Czech Republic is the kind of country you read about in fairy tales. From enjoying the sunset over Prague Castle to eating traditional spreads on a river cruise along the Vltava, Prague proved itself to be one of my favourite cities in Europe. Miluji tě, Czech Republic!
PRAGUE: 5 Fun Facts
Sitting on a stool at the front of the boat, our Czech guide held out a long stick with colourful ribbons flying off of one end, a grin on his face. “Pomlázka,” he said, as if that explained everything. Every Easter, the people of Czech Republic participate in a unique tradition in which boys walk door to door with this braided rod of willow, whipping girls on the thighs. In return, the girls give them a hand-painted egg. If a girl isn’t whipped on Easter Day, their legend states that they will lose their beauty and grow ugly over the year… OK Prague, you do you!
The same Czech man taught us that everybody in his country has two birthdays. One on the day they were born, and the second on their svátek, or in English, their ‘name day.’ Apparently all Kayla’s in Praha celebrate their second birthday on November 4th, so I am definitely expecting a second cake come November!
What is a Trdleník, you ask? Only the most delicious food in all of Europe. The sugary cone is dipped in cinnamon, crunchy on the outside with a surprisingly soft texture in the middle. The cones can be filled with your choice of apple strudel, strawberries, nutella, whipped cream… there were so many options to choose from that I may or may not have had two. When in Prague!
- Astronomical Clock
Striking 12 o’clock, the Astronomical Clock in the middle of Old Town Square springs to life, doors opening and figurines rotating in the windows as a bell rings across the city. The 600-year-old dial shows a Medieval perspective of the Universe with Earth in the center of the planetary system. Each sculpture on the corners of the clock is jammed with symbolism, if you only look closely enough.
- Charles Bridge
The most famous bridge in Prague is lined with 30 Gothic and Baroque statues overlooking the Vltava river, depicting saints from the 17th and 18th centuries. A statue of Saint John of Nepomuk stands in the middle of the bridge, holding a secret legend that guarantees your return to Prague if you touch the gold plate at his feet.