Views of Prague from across the river
Whew. Where did the last few days go? I feel like I blinked and went to Budapest to Prague to Vienna, where we arrived this afternoon. Details:
We finished the Budapest visit with an orchestra concert that, while long, was a great experience. Plus you can't beat the views. Our final night in Budapest was relaxed (I think everyone was a little sleepy from the concert, to be honest), but we found a cool local pub where the city's soccer (sorry, football) fans gathered to watch the night's game. We all got pizzas and enjoyed the mostly empty space and colorful locals, who playfully mocked us with their talk of American football, the Super Bowl, and Tom Brady.
Budapest at night, as seen from the concert hall terrace
From Budapest we then headed to Prague. I was not quite sure what to expect from the city, but from the second we stepped foot there it was clear it was not like Budapest at all. On the whole, Budapest seemed much smaller, more quaint, and quieter; in comparison, Prague is like the louder but cooler older sibling. Our hotel was in a great location right next to the city's main boulevard (a bit like Times Square, but with much less lights) and a quick walk away from the river and Charles Bridge and Old Town Square, which is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods.
I saw my first opera in Prague, Tosca. It was dramatic, over the top, and corny for sure, but the singing! Oh my! It was incredible just to listen (and thank goodness for English subtitles, however unconventional they may be). After the opera everyone was dying to try the famed hot chocolate from Hotel Europa, an old haunt of many Prague creative minds, including Kafka. I balked at the hot chocolate and ordered the Irish coffee instead - it was delicious, as was the slice of cappuccino cake I shared to go alongside.
Cappuccino cake at Hotel Europa
Yesterday we started the day with a trip to Terezin (more on that later) and when we came back visited St. Vitus Cathedral on the other side of the river. Like Budapest, there seemed to be a great divide between the two sides of the river; it was so quiet and quaint over there, and the views were, once again, phenomenal.
St. Vitus Cathedral
So now we are in Vienna and will be here until Saturday. It's hard to believe I've only been gone a week because it seems so long ago that I was in Atlanta. The trip so far has been a whirlwind: crazy, eye-opening, challenging. (I even lost my voice last weekend.) But I feel so grateful to be able to experience Europe and this culture, even if only for a few days in each city. It's truly incredible.
Prague at dusk
Until next time... (likely from Italy - eep!)