From Western Road Trip 2015
Prague, Czech Republic–a dream city best seen in its quiet moments–just after sunrise, in the rain, on a chilly day–any of those moments when the less devoted are snoring or sheltering in their hotel rooms.
Prague was not bombed during the World Wars so centuries of buildings are still intact and in use. Although their facades remained unchanged over the years, they’ve been occupied all along, their interiors being remodeled again and again to suit the needs of centuries of tenants.
Prague is vibrant and alive and seems never tired. It thrums and surges with the energy and joy of a youth. Both ancient and young, today’s Prague is just 25 years old, the Czech Republic having thrown off communism in 1989 during its non-violent Velvet Revolution.
Prague’s two most famous landmarks are the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. The castle dominates the city skyline and when I think of Prague I think of that castle, the city’s spires and orange roofs.
Prague is a fairyland. Every street cobbled or decoratively paved, every building looks like a wedding cake, festooned with heavy baroque scrolling, topped with statues wearing golden halos. Entries are made of giant, wood carved doors and curling wrought iron gates.
The street fronts hide inner gardens, restaurants, cafés, and shops. A surprise waits beyond every archway and around every corner.
My walks around the city were spent with eyes wide and jaw dropped.
Prague is unforgettable. It engraves itself upon your heart.
All through South Dakota’s Custer State Park,Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana’s ranch lands, and the roads in between, we were blessed to continuously view wild life most often only see in captivity. Herds of wild bison, antelope, and elk are scattered over the plains, as are white tail and mule deer, pronghorn, and wild burros. Along the road between Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone Park we saw a grizzly bear mama and her cub playing, and we saw three moose in two days. And then there were the prairie dogs–so numerous their colonies are called towns.
Our favorite animal was the buffalo. They are massive, regal beasts who have fooled more than one Yellowstone visitor lately with their head down, lumbering demeanor. Signs are posted everywhere warning visitors that buffalo are wild, swift, and agile–and will hurt you if you get too close. A Yellowstone ranger’s most frequent duty? Keeping visitors safe from their own stupidity.