My love-letter to Prague!

View from the Charles Bridge

I somehow knew that every place has its personality.  Prague somehow made it so clear.  Our wavelength and frequency just rightly matched. We looked into each other’s eyes the first time and knew our heart beats were synchronizing, our breathing pattern rhymed and we understood each other and felt that age old feeling you have whenever you fall in love, “Feels like I know you for so long.”

View from the Charles Bridge

View from the Charles Bridge

I was always in a doubt whether I am a romantic or not. People who claim themselves as romance-lovers when talked about their wishes to die together or eat, breathe, walk, live and practically just stick together, I twitched my face in boredom. Sticking a phone to my ear and speaking of love in a mushy voice isn’t my thing either. When I compared myself I decided I was rather a bit cold and not a romantic at all.

Prague told me in a very Prague way, I was. This place doesn’t let you talk much, or proclaim lengthy promises and articulate desires. It just makes you wonder. It creates a magic spell on you when words fall short. All you would want to do if you sat by the river facing the fairyland castle in the evening to see the colours change before your eyes is to look for words–the appropriate words that could reveal all that you feel when you skipped your beats and gasped.

Prague being considered a romantic place, is a popular spot for marriage.)

Prague being considered a romantic place, is a popular spot for marriage.)

When I returned from the airport after I first hit the ground I met an old man. He smiled and came to sit beside me and talked. He talked about his life, his wife, his interests and places I should visit in Prague. Before he left the train at his stop he did a quick funny dance near the gate to make me laugh.

I was already feeling too welcomed after I got down from the train to look for the destination. A nice lady walked beside and asked if she could help with the direction. In this new place I walked my first steps with her amazed by the friendliness of the people in this land.

Not to mention, these were just the beginning hours. My thrill, adrenaline and irresistible love bursted out as I entered the restaurants there. The fairy godmother swung her wand at the menus and said, “Let there be the kind of food Aparajita particularly likes.” I was like a hungry dog salivating in each meal and chewed the morsel and licked as my tongue experienced multiple orgasms inside.

Goulash was my love at first taste there. It is a beef curry served with a bread like thing they call dumpling. The combination of the soaked dumpling bits in the gravy followed by a piece of the meat all being chewed together broke a hidden code inside my mouth and the door that opened with a click led to the pathway of ecstasy.

Goulash with dumpling—the most popular Czech delight!

Goulash with dumpling—the most popular Czech delight!

Goulash soup is just the gravy served inside a bread made like a container. Roasted duck is another delicacy. Pork knee is one more. Pork liver soup is balls made out of pork liver floating on the soup-top to be rescued. With all these new food to be tried out I was in my seventh heaven already.

To top it again, not only the food, the restaurants and the locations they were in were brilliant. In London if you pick a place with a nice view to add on, you got to take a deep breath and be ready to pay extra pounds for the air that you breathe in and the things that you see apart from the food that you swallow into your mouth.

A restaurant in Old Town Square

A restaurant in Old Town Square

In Prague even the nicest of the nicest locations didn’t really vary in the prices much. Along with the food I could soak in the atmosphere and keep all my senses occupied with pleasure.  The boat restaurant at night that floated on the water with Jazz musicians performing live, with candles on the table-tops and lights on the bank of River Vltava shimmering on the water, bits of chicken and sips of Czech white wine entering the elementary canal calming and soothing my senses…what else were I born to do on this Earth?

A restaurant with cozy fire

A restaurant with cozy fire

One more place I loved was on the hill-top on the way to the castle. You could see the top view of Prague from there, sit amongst a grape vine and sip red wine. The weather was amazing that day and a ray of sun hit the glass to lighten the colour of wine from maroon to crimson. It penetrated the glass and casted a red reflection over the white table like an abstract painting on canvas. That glowing red colour so luring, tempting and throbbing with desire mixed with the evening sun and mild wind created one more magic moment I would always carry with me locked inside my memory cell from Prague.

The magic potion!

The magic potion!

During the day I went to see the very famous Astronomical clock strike in its hour and the performance and trumpets that followed after that. As the clock struck, the skeleton pulled the bell to remind us of our fixed duration on Earth which every hour got shorter.  The figures above shook their heads “No” in denial to death and to embrace life. All I could think was this is so my type of metaphor and explanation. During my first year of design course I remember doing an assignment on “time” where I related death and clock in just so similar way. This is a kind of association that is so easy for me to relate and understand. Prague is my long lost friend. We have one soul that had got separated in the spin of lives and deaths sometime.

Astronomical clock—the oldest functioning one

Astronomical clock—the oldest functioning one

Oh and how I hate discipline and fixed identity and civil-perfection. I can never appreciate a typical something if it is not an experimental mixture in its own way in own style revealing its own nature. I like people who are not typical Hindus or Muslims or Christians, or typical Bengalis, Punjabis or Tamils. I like the type of person who is not typically an arrogant atheist but an atheist in quest of spiritualism, not a typical religious moron but a person who thinks and questions and thus becomes a unique mixture from all ages, all beliefs and all styles picking and adorning and changing along the journey with whatever comes.

Dear Prague, not that I know a lot about architecture but with whatever senses I can appreciate I admire you for the different styles you so proudly held to mix match your personality in each phase, in each era that made you so alive.

