Where do you think I’d go for my first real vacation since repatriating? Duh! Europe, of course!
We did not manage to visit Prague while we lived in Europe, even though it kept my designation of “The Most Beautiful City” bestowed upon it after our first visit there. We always wrapped that trip into some nonsense about it being a present to Becky on her 10th birthday (it was, in fact, her very first trip to Europe, but we went while she was still a few weeks short of the milestone, and Prague was at the top of our list of destinations, regardless of whether we could attach it to a momentous occasion). As my youngest also approached her 10th birthday, it felt appropriate – and very symmetrical – to use that as a pretext for a return trip to the Czech capital.
We had a marvelous time, did a fair share of sightseeing, went to a number of places that we did not manage to visit on our first journey, and mixed that up with periods of un-tourist-like idleness in parks or playgrounds. Prague remains as beautiful as I ever remembered, and what it may be lacking in terms of major museums, it compensates with its overall ambiance.
I don’t mean to imply that Prague is short on sightseeing attractions. Far from it. It has a splendid cathedral, a wealth of architectural gems, from the incomparable Charles Bridge to striking palaces of Bohemian nobility, an evocative compact circuit of synagogues, a number of pleasant parks, squares and gardens opening different perspectives on the town… It is a “walk-and-be-awed” type of city, and walk it we did.
Staying at a B&B literally 50 meters from the Charles Bridge put us within short distance of all major sights. It also provided me with an easy nightly diversion of lingering on the bridge after the children had gone to bed. I suspect I don’t know many other places in the world where I could linger every night for a couple of hours, doing nothing but people-watching and enjoying the surrounding vista.
Here is an 180-degree panoramic view of the bridge, looking towards the Old Town side. I did not have time or energy to edit out a couple of unfortunate stitching artifacts caused by my less-than-perfect photography, but I figured it was still a pretty nice picture. Click to embiggen.
Four days passed in a flash, and then we flew to London for a day, so that the kids could catch up with their old friends. Becky spent almost an entire day with half a dozen of her former classmates around Central London, while Kimmy met up with two of her own best pals on a Southbank playground. That last part of the trip was undoubtedly one both of my children desired the most, and they were suitably saddened when it ended. I had a chance to catch up with a couple of friends as well.
Back to the grind now. Next trip has not yet been planned, so far…