I have never been out of the country before the spring of 2014. I have never been on a plane before the spring of 2014. I guess you could say I had my first experience-of-a-lifetime too. I remember it like it was yesterday. The air is cool and crisp, and the sun, still young in the morning sky. The first sight we see exiting the airport: Mercedes taxis and coach buses everywhere. I guess that makes sense since we are in Germany. We board one of the buses and are on our way into the city. The realization that I am actually in another country is settling in, and that feeling continued through the entirety of the trip. Although I did have that feeling all the way back when I first went through Customs. As our time in Germany and soon the Czech Republic continues, we observe how life seems to move slower over there, in a good way.
One observation I had was that people tend to slow down and enjoy life more in Europe. People do not seem to always be rushing around. While they are driving, yes, but not when they are out walking on the street or meeting their friends. On Sunday when we arrived for example, almost all of the businesses and stores were closed. Of course the reasoning behind this is that Munich is a very traditional city and the majority of the population is Catholic. I observed how many people spent Sunday as leisure time with their family and friends: going to the park, reading outside in cafés and going for a stroll. In my opinion, this is very different when compared to culture here in America. Coming from a large suburban area in New York, everything seems more materialized here. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but sometimes more often than not we get caught up in who posted last on Instagram or what is coming up next on Netflix. Do not get me wrong I love living in New York but, at some point everyone should experience how people live in other countries. Traveling outside of the U.S. definitely opens your eyes into appreciating everything we have here at home.
We were only in Germany and the Czech Republic for a few days, each, but every day was its own adventure. At no point did time seem to go by fast either. The galleries below take you through the journey I had on the trip. New images may still be uploaded to some of these galleries. I know I will return to these cities again, as each of them left a notable impact on me. The modernism of Munich for example can be seen in the subway stations, yet there is a good balance of modern and classic aestheticism’s when you look at Marienplatz (pictures 1, 2 and 4 in the Munich Gallery). Munich is a great example of how Germany is leading innovation. Germans seemed to have found their niche when mixing old and new, and I hope you can see that in the galleries. In Prague, it is totally the opposite. The buildings, streets, and Old Town Square for example are just that: old, and this is what gives the city its astounding beauty.
Prague. A city of castles, fortresses and gold (figuratively). It is one of the oldest cities in Europe dating back to the 9th century, and it has quite a rich history to show for. Walk down any street in the center of Prague and it will feel as if your walking through the past. The city’s design is unique; most streets are very narrow, all cobblestone and will hurt your feet after walking on them for eight hours. All joking aside if you do not have a GPS or map, you will most likely get lost after your first or second turn. I learned the city was designed this way during the middle ages in order to confuse invaders and give an advantage to the city’s people. The city’s design did get the best of us a few times, but that did not take away from the aura that is of Prague. Every day and night was similar to that of a fairytale. Electricity always seems to be pulsing in the air. Months after I returned I had a dream. In the dream, I recreated the exact path we walked from Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge. As I approached the hill, which overlooked the cobblestone street towards the towers of the bridge, fog lied low on the ground ahead. It was a perfect dream. The only difference is that I lived it too. Till next time…