The last evening before I left Prague, I was like a mad boy in love, madly in loss before he departs and would kiss the face of his lover haphazardly anywhere. I wanted to soak in as much as I could and hold her till the last moment in my memory chord. I went on a long walk in Mala Strana—the narrow lantern lit lanes across the river. It was orange in the mild glow, quiet and magical. I sat by the river and watched the sunset cast spells on my eyes, I walked on the Charles Bridge while the seagulls were fluttering their wings till they were tired and returned home finally. I sat before the magical glow of the Church of our Lady in Old Town Square and felt I was in a Harry Potter world walking and living in my dream half awake and half aware.

Evening with gliding birds

Evening with gliding birds

The river was perfectly located with the perfect number of seagulls diving in and out and swirling around. The castle across the river was just in the right position in just the perfect location. The people walking by talked just in the perfect pitch as if humming a magic code in murmer. The light in the evenings was just the perfect amount to guide one to walk and yet lose track from reality and be hypnotized into a magic land.

I left a part of me with you wandering in those lanes when the lights go dim at night. In short, dear Prague, I loved you so much.

A view across the river Vltava

A view across the river Vltava

  • Welcome aboard.
    You sketched the city with beautiful expressions.
    Enjoyed and loved the story, as well as the pictures.
    Keep writing.

  • A love letter indeed! Beautiful post! Welcome, Aparajita.

    It is good thought – regarding the outliers amongst the stereotypes. Liked that.

    Superb (and mouth-watering description of the city) and then every picture speaking thousand words by itself.

    Thank you for a great start this morning.

    • Thanks a lot Smita. It wasn’t meant to be informative, rather experiential. So, looking at other posts, wasn’t quite sure if this would fit well in Ghumakkar. Nice to know you liked it. I can post more now. :)

  • Shubhum Gujral

    Beautiful!

  • Awesome expression about a city. Love to read more , Aparajita keep on writing and share your experience.

    • Thanks a lot Arun. More to come…! :)

  • Bidisha

    A teaser to all the senses—your writeup is indeed, Aparajita. Loved every bit and would expect more and more from you. Keep travelling, keep writing.

    • Thank you so much Bidisha. I am certainly drawing a lot of enthusiasm to travel and to write more from these very encouraging comments.

  • Sandeep Gupta

    Descriptive, Romantic, backed up with appropriate and mood capturing photographs. Congrats for such a informative and dreamy package which also brings to the fore, the many many talents you have been endowed with. NID and so much more after all.

    You bring out the Prague much better than I have known it. Congrats once again.

    Well, do go to Venice and trust you me, even a non-romantic on the wrong side of 60 like me fell for it. Maybe a person like you may just decide to stay there for good.

    Ghumakkar needs writers like you who will infuse new life and take it to a still higher level.

    Sandeep Gupta

    • Thanks a lot Sandeep. I have been to Venice and yes, as you said, never wanted to get back. Thank you so much for your very encouraging comment. Means so much to me. :)

  • Welcome aboard Aparajita.

    A very romantic beginning. We were in Brussles this summer and we were in same spot as your when we were leaving it. We did walk so much, looking at every corner one more time and telling ourselves deep in our hearts those golden words, ‘I would be back’, :-).

    I would also prefer some tips/advice so that the practical aspect of log is not entirely lost , in quest of experiential prowess. Hope to read more from you. Wishes.

    • Hi Nandan,

      I have not been to Brussels but heard about how beautiful it is and hope to make there soon. Europe as a whole in summer is so lovely and every place has such unique characteristics.
      Even I did feel I need to balance with more travel informations or tips. Actually this was written for my blog after I was back from this dreamland. Didnt think of the technical aspects then. In the later articles for Ghumakkar I would try to… :)

  • AUROJIT

    Hi Aparajita,

    Welcome to Ghumakkar.

    Wonder which is more tantalizing – Prague, in its grand manifestation; or your superbly flowing narrative !

    The pics are great. I am tempted to say that they are objects of art, created by the artist herself.

    Enjoyed your narration about Praha, more so, since we were also there recently. The town square, the castle, Vltava flowing under the Charles’ bridge – well captured, indeed.

    Keep sharing,

    Auro.

  • abheeruchi

    Welcome to Ghumakkar.
    What a beautiful post; words as well as pictures.
    Keep travelling, keep writing and keep sharing.
    Waiting for few more beautiful posts….

    • Thank you so much Abheeruchi! More coming… :)

  • Wow, Aparajita Ji…great expression & wonderful impressions with your very first post! Relished it thoroughly…welcome to ghumakkar family…:)

    • Thank you so much Vipin. So glad you liked it. :)

  • nirdesh singh

    Hi Aparajita,

    Welcome to Ghumakkar!

    Prague indeed is beautiful. The photos look lovely and bring out the essence of cities in Europe – river, castles, people, road side cafeterias and of course wine.

    You have tough requirements of people. We are glad you found all of them in your soulmate Prague.

    Is that a hot air balloon in the sky in the first photo?

    Keep writing!

    • Hi Nirdesh,

      Thank you so much. Yes that is an air balloon. Prague indeed in beautiful. Europe as a whole keeps tempting me. Hope I can visit again. :)