Prague, Czech Republic
On May 28th I left Moldova to meet my brother, Dad and my Dad’s girlfriend Louise in Prague. This trip coincided with my one year anniversary of leaving the states and coming to Moldova. I left the US on June 4th of 2013, and I had not seen my father in person since June 3rd of 2013.
As I sat in the airport in Bucarest, Romania during my long lay-over, I thought back to how much I’ve changed over the last year. Throughout the our travels through Prague, Bratislava and Vienna, and after I returned to Moldova with my family, I thought a lot about how the past year has changed me. In a lot of ways I’m still the same person and my interactions with my father once I arrived in Prague certainly proved that but in a lot of ways I’m really different. I went on an almost week long vacation with only a large purse and normal sized Jansport backpack, I traveled alone to Prague, with no way to contact my Dad or brother and no worries about it – both of these are big changes the girl who left for Moldova a year ago.
I arrived in Prague and realized I needed to go to the hospital. The Sunday before I left I had my last day of a youth training I had been running and we did outdoor team building activities, which left me with a left foot that was swollen, bruised and by the time I arrived in Prague – unusable. That meant that after a delicious meal at a Greek restaurant in Prague, and a long call to Peace Corps Medical in Washington, DC, we decided to brave the Emergency room in Prague. By the time we arrived there it was almost midnight and the experience there was nothing short of a horrifying venue into a post-soviet hospital. (The story is somewhat funny, but mostly frightening and disturbing, but also quite long, so I won’t include it here.)
After the determining that my foot was only badly sprained and not broken, the Doctor suggested I traverse Prague on crutches. Anyone who has been to Prague or had crutches will understand the impossibility of sight-seeing in a walking city via crutches. Since we had rented a car, I did manage to see some of the city, but unfortunately I did not get to tour as much of Prague as planned. I did however have some lovely meals, get to see some of this picturesque city and enjoy a few days of bed rest and reading.
While I had never considered Prague a tourist destination before arriving in Moldova, I would now recommend it to anyone traveling in the region. Its beautiful, seems to have a great nightlife and food and is quite inexpensive.
While we only had a day in Vienna, it was lovely exploring the art and musical history of the city. We meandered through the shopping district, enjoyed a delicious meal of sausage and spinach strudel, Starbucks and people watched. I was impressed that even in the tourist center it seemed somehow calm and refined. I was also impressed by how well the people there dressed, the men especially had amazing style!
I would love to return for a longer trip and get to see more of what Vienna has to offer!