I had high expectations of Prague even before I went there. That was mostly because all my female friends who have been there recommended it vehemently to me. “Prague ki feel hi kuch alag hai!” was what I had heard. I didn’t realise that soon enough, but when I did, I knew just the word to qualify Prague. If Budapest is wild, Prague is romantic.
Yes, Prague is as romantic as romance can get. If Budapest is a prostitute, Prague is the lover. If Chain Bridge is about sex, Charles Bridge is about love. The narrow alleys of Prague, with the cobbled stones and bright-coloured houses, hesitatingly invite you to explore the city, just like a lover seduces you to explore her deepest secrets, while holding back simultaneously. But you truly have to be patient to realise this true beauty of Prague, for there are many tourists trying to woo her simultaneously. “A city is not a concrete jungle, but a human zoo”, said by our walking tour guide, kept resonating as I went through this town.
We had landed in Prague in the night, which is truly when Prague comes to life. As you walk along the laconic streets of Prague, you are often greeted by a large drunken horde of people. Meet the Prague Pub-Crawlers, for there are many of them. The next morning, we started on a walking tour, with a rather chatty guide, who insistently expressed his contempt for the Czech dream to be Western. And in those moments, I was reminded of India, as it is undergoing a similar cultural transition, with the western tempests rocking the ethnic ships. The identity theft is probably not as severe as that in Czech, but it’s there.
We walked through a brief history of Catholicism and Judaism, from the Old Town to the Jewish Quarters. The astronomical clock, which not only shows the time of the day but also the intensity of sunlight, intrigued me. What is such a momentous invention of our time? A lot many may be, but the era always seems more romantic once it’s gone.
In the night, the Castle, overlooking the Charles Bridge, creates a golden reflection over the black water. The breeze flowing by carves a smile on my face as the lover, in her black dress and golden earrings, has left me enchanted!
All pictures used are mine and should not be reproduced without permission.