Smelling the Roses

“It’s too touristy” and the more subtle “I HATE Prague” were two very common responses we got when we were soliciting opinions about our upcoming trip.

Day 2 of our stay in Prague and caught in the hustle and bustle of trying to cram in as many tourist attractions as possible, I can easily see why.

Almost EVERYTHING in Prague is built for tourists… and I guess, almost every tourist is built for Prague. There are historical (and VERY beautiful) pieces of architecture everywhere and there are a few very common and easily accessible routes you can take to see them all… as long as you are willing to pay the price.

My first symptom of tourism fatigue set in as we were wandering through Prague Castle.

The St Vitus Cathedral within the grounds of the Prague Castle was awe inspiring. Going into the cathedral, you realized that you can only walk so far before two very stern (and burly) looking man ask you for “Tickets” to see the rest of the cathedral.

The same thing occurred every where in the Castle. The East Wing, the West Wing, the South Tower of the Cathedral, a pictorial guide to the history of Prague, a WWII Photo exhibition within the Palace grounds, etc… It seemed you need tickets to go into every single nook and cranny of the castle, including the TOILETS (0.5 Euros) (Seriously…).

I can see how easy it is to just pay the money, “since we are here already anyway”, and just to get that “tick in the box” for attractions visited, but it felt wrong to my stingy little heart.

We finally decided that we are not “tourists” but “short to mid term travelers” and we don’t really need this shit right now.

We moved on from the Palace and decided to dive into the first alley we see to get a feel of the “real Prague”.

And this is what we saw..

We spent quite a bit of the (more pleasant) afternoon in this garden with roses as big as Jo’s face.

If this was not a sign for us to “Stop and smell the roses”, I don’t know what would be… It seemed that there is a lot more to Prague than what the Guidebooks offer. It’s all here, you just need to stop and look for them.

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