One of the many things that I enjoyed in my brief visit to the medieval city of Prague was how much greenery there was around the city. With all of its rich history and architecture as well as modern conveniences, there is also much space dedicated to parks and other more natural features. I’ve seen in many a travel guide that parks and gardens make up over twenty percent of the city of Prague. This made for some very lovely walks throughout the trip, up until the end of it.
In the park behind the university where Emily attends school, there was a quiet, secluded park that features a small lake, walking paths, and peacocks. Vojanovy sady is considered to be the oldest partially preserved garden in Prague, dating back to the Middle Ages, when it was once part of a monastery garden. Fast forward a few hundred years, today the park offers a quiet place for a lunch walk or study hour. The day we visited, there were many peacocks ambling about. The birds were beautiful in their finery, though I admit we were less than charmed. Where we live in California, there are many peacocks thanks to the nearby Arboretum, and for us they tend toward nuisances and road blockers. But for those who love these large, pretty birds, Vojanovy sady is a lovely place to view them.
Just getting from place to place took us through some really pretty parks. Even the walk to get breakfast at a local Artic Bakehouse resulted in a morning mini-picnic in the Charles Square park near the medical complex.
Perhaps my favorite walk- more like a hike with all of its strenuous hills was Kinskeho zahrada, or Kinsky Garden, in Prague 5. After enjoying acai bowls at a restaurant nearby, Emily and I took a walk in Kinskeho zahrada before I departed on my final day in Prague. The park along the slopes of Petřín hill has a number of beautiful features, with many trails leading up to gardens and terraces.
Emily and I first found the summer palace, now a part of the National Museum. We did not go in, as we didn’t know what it was at the time. We continued up to find a pond, and took some time to sit and cool off from the rather warm walk up.
After sitting for a while, and feeling a bit sad- after all I would be leaving Emily in a few short hours to return home, and leave my baby for the first time in another continent- we walked along. We found part of the historic Hunger Wall and walked through. The views of the city below were really breathtaking, and while we did see many people enjoying the outdoors on a fine Saturday afternoon, the park was still relatively quiet. We found many features were PokeStops, for those who enjoy the interactive fitness and travel game, PokemonGo.
All too soon, the afternoon walk and my stay in Prague was over. The trip to the gardens was a lovely way to end the trek, and as we made our way back to Prague 2 to pick up my luggage and start the journey home, I felt thankful for the experience. It was wonderful to be able to travel to a new place, a truly beautiful place. And as difficult as it was to leave, I knew that this is indeed what we as parents train our kids to do: to head out on their own paths and by the grace of God, work toward their own successes. Emily did choose a remarkable place to embark on that journey.