Dear Prague

Dear Prague,

 

As my first foray into Eastern Europe, I couldn’t have been happier with my travels this weekend.  Everything about your city has left me in absolute awe.  I arrived on my flight from Geneva early Friday morning knowing very little about your customs and traditions.  However, I have cultivated the utmost respect for such a culturally riveting city steeped in rich history and I now depart with a love for this city that has just exponentially multiplied across these few days.  

 

Every corner I turned, every cobblestoned street I wandered down and every bridge I walked across, I couldn’t help but marvel at all of the beauty and character that surrounded me.    

 

 

 

 

I haven’t been to a city yet where everyone, and I mean every single person, has such a warmth and compassion to them.  I’ll always remember all the passerbys whom would so kindly greet you with a smile and the gentleman who stood up to offer his seat, with such fortitude, to the elderly woman as soon as she she stepped into the cart (it’s a rare sighting these days- to see such courteous behavior).  

 

Nor will I forget the kind-hearted waitress at Jewel who made sure that I had the most pleasant dining experience possible.  Or the trdelnik master attending to his craft with such meticulous care while still managing to engage with his customers as we all patiently waited to get our hands on one of Prague’s most sought after street food delicacies.  

 

 

 

Or all of the families, vendors, artists and children at the Naplavka Farmer’s Market that  made it feel like a huge family gathering.  From all of the singing, dancing, warm embraces and thoughtful conversations, it was a most fortuitous moment that I was so lucky to experience and be a part of.  To see families, couples (old and young), children, and dogs even (!) gather on the riverbank to enjoy good food, lively music, and great company was a beautiful sight to behold.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, I’ll always remember that gentle-souled woman I encountered on the Charles Bridge in the first few hours of my arrival.  As I was walking across the bridge, taking my time to appreciate all of the sights and sounds around me, I came across her jewelry display.  She so patiently explained to me how her friend handcrafted each piece of jewelry and how each pair of earrings was uniquely hand-painted.  Her English was not fluent, nor could I communicate with her in Czech, but we were still able to carry on a conversation despite this and it brought me so much joy to see her elation when showing me all of the intricate details.  

 

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In just three short days, you have managed to capture my heart.  Through the warm hospitality of your people, the incredible gustatory treasures of your cuisine, and the majestical spirit of your city, you have easily made my introduction to Eastern Europe (and my first solo trip!!) a most wondrous and successful adventure.  

 

 

 

Thank you for the BEST meal of my entire life (as this post is getting rather long, I’ll write a special post dedicated to just talking about all of Prague’s culinary delights that I was fortunate enough to taste), for introducing me to such compassionate individuals, and for reminding me that when life doesn’t go the way you meticulously planned, it’s absolutely alright.  In all honesty, that’s where adventure begins and you are rewarded with some of the most rewarding experiences.  

 

The most bittersweet “see you later,” as I have no doubt in my mind that I will be back soon <3

 

 

With deep gratitude,

Michelle