Postcard Pick: Prague’s Astronomical Clock

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When I visited Prague back in 2012, I paid a visit to one of the city’s most revered sights — the Astronomical Clock. The clock was created in 1410 and for centuries was considered a technological marvel.

Prague is a city of many legends and one story claims that when the Astronomical Clock was finished being made, the city councillors were so impressed with it that they did not want the clockmaster to create an identical clock for another city. So, that night they had the clockmaster blinded. In turn, the clockmaster managed to fumble his way back to the clock and break it. This damage led to it not working for a hundred years.

Whatever, the legend – the clock in Prague is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. It is mounted on the Old Town Hall, where today it is a constant attraction for visitors. Large crowds of tourists gather around the clock every hour to watch the mechanical show that occurs. Essentially, the figurines move and “dance” when the clock strikes the hour. However, the locals seem to be less than impressed with the show. I was told that Praguers like to watch the tourists from the other side of the square and see the looks of disappointment and anticlimactic realization of those watching the show. What was considered a wonder of the world during the Middle Ages doesn’t hold up to modern day standards.

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2012: A year of travel in review

While it is still the beginning of 2013, I wanted to take the chance to look back on all the amazing trips I have had over the last year. Some of them have not yet been featured on this blog but hopefully I will begin to catch up with the details of those journeys. In the meantime here is to a fantastic year and I’m looking forward to an even better one!

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is one of the best cities I have ever visited. It is one of those places that just feels like home. My favorite thing to do in this ancient Scottish city is to get up early in the morning on a sunny day, pick up a cup of coffee and walk through the streets of Edinburgh until I end up on top of Calton Hill. It’s the best way to see the city wake up.

Madrid, Spain

Quite opposite from Scotland, it’s ideal to wake up late in Spain along with the locals.The earliest you should be eating breakfast is at 11 a.m. and it should be churros con chocolate with a strong iced coffee. Once you make it through the sprawling urban city of Madrid it will be 3 p.m. before you know it and time for lunch with a nice glass of tinto de verano.

Salamanca, Spain

After a few days in the massive city of Madrid, it’s good to take a vacation from your vacation and head to Salamanca for a weekend. The historic city is alluring with it’s two massive cathedrals and the most beautiful main square in all of Spain. In addition you can see the oldest university in Spain — the University of Salamanca.

Venice, Italy

Venice looks every bit like the postcards and posters you have seen of it. It’s a city that exudes history, magnificence and a massive tourism industry. Get caught up in the sinking cities infamous piazza’s, glass shops and canals. There is no other city in the world like it.

Prague, Czech Republic

The fairy tale like city of Prague has it’s own unique culture that includes a history of communism, a preserved Jewish quarter untouched by WWII and a steady German/French influence that has shaped it’s architecture. Walk over the river Vltava on the beautiful Charles bridge towards Prague Castle. Then hike up your way up to Strahov Monastery where you can drink amazing Czech beer that has been brewed by the monks there for centuries.