Ellie heads to the Czech Republic and discovers another world on her doorstep… 

The Colourful City

After just over a month of working three-day weeks it seemed that I had earned my autumn half term break. With a group of ten fellow English language assistants as keen to travel the continent as I, it soon became an obvious choice to jump on a train to the Czech Republic. With local delicacies such as goulash and dumplings to try, rich history to experience and the biggest nightclub in central Europe to visit, it did not take much convincing to part with some of my first ever teacher’s salary.

Forecasts of snow excited me, with visions of rooftops dusted with icing sugar, furry hats and warm hot chocolates from the comfort of cosy local cafés. Despite the distinct lack of snow, the fur hats coming in shades of green and the sour hot chocolates causing mass upset; Prague did not disappoint.

Prague’s rooftops, minus the snow

For those who haven’t been: Go. Prague is utterly breathtaking. Despite being only a couple of hours from the border of Germany, you enter a completely different world. A world in which frothy beer comes in charming goblets, where your hostel looks like a royal boudoir and money comes in lumps of 2000. You can spend days just walking round the city with no plans in mind, stumbling past the birthplace of Franz Kafka or the John Lennon wall. The historic city center is a UNESCO world heritage site; and it doesn’t take much to see exactly why. A walk up to Prague’s castle provides spectacular views over the whole city, meaning hundreds of photos being taken by yours truly.

View from Prague Castle

Spending Halloween in Prague definitely heightened the magic of the town. As the sun set, a walk along the historic Charles Bridge become an eerie adventure, with the full moon shining through theatrically creepy clouds and the cobbled pavement extending as far as the eye could see. Yes, seemingly all very mysterious and unreal. Was this due to the copious amounts of beer (and the odd absinthe—when in Prague…)? I’ve come to no firm conclusion except that my mind tends towards the overactive.

Small but perfectly formed

Back to the normality of my working week in Germany and the fact that I have taken a holiday hits me. Arriving home felt ordinary. As if I was finally coming back to home comforts after a trip abroad. This is no longer a year abroad: it is a year in a new home.

 

Halloween on Charles Bridge

 

Eleanor Kutylowski 

 

Image credits: Eleanor Kutylowski