Today is the last day of our trip. While I will be sad to say goodbye to the beauty and age that is Europe, if I were to continue traveling, I would need a vacation from vacation. Or a holiday from being on holiday. (Doesn’t holiday sound so much nicer than vacation? I remember thinking that during college in London as well).
We once again had a slow start to our day, which we loved. Have I mentioned my newfound love for putting a little Nutella on my banana? Probably not a good choice for daily consumption, but a great choice for the last day of my trip.
Today we headed to Prague Castle. If you are like me, you might be wondering what the difference is between a castle and a palace, since we saw several of each on our trip. I will save you the googling effort, and say that a castle was built for defensive purposes, while a palace is built to be a luxurious dwelling place; an ostentatious display of wealth. Word on the street is that Prague Castle is the biggest castle complex (in the world??). I should really start googling these facts I am telling you to double check them, but instead I just litter my posts with parenthetical question marks.
Well, the castle grounds sure were impressive. So impressively large, that as usual we had no idea which direction to head, and picked the wrong way. It is a wonder that we made it to all our destinations AND home again, with our extreme navigational difficulties this trip. We toured the St. Vitus Cathedral, full of beautiful stained glass; St. Peter’s Basillica, simple stone beauty; Golden Lane, the adorable tiny row of houses where the king’s guards used to live; and we think we also saw the royal gardens. We ate apples and siesta bars here. It was quiet and peaceful.
Despite our seemingly late start and disorientation, we managed to beat the crowds, which was so nice. Then we found our way to Petrin Hill. Not an easy task, as Prague likes to camouflage its public transportation stops. We took the funicular to the top of the hill, where we first found the rose garden. I use the term “found” loosely, as basically we exited the funicular directly into the garden. We enjoyed the garden, also with some pigeons and a nice Czech woman, who’s picture I took in front of the flowers. She then let us in on a little secret botanical garden nearby, hidden from the main path. This garden is what I imagine The Secret Garden to be like. It was out of a dream, and overflowing with beautiful flowers. We fell into our normal flower roles: me taking pictures and Rachel reading, before heading to see Prague’s miniature Eiffel Tower. I wanted this to be a cuter stop on the trip than it was. We then wandered along the hill top and stopped to read on a bench that overlooked the city.
We enjoyed some people watching from our perch.
People Watching Memorable Moment #1: Seriously – why do so many people walk carrying bags together – each holding one handle of the bag? Our favorite couple that did this jointly carried the bag in the middle and each held a GIANT jug of water in their other hand.
People Watching Memorable Moment #2: A biking tour consisting of a family of four and a local tourguide stopped right in front of us. Here is their exchange:
Mom: Are we going to go across the St. Charles Bridge?
Mom: Can I ask you a question about it then?
Guide: No. Bikes are not allowed on it.
Mom: [begins asking question anyways] How… ?
Guide: [cuts her off]: No. All your questions will be answered later. [and he gets on his bike and then all follow him, pedaling away]
We then walked down a charming street back toward the city. We passed by a man getting a ticket for driving the wrong way on a one way – but there was a bit of a language barrier, so it was a little amusing. We then stopped for dinner on a cute patio. My view was of two 14 year old girls dressed in white robes, performing mediocre music on the street on their flute and violin. Rachel’s view was of a creepy marionette shop with an even creepier puppet outside their front door.
I’d count Spinsters Sisters: Europa Edition a successful trip! Thanks sister!