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Praha prosím: 5 Spots in Prague That Will Make you Want to Return

September 23, 2016
by Taylor Tewksbury
It is indisputable that study abroad offers a unique college experience. Aside from the exposure to international cultures and cuisines, aside from the new level of independence, students gain something else. Time. Traveling abroad usually creates a sort of trap, where you are compelled to see everything in the short time allowed. This is impossible, yet you will try nonetheless-acquiring a collection of passing moments and images. While a weekend tourist falls victim to this trap, the student gains an escape. Over four months, we get the opportunity to stroll, to veer off the usual paths.  Each of us can connect and return to certain spots, which will repeatedly define our experience. So please, prosím, come take a glimpse into my favorite spots in Prague.
 Sitting beneath the apple trees of the Seminary Garden, it is easy to forget you are in a city.

Seminářská Zahrada (Seminary Garden)

Come take a seat. Beneath this apple tree, the panorama is new-spires interlocking city and sky, rooftops colored like the fruit hanging overhead. Yet, with eyes closed, the senses are greeted by an old friend. There is a familiar itch to the grass, a sweetness infused in the breeze. And there’s that silence, only broken by the chatter of insects and late-summer leaves. Here, for a moment, you are not miles from home but drenched in the comforts of autumn.

 The occasional concert and exotic bird can be found in Wallenstein Garden.

Valdštejnská Zahrada (Wallenstein Garden)

Come take a listen. Strolling down Letenská, few sounds can compete with the metallic rumble of tram cars. Yet on certain afternoons, faint instrumentals spill into the street, escaping over the adjacent garden wall. The wise decision to follow this music will lead you back in time. As you wander into a labyrinth of greenery, you are quickly engulfed by the 17th century. A break in the trees reveals an impressive courtyard, surrounded on all sides by a rising baroque palace. It also reveals the musical source, as well as children dancing along to the tune.

Mánesův Most (Mánes Bridge)

Come take a look. From this distance, the Charles Bridge gives the illusion of a sleeping giant. Rising silently from the water, it gives no indication of the daily chaos it endures. Those who try to pass are quickly consumed by the voices- the musicians and parents and tour guides, all of languages to vast to be counted. Escape is obstructed by wandering children, by merchants, and amateur photographers. But from this distance the chaos disappears, and we are left with nothing but the sleeping giant and the river below.

 Winding up a steep hill in Prague, the paths through Petrin Gardens offer a colorful view of the city.

Petřínské Sady (Petrin Gardens)

Come take a walk. With daylight stretching thin, your traveled feet will beg for rest. However, their protests must be ignored to begin this ascent. Calves aching, you’ll crane your neck to search for the top. This position will feel familiar, as your day in Prague will likely be spent with eyes drawn upwards. Cities seem to have this effect. But now, as you rise along the path, something changes. Your gaze begins to shift. Looking down, you'll find the streets and buses and buildings have been transformed, now a warmly lit mosaic of rooftops and river. Architectural details collect in pools of red, yellow, orange, and blue. Even the flower boxes, delicately adorning the high windowsills, have become indistinguishable.

 The view from our CEA apartment after a rainy afternoon in Prague.

Újezd, Prague (The Apartment View)

Come take a moment. I’ve taken many in front of this window, this framed snapshot of our place in the city.  Upon arriving in Prague, my roommates and I would stare in disbelief at the backdrop to our semester.  It is by this view that friends will be made, hot dinners cooked, and new languages learned. As the traffic passes below, barriers will be broken, morning coffee sipped, and comfort zones abandoned. No doubt adventures await outside this apartment, but this is the image I will always return to.  And as I grow around it, ingrain it into my memories, this daily moment will never be taken for granted.

Taylor T is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a junior studying Marine Biology, Wildlife Conservation, Art and Global Studies at the University of Delaware.

Taylor Tewksbury is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic, and is currently studying at University of Delaware.
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