Summer 2017 was unforgettable. My family and I set out on a journey which started in the Czech Republic, then through Germany and ended in amazing Austria. I’ve been meaning to write about our trip in hopes that it inspires you as well as serves as a memoire for my family. I strongly feel traveling is the greatest tool in learning about life, people, and the world in general.
The best thing we did was hiring our vacation organizer, Martin Merta who is the owner of Distinctly Deutschland located in Germany. Martin planned out every step of our trip. I highly recommend hiring a service like this since it allows you to enjoy your travels instead of stressing about the planning. After a 16 hour journey from Los Angeles (we switched planes in Switzerland), we arrived in the city of a thousand spires. Gorgeous Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. None of the photos I had ever seen did it justice. It’s magical.
Our hotel, UNIC Prague, was a 4 star, boutique hotel centrally located close to Old Town. They had great customer service (gave us umbrellas) and the breakfast was amazing. We spent 4 nights there. Upon arrival, we were told we had a package waiting for us. It was a big binder from our Martin filled with our daily itinerary, maps, brochures, tickets to all the tours we had reserved, recommendations for places to eat and lastly a European iphone 7+ loaded with all the contact information of everywhere we were headed to. YES, AH-MAY-ZING
Our first day started with a 3 hour walking tour of the city in the midst of pouring rain. We walked through the beautiful New Town, Old Town and Jewish Town.To escape the rain, halfway through, we had mint tea at Cafe Mozart which overlooked the famous Prague Astronomical Clock in the Historic City Center.
The rain added to the romanticism of Prague. Most of the interiors are art deco, decorated or inspired by the Czech artist, Alfons Mucha. There are many churches in Prague but we were told only 4% of the population associated themselves with any religion, only 10% of which actually practiced. The churches are open to any religious backgrounds and mainly used as event facilities.
After our tour, we had an incredible lunch at La Finestra Restaurant. This place is for the serious carnivores only. They brought out a rolling cart stacked with raw meat from all over the world for us to choose from, one of which was from Texas! Yeehaw! I had the steak from Italy and it was amazing!
I was thrilled to see an art store across the street from our hotel called at Výtvarné potřeby v Soukenické where I found French Gouache paint and bought every color they offered as well as some great brushes and sketchbooks.!!! Talk about kid in a candy store!!!
Dinner was preplanned at a restaurant Martin had reserved for us called Restaurant Kampa Park. O.M.G. The views! Kampa Park is right at the base of Charles Bridge where 30 statues of saints are carved all along the sides, It is truly a feast for the eyes and soul. I just could not get enough and the halibut was to die for.
This is where we found the John Lennon wall. It is an ever changing mural where all visitors are encouraged to add a message of peace. If you ever visit, do not miss this landmark.
We rounded off the night walking through The Lesser Town, Mala Strana and the Charles Bridge. Breathtaking is the only word that comes to mind.
I wanted to document my journey by doing at least one drawing a location, no matter how quickly, to remember my experiences. Here’s my drawing from Kampa Park Restaurant.
and that concluded day one.