It's strange that the best, most memorable part of my Prague trip happened before I even arrived in Prague. I should probably just rename this trip, in that case, to the Dresden-to-Decin trip. It's not Prague's fault, of course, but that's exactly what happens when you have adventures like falling through abandoned warehouse floors and rustic camping in the Czech Republic before you even hit the "main event."My body and mind was fried by the time the train pulled into the main station – my travel companion Michael's had failed him before we even got on the train at Litomerice – and it took us a good hour of wandering through Prague rush hour to find my friend's Airbnb flat. Gorgeous and large, the flat was on the 5th floor of an old, charming apartment building with tall ceilings, large windows and balconies, and a back courtyard garden between the other buildings. I was more than happy to wash off the biking-and-sleeping-on-forest-floor grime, drink a fine Czech beer, and then sit on the windowsill in my room to admire the view of the neighborhood as the sun went down. I was asleep by 9pm that night, and I'm even surprised I last that long!
I visited all the incredible sites that one does when visiting a place like Prague, including the Charles Bridge, the Astrological Clock and the Prague Castle, and I'll include a slideshow of images below. But I'll spare you a detailed description of these days in Prague because they weren't extraordinary at all. What's interesting about this trip is that I'd been wanting to visit Prague for so long, building it up in my head, and then when I got to Prague my head was still in Berlin -- thinking about all the photo work I was so excited to be doing back home. Go figure!
That said, after days of rain in Prague and cancelling our plans to bike all the way back to Dresden, a nice end to the trip was staying in Dresden on Tuesday night with a Couchsurfing host and new friend, Susanne. We talked for hours and hours, and she gave us a wonderful tour of Dresden on Wednesday by bike and explained to us about the city's history from a local's perspective. Dresden was completely destroyed during WW2 and most of the city center lay in ruin during GDR occupation; it slowly has been rebuilt since reunification. She showed us before and after pictures, and told us about what it was like growing up in the city. Susanne was even so kind as to pose for me in the newly restored Frauenkirche.
I was happy to return to my home in Berlin. This is very new to me, this feeling of wanting to stay in one place. I felt so impatient to be home, and Prague was really lovely. Again, it wasn't Prague's fault. Perhaps after all the places I've seen and been this year, I'm just traveled out. I made some nice pictures on this trip, a few of which will end up in my portfolio, but I think it might be some time before I do any more big trips. I feel like I'm already where I need to be. Yay for Berlin!
Top photos: Svatý Michal zvaný Karpatský (I'd like to think in Czech this means "old fortress.") Anni photo, courtesy of Michael Kroetch
Bottom photo: Frauenkirche, Dresden, 2013