Travel Journal (Day 5)
July 22, 2013

Travel Journal (Day 5)

For day four of my journal, I wrote about much of the old town Prague sites we experienced on our very informative walking tour. In this one, I will focus on the Prague Castle tour, which was also a walking tour. Let’s jump into it!

1. St. Charles Bridge

This is the most famous bridges in Prague connecting the old town to the castle. It is one of the beautiful bridges that everyone should see and appreciate. Lined with statues and carvings, it overlooks the Danube and clearly has some of the most impressive and beautiful views.

2.  The Monastery

In the castle area is a monastery that has survived the centuries of persecution, conquering, and exile. Today, it still exists and still works. They make St. Norbert’s beer on the premises, and this is a beer that is absolutely delicious. It is dark and rich without being too overwhelming. The monks also brew other types, but the St. Norbert’s is the best, most revered. Plus, the fact that the monastery is still working after all the country has experienced is pretty incredible.

3. The Castle

The Castle itself is home to many sites. Naturally, there are galleries and museums as well as churches. The castle is far quieter and calmer once you start picking your way through the gardens and walkways and away from the hubbub. It is a nice break and really inspires contemplation about the lives of royals, the struggles of all, and the impact of history.

4. John Lennon Wall

This is quite possibly my favorite wall in Prague. Here is the story: so when the Czech people were mastered by communists and suffered under the regime and weight of the Iron Curtain, one wall was used to paint images, quotes, thoughts, and ideas of peace and freedom. Of course, this was graffiti; but never mind that for now.

Naturally, the communist leaders did not want the people of Prague to even know that such ideas existed beyond the borders, so they would paint over it. Shortly afterward, more graffiti showed back up. This happened over and over and over again. Never did the voices of freedom give up on the wall. So, after the Velvet Revolution and the ousting of the communists, Prague thought about painting over the wall once and for all, but the French Embassy spoke up for the voices that for decades had used it to spread ideas and freedom and requested it not be painted over or taken down. Because of that, the John Lennon Wall is still present and used today for people to paint their ideas of love, freedom, and peace–those that John Lennon himself would smile upon.

Each of these sights was individually impressive in its own right, but together they make up the beauty that is Prague. I love this city. It is one of my favs in Europe and the world alike. I am sad to leave, but also excited about the following cities.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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