With my parents visiting us for the first time here in Germany, mom and I thought it would be nice to plan a long weekend/short travel vacation for all six of us. The parameter we set was a city in a country none of us had ever been to, and one that we all agreed we’d like to visit, preferably one we could reach by train. That was harder to nail down that I would have originally thought. Turns out, between the six of us, we’ve been to a lot of countries. Very quickly, the short list became shorter as we eliminated places too unseasonable, too expensive, or too far. The clear winner for our needs was Prague.
We had amazing weather, a fantastic dining experience, and enough entertaining incidents to make it one of our more memorable and enjoyable — albeit short — family vacations. An incomplete list of those incidents include Larry’s escalator escapades, Elliot and Doodles’ brief exchange with Czech hookers, Elliot’s transit ticket woes, The giant paper mache head in the flat, our hard lessons learned about cross-country train travel, the odd and prevalent amount of cannibus-related items in the stores — teas, vodkas, gum, etc, a funicular ride, a marathon with several live bands that made our Sunday outing to the Charles Bridge challenging to navigate, a toy museum, some pretty incredible pieces of public art, a medieval jousting tournament at the base of Petrin Tower, and some notable observations as this beautiful, stunning, preserved city continues to move away from the Soviet era. It casts a long shadow.
Perhaps my favorite memory of this trip started before we even left Munich. On the train to Prague, we met a delightful young couple, off to get their wedding pictures in advance of their August nuptials in Maylasia. They had ties in the Boston area and we spent a good amount of the trip talking and laughing. We all parted congenially, in the way that people who travel together often do. When coincidence brought us to see them in full wedding regalia a few days later at the Prague Castle we were thrilled. They were glamorous and dapper — black tie and white silks in a sea of tourists and sunshine. We waved to them from the crowd. It felt like they were royalty in that setting and in those clothes, with so many annonymous onlookers and admirers. Amongst hundreds (thousands?) of people from all over the globe, we eight people recognized each other. When they saw us, they interrupted their photo shoot (much to the photographer’s chagrin). We all greeted each other like old friends in the way that people who travel together often do. After all, we were friends who were once strangers, surrounded by strangers who could someday be friends. The world is very small, and truly very beautiful.
Here are the top 20 pics for the posterity of the blog. Full photo album is on my Facebook page. I hope I get the chance to visit Prague again soon. It is truly beautiful and I know we barely scratched the surface.