Have you ever dreamed of going somewhere in the world and then feared that it wouldn’t meet up to your expectations?
I am prone to this as I tend to dream about many places, and I have all sorts of ridiculous, romantic and unrealistic ideas of what it will be like. For example, I’m currently dreaming about camping as a family in Hawaii, and all I can think about is the warm sun and sound of the waves and playing the Ukulele by the fire while I feast on coconuts and fish. And even though I am doing a whole heap of research and getting all prepared in a practical way, my mind is filled with images of waves, sand, and a calm tropical family paradise. I know that it will not be so simple, I KNOW this. But I seem to be hard wired to mostly see the dreamy ideas conjured up from books and movies until my own personal experience can either confirm or deny the reality.
We literally went to Mexico knowing little more than rumours from other travellers and a bunch of Speedy Gonzales cartoons from our youth…more on that in the future!
Anyway, Prague was one of those places. I’d read the most imaginative and beautiful books set in Prague and my mind was full to the brim of the mystery and the enchantment awaiting me in the Golden City of 1000 spires.
The last time I’d let a book sweep me away was also in the Czech Republic, when I’d fallen in love with the idea of horse-riding in the wild Bohemian forests…only to have a crazy possessed demon horse try to throw me from his back rodeo style! ‘Sigh’, you’d think I’d learn, but no, I keep repeating the process, but I don’t care, I’d rather go into life expecting wonderful adventures than live my life in a world of mediocre hopes and dreams. So out I go, again and again, with wild joyous hopes that are either wonderfully fulfilled or that come crashing down. Sometimes it is a mix of both, but with brave international family travel, things are often in the extremes.
Prague was either going to fulfill my greatest travel fantasies, or it was going to bitterly disappoint…
Before heading out on such a momentous occasion, I had done a tonne of online research and found a lovely little art class for my older four kids to attend. We drove the 1.5 hours into Prague, dropped them off and then were free to wander the city all alone with our little baby. Then, the first magical thing happened - the baby fell asleep. Ross and I walked into the city of my dreams just as the sun was shining out from the clouds and we were able to just breathe and enjoy the beauty before us.
We headed straight for the town square – the best place to start in any European city. The historic square is in the Old Town Quarter of Prague. It is home to the famous Astronomical Clock and has the most wonderful vibe, I loved it wholeheartedly.
Ross and I were feeling all fancy free on our almost date alone, so we ducked into one of those tourist trap restaurant