A Different Side of Prague

Travel has a way of teaching you things about yourself that might not have surfaced in a “normal” environment. It faces you with new situations, brings you out of your comfort zone, and expands what you know of the world.

Let's pause right there. Don’t worry if you’re not in the mood to read a heartfelt, emotional post. Because in Prague, I discovered something interesting about myself. I love modern statues.

Prague has a reputation for its Old World charm with the beautiful castle perched over the city and its romantic Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square). But there was something that resonated with me in discovering the more modern sculptures throughout the city. Perhaps it was just a reminder that Prague is more than the beautiful, old buildings but also very much alive and changing in the present. Whatever it was, I loved Prague the first time I went almost two years ago, and was reminded last month of just why it is one of my favorite places in Europe.

Let me show you the statues I found beyond the ones that line the Charles Bridge:

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Park it in Paris: Jardin des Plantes

In the "Park it in Paris" series, I write about the city's parks - some of the best spots to relax, people-watch, and mingle with the locals.

The fact that Paris is divided by a river has set the stage for the age-old debate of Left Bank versus Right Bank. At least we can say that the city's beginnings took place on the neutral ground of Île de la Cité, and it remains the heart of Paris. (If you stand in the square facing Notre Dame Cathedral, in Place du Parvis de Notre-Dame, look for the star plaque on the ground. All route distances from Paris are measured from that marker.) I like to imagine that when the city was ready to expand off the island, it was the time when the two camps were formed.

I will admit that I am a Right Bank girl all the way. I live on that side and spend most of my time there. If I didn't have friends who live on the Left Bank, it would be easy for me to go weeks with crossing over a bridge. 

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