comments

  1. Nyree, thank you sooo much for sharing this!!! Prague is actually on my list of places to visit! There's a guy I worked with in Colombia who has been living there for the past 3 or 4 years and from the time I heard that he was,there was something about the place that drew me in. Your pics and write up have definitely solidified my desire my visit hopefully sooner than later. Thanks for sharing!! glad you enjoyed.

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  2. Thank you for posting this & sharing your experience, it was very insightful. Prague is also of interest to me and is on my list of places to visit. I have been hesitant, wondering how receptive they are to black people but you have made no mention and have appeared to enjoyed.

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  3. You are most welcome. I definitely recommend visiting Prague. You may get a few stares here and there but in terms of treatment, they are very respectful.

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