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Prague re-visited

A wonderful encounter after more than 40 years

Prague in 1979, photo by Petershagen
Old book of prayer, picture by Gerda Friedel, 2019.

The first time I visited Prague must have been in 1979 – I was a teenager – and not so enthusiastic about visiting the ‚eastern block‘. I remember my uncle Jiri showing us around. In my memory the city was gloomy, shabby, and quiet except for some main streets on which you would find the majority of cars. The signs of communism were everywhere: I still see myself crossing Charles Bridge along with only a handful of other tourists. Prices were incredibly low, also because of favorable exchange rates: I bought an old book at an old-town antique shop for a few cents – my dad took us to a fancy restaurant, we had the waiter all for ourselves, and paid literally nothing for a five-course lunch. Souvenir shops were full of stuff noone wanted nor needed…

And then I returned to the Golden City this summer to find out things had totally changed

I stayed at the Four Seasons Prague – a perfect starting point for a walk through the old town’s maze of winding cobblestone streets. Charles Bridge, the castle and the old town are only a stone’s throw away. I enjoyed breakfast on the hotel terasse with a panoramic view of the castle and its surroundings.

Prague streets, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Backyard cafe in Prague’s old town, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Backyard art gallery, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Abysnth Cafe, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Prague mural, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)

The dusty communist atmosphere vanished long ago; today the city is full of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, museums and night life. After a long day of walking, shopping and visiting art exhibitions, I was glad to return to my wonderful Prague retreat.

Four Seasons Prague Lobby, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)

Harvard University '22 ALM Journalism

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