And one more year, Valentine's Day arrives. What better than to share a memory of travel with my partner on Valentine's Day. The truth is that for years I have rejected the idea of celebrating Valentine's Day. Just a few years ago, trying to convince my girlfriend that this was not a day for celebrations, I took a good bath of humility. I discovered that the origin of Valentine's Day goes back to Europe, specifically to the Roman Empire.
Since then, the truth is that I look at this day with different eyes. Far from sending gifs with hundreds of pulsating hearts, or filling the house with roses, I try to make this a special day. My ideal plan, if the dates coincide, is to make a getaway trip. The last time I had the chance, the place chosen was Prague in the Czech Republic.
Surely as soon as you hear 'the city of love' you think of Paris. But what if I tell you that the city of love is called Prague? There is hardly a more romantic city than Prague to spend a cold night, lit by its endless baroque street lamps and the smell of the Danube in the air. If you do not believe me, I recommend you to check it during this Valentine's Day. Take the opportunity to make an express getaway with your partner and let yourself be enveloped by a romantic fairytale city.
And I am not exaggerating. The expectations were high because all the people around me who had visited the Czech capital had told me wonders about it. I can only say that the trip was very worthwhile. It is a city with a special charm. It is magical and totally different to what we are used to seeing when we move around Europe. The truth is that Prague is much more than its monumental buildings, which are the first treasure we found when landing in the city.
Once we are there, we have a crazy desire to change the ticket and stay for at least a week to enjoy its gastronomy, its famous beer, and it's concerts of classical music. So with this post, I will recommend some of the things that, in my opinion, you should not miss. At least this is all I could see of Prague and everything that made my partner and me fell madly in love with the city.
On that occasion, the lightning break consisted of a full day in Prague ensuring the main thing besides the obvious. We cross the entire center on foot, with our suitcases dragged, until we reach the river, right in the area of the Dancing House. It is a beautiful building that represents a dancing couple, where he takes her by the waist. Just below us was our hotel. What a surprise, we will sleep on a boat!
The truth is that it is a very common option in Prague. There are many hotel-boats, and in general, for all budgets. The check-in could not be done until two in the afternoon. But we left the suitcases at the reception and we went walking to the Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
The area, an old castle, is a bit far from most routes, which makes it a very quiet area. The Basilica is beautiful, and the cemetery that hides behind is a beautiful and wild place, full of art in all its corners. The views from the wall are also impressive. Well, the ride is worth it. We spent a couple of hours touring the cemetery and the wall, and when the hunger began to appear, we decided to go down the steep streets to the city.
Seeing the royal quarters of Prague is also highly recommended. The old Soviet-style buildings, the huge churches, abandoned stations. Everything makes you see more the reality of the Czech Republic, which is still another country in Eastern Europe. Strolling along we arrived at the place where we had chosen to eat Czech cuisine in our farewell to Prague.
We had breakfast in an absolutely fantastic bakery, and full of delicious sweets. In this cafe located in a very classic and "retro" building, you have to enter and sit down. We found our space on a large table, shared with a girl who worked with her laptop and took espresso as if it were water.
Although there is also a lot of variety of salty pasta we have a full breakfast of fried eggs, omelet, and quiche. The place is very large, although most are occupied by the counter and lots of pasta and cakes. To sit, you usually have to have a little patience, but you have to have it because it's really worth it. Or take something to take.
We have a breakfast that is not only the best in the city but the same with the best croissants I have ever taken (surpassing those in Paris). It was a success, without a doubt. The food was delicious, accompanied by the famous Czech beer, but we knew little, due to the change of menu. For dessert, we ate an assortment.
We dedicated the morning to wander through the old town of Prague with its wonderful cobbled floors. We also saw the City Hall with a medieval astronomical clock that is unique in the world. We crossed the bridge of Charles V that was always very lively. With beautiful views of the river, the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle, we stopped to take pictures of the Jiraskuv bridge. The day was still rising, but not a cloud was in the sky. Only the typical fog of the wet and cold winter mornings.
Finally, we climb to the Cathedral of San Vito with beautiful views of the city. It was not before making a stop for coffee at midmorning in a famous café. The cafe still shines with all the splendor of the Belle Époque through its profusely decorated ceiling with crystal chandeliers, with the waiters strictly uniformed in vests and red ties.
Then to eat, we happened, by chance, to a fantastic typical brewery. Beer is the national drink, blond and light, which is usually served very cold and in large half-liter jars unless you ask for something smaller. In Prague, there are more than 1,500 breweries in which the social and cultural life of the city is made, and which in few occasions are empty.
In February, at 4 it is already night, and it is almost the best time in the city. The masses of people retire in a flock to dine at that incomprehensible schedule for us. The streets are deserted. So we enjoy the jewel that is Prague. There is a succession of Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic, and Romanesque images. There are beautiful palaces, imposing churches, and next to the classic marvels are the trace of the Jews. There are also the modernist buildings and the memories of a period of artistic and bohemian splendor.
It was when Prague shared prominence in the European cultural scene with Vienna. The day had been really spectacular. We enjoyed the town hall square immersed in a shower of soap bubbles accompanying a beautiful sunset full of lights, shadows, and colors. The perfect farewell!
For me, without a doubt, the icing on the cake for this romantic getaway was the walk along the Danube. Here we were accompanied all the way by a halo of mystery and the nostalgia that define the city. It was unforgettable.
At eight o'clock we get out for dinner quietly in a very special place to go and enjoy Valentine's dinner. The one that, in the end, would turn out to be the most delicious of the trip to Prague. We went up the stairs, and now. We had arrived at the restaurant, the same as the Botel. It is an Italian restaurant. I did not know if it would be as special.
We sat on a beautiful wooden table and ordered a dry martini to go leafing through the letter. We decide a lot. If we wait for pizza we will not find there. Pasta, fish, and meat are the main themes of the menu. For starters, we opted for a tartare of salmon and carpaccio. It did not fail. It was exquisite, both fresh and with a mild flavor, perfectly seasoned and accompanied with homemade bread toast. A ten without any doubt. And that made us think that if the entree had been that high, the main courses would be superb. And they were.
The homemade gnocchi with cream and ricotta were delicious, but the Ossobuco was from another world. The meat melted, the taste of the sauce was intense, with many nuances, and the sensation when eating it was pure magic. In addition, some juicily roasted potatoes were the ideal accompaniment for the Ossobuco. All that in harmony with a bottle of Italian wine, dry and strong. The attention of our waiter was exquisite. Always with a smile and without letting us miss anything at any time.
As icing on the dinner, as it could not be otherwise in an Italian restaurant of such quality, we ordered dessert. And everything makes sense when the pannacotta and the tiramisu arrives. They seem like pieces of heaven made dessert. Creamy and delicious.
The next day, we had breakfast in the same restaurant. There was the free buffet, with sweets, snacks, fruit, and freshly made eggs to taste. The views of the Vltava river were impressive. In the background was the impressive Prague Castle. It was a unique farewell. What we like most is to eat (and well), to travel and the love of our lives at our side! A luxury of life! It's not like going every day, but not every day the Valentine's Day is celebrated!