Enchanted with Prague
Minutes after arriving in Prague, I discovered a book-trade shelf for travelers in search of a good read. “I love Prague,” I shouted as I tossed my hands into the air and felt a rush of warmth in my heart for a city I had barely discovered.
And yet, as my mother and I wandered through the quaint city, we quickly found that this warmth was the very essence of Prague. It’s a city filled with surprises and overflowing with creativity. Music rose from The Charles Bridge as we wandered. It spilled into the river and floated through Prague, as I fell into a trance, swept away by the sheer magic of the moment. I looked out across the water and saw the skyline of the city. The rush of the water beneath the bridge and the indistinguishable chatter of different languages blended together, creating a gentle hum behind the rising music.
That first day, an old college friend of mine, who happened to be in Prague for a writing program, led my mother and I on a miniature tour in the heart of the city. There, we found the ever-morphing John Lennon Wall. It started as a memorial after Lennon died and over time it became a community mural.
At first, it’s difficult to make sense of the splashes of colorful messages scrawled across the wall. As I stood before it, I became overwhelmed by the amount of prayers and thoughts that had been etched onto the stone, and imagined the layers of hopeful messages that were hidden beneath its current skin. Colors dripped down the wall, and an entire universe existed on its facade.
I ran my hand alongside someones message: “Never grow up.” I traced my hand onto the wall, and signed my name.
The next few days were spent exploring, as my mother and I uncovered the hidden and not-so-hidden secrets of Prague. We walked across the entire city and back, always returning to the place where music spilled across the cobblestones and erupted into the night. The Charles Bridge vibrated with energy, and burst at the seams of the Gothic skyline. It remained a constant presence throughout our trip and a comfort to our wandering souls.
After an early dinner on our last night, we returned to the bridge. The sun was setting, and the silhouettes of the statues lining the bridge watched over us. We said hello to our favorite one—a knight with a golden sword—and continued on our way. As we walked, a familiar tune rose into the night as stars came out of hiding. It was a love song, which felt perfect, for I was enamored with Prague. As the melody danced across the bridge I was swept away by the steady sway of the cello quartet.
I left Prague the next morning, and as the city disappeared from sight I could hear the music rising from the bridge as it echoed in my memory. I knew I’d return to the place where music spilled across cobblestone, where colors drip down walls, and an infinite number of secrets are painted on stone.
Prague is the kind of place that can be discovered, and rediscovered. The more you look, the more you see. It’s the kind of place that stays with you forever, and when you do eventually return, its music will sweep you away once again.