Within seconds of landing in Prague, I knew this was going to be a magical place. Despite having just spent 4 weeks in near perfect weather, with a vibrant sea inches away from the work space in Split, I was eager to explore new this city with a rich history and an abundance of architectural inspiration. The weather was a bit chilly with a side of gray skies, but it didn’t alter my mood. In fact, everyone in my Remote Project group were very inspired by the hustle and bustle, refreshing crispness in the air and overall positive vibe. Having grown up in a small town with very little experience in a city environment, I was happy to feel a sense of calm and comfort within the boundaries of Prague.
The A.C.T.’s of Inspiration:
Architecture: Down every street and every alley we saw architectural inspiration. Many of the streets are made of cobblestone, which made my mind go crazy thinking of just how long that took to lay. While the buildings butt up against one another with precision, it didn’t take away from the uniqueness in shape, color and style each possessed. I often found myself stopping at a crossroads to stare down a one-point perspective street in awe of the overall scene, and then diving deep into the MANY unique details. (I was only honked at a handful of times) It was a reminder to, yes, see the overall picture for what it is, but to also take the time to dig into the ornate details that others have spent so much time crafting. Prague is home to the John Lennon wall, Prague Castle (the largest castle in the world) and the Estates theatre (a Neoclassic style building where 2 of Mozart’s operas were performed). There was no shortage of architectural inspiration from a city founded in the 6th century.
Culture: I realized VERY quickly that we Americans are a bit loud and obnoxious at times, especially in transportation and coffee shop environments. In contrast, the locals all sit quietly holding onto their personal space, either reading a book/newspaper or enjoying a few moments of silence before heading to their respective 9-5’s. It was quite refreshing, honestly. I took a page from them and spent my mornings on the tram or on my walk to a local coffee shop, reflecting and gathering my thoughts for a day of productivity.
Traditions: We arrived here in early November and already started seeing local businesses and city landmarks dressing things up in Holiday decorations. The Christmas market was a 2-minute walk from my apartment and the smell of fresh baked pastries and warm ciders filled my nose with each closing step. It was heartwarming to be a part of a community that celebrates local traditions and love, no matter our respective beliefs. I made regular trips to the city center to check out the local markets, the lights, the music and of course the DELICIOUS Czech foods. My heart left a little bit happier and my pants…a little tighter. :)
I arrived in Lisbon a few days ago feeling refreshed and ready to explore the inspiration Portugal has to offer. I keep asking myself upon each departure to the next destination, “how does it get any better than that?” But here I am, already in awe of my surroundings. I think this may be my favorite yet! Until next month, of course.