There was a particular day (actually there were many) when I was in Prague that I really felt horrible. Things weren’t going well for me at all. I was homesick for every insignificant aspect of home from non-cobblestone sidewalks to non-smoking sections that were ACTUALLY non-smoking. This particular day I HAD to get out of the house. I’m not usually someone who ventures out on her own, but this day I couldn’t even bare the thought of being around other people. I got on the metro and just rode. After riding for a while, I turned around and went back the other direction. On my way back home I decided to make a stop at one of my favorite places in Prague: Vyšehrad. I know I claim that every place I write about is one of my “favorites”, but it’s really true. I love all these places. Vyšehrad, though, was something even MORE special than the usual haunts I frequented. Walking around this place did wonders for my mood that day. Just standing there and looking out over the city was enough to make me forget all the things bringing me down.
This place is a castle from the 10th Century. While Prague Castle is great and all and St. Vitus’ is magnificently decorated and gilded with more gold than you can imagine, Vyšehrad is one of those old castles you picture in your mind’s eye when you’re listening to a fairytale. It’s a ruin. There’s actually no castle left, or if there is… I missed it. haha. There’s an old wall and a church and cemetery (the one Dvorak is burried in) and all this is surrounded by a gorgeous park. If you want to know more about this history of Vyšehrad, I suggest you visit this site.
Funny story. The first time I went to Vyšehrad was with the big group of teachers. Several of us wondered away from the group and were just enjoying the view and our walk when the ground, literally, started to shake. When we turned around we were met with a stampede of joggers in some kind of race. They were wearing numbers and in this big group. We quickly moved out of there way, lest we be trampled. About two full minutes after this crowd passed us by, a straggler ran by us sporting a number of his own. We’d only been there a couple of weeks when this happened, so we knew practically NO Czech, but that didn’t stop my friend Andy from screaming out the closest thing to an encouraging remark he new: “CESTOVAT!” Most of you don’t know what that means, so it’s not funny to you. But it was funny to us. “Cestovat” is the infinitive of the verb “travel”. Andy literally yelled out “TO TRAVEL” to this poor jogger who was trying to catch up to his group. haha.
I recommend Vyšehrad to anybody who’s taking a short trip into Prague. You’ll spend hours shopping and taking in the sites in Wenceslas and Old Town Squares, but definitely make time in your schedule for this place. It’s a great location for a picnic lunch or just to sit on the grass and relax
Here’s a video I took of the view from the hill Vyšehrad is on. I know, gorgeous, right? Oh, and the guy in the video with me Andy, who I mentioned earlier in this post. Just FYI.