Two months is a long time to spend in another country. But Prague — along with pretty much everyone I met — was good to me. Numbers 10, 9 and 8 were posted yesterday. Now here are four more things I will miss now that I’m back in Ohio.
7. Walking everywhere. I’m not sure I could safely walk to my office in Franklin Hall if I wanted to. The Google map tells me it’s an hour and 22 minutes and experience warns me some of that is without sidewalks and up and down hills.
But the trek to Anglo-American University from my apartment was 13 minutes — a bit longer if I chose to battle the crowds and go across scenic Karlův most (Charles Bridge).
Better yet, as my Fitbit will attest, I walked almost everywhere — and that included, on a regular basis, Tesco for just about anything, the Post Office, the Bakeshop and all except one restaurant (Sakura sushi, a tram ride away). All this walking led to an average of almost 20,000 steps a day, with one mega day of 30,000+ steps that included Prague Castle, the Strahov Monastery and Petřín Hill (right) (130 meters above the river — and the funicular was being repaired). That meant a walk of almost 12 miles along cobblestone streets, through a basilica built in 920, peaking in on a library started in 1143, visiting a lookout built in 1892 to mimic the Eiffel Tower, then heading down a steep hill that ends at the Vlatava River.
6. Vetrnik. The Czech Republic may be known for Prague ham and terdlniki, both slowly browning on spits with tourists lined up to get them. But there are better delicacies, especially vetrnik. And the best, according to Taste of Prague, are the vetrnik at Cafe Savoy. It’s hard to describe just how exquisite these are: a choux pastry much like a delicate cream puff with vanilla cream, caramel-flavored whipped cream and a caramel glaze. Cafe Savoy is virtually at the foot of Petřín Hill so the vetrnik pictured below — the mini size because they also come about four times this big — were a much-deserved award for a day of walking.
5. Amazing Architecture. Why didn’t I ever take a college course in architecture, just so I could know the difference between Baroque and Gothic, Art Nouveau and Renaissance? The good news is Prague has them all, and, even though I couldn’t always identify their category, I could appreciate their beauty. The only problem — the shots become a photographic exercise in parallax with walls tilting in. But at least they do so gracefully. This is a random sampling of some that caught my eye — and the kinds of structures I don’t see in Kent, Ohio.