Prague Blog – Enjoying the Paris of the East!

By Dan Friesen on April 10, 2015

Scott and I landed in Prague this afternoon after uneventful flights, picked up our rental car, and headed into the heart of the city to meet Hildrun, our favorite Austrian guide who is helping us develop this new walking tour program in Eastern Europe.

The Charles Bridge on Prague's Vltava River

The Charles Bridge on Prague’s Vltava River

It’s my first return to Prague since 2006 – a city I’ve visited several times dating back to my first ever Walking Adventures tour with my father, George, in 1992. The changes to Prague, and in the Czech Republic, are no less profound than the contrast between monochrome and color. In 1992, the days of communism and Soviet repression were still fresh, and a culture that had survived 50 years of a closed economy and repressive government was just beginning to experiment with self-rule, democracy, and free enterprise.

With Hildrun’s help, I had selected a hotel in Lesser Town – Mala Strana – very near the Vltava River and a stone’s throw from the famed 14th century Charles Bridge. Dinner with Hildrun at a local restaurant we’re considering for the group was a delight. Czech fare is hearty and meaty and usually accompanied with dumplings and always accompanied by pivo – beer. The Czechs love their beer and by tomorrow evening we intend to be in Pilsen, home of Pilsener beer.

Spires of the monastery at sunset - Prague

Spires of the monastery at sunset – Prague

After dinner, we took a jet-lag chasing stroll along the Vltava River and through Prague’s Old Town, considering adjustments to tomorrow’s walk planning. It was a lovely warm April evening and the squares and lanes were full of people enjoying the outdoor opportunities warmer weather brings.

A very long day of transit ended back at our hotel with an ice cream treat and the first horizontal sleep we’d had for over 36 hours! Tomorrow, we plan our Prague walk – really just making adjustments to a walk we’ve done several times in the past.

Prague at night: Charles Bridge with Prague Castle

Prague at night: Charles Bridge with Prague Castle