Saturday, 30 April 2016

A Year In Prague

Last weekend I celebrated a year of living in Prague. OK, it hasn't been all in one go. I spent seven months here between 2014 and 2015, and it has now been another five months since I returned in October last year. But it's still a milestone that brings me a lot of happiness.

Prague Castle and Fireworks - March 2106
I'm not a stranger to living abroad. I spent six months in Oslo, and nearly two years in Zurich (again with a few months break in the middle), but I've been happier in Prague than anywhere else away from home.

It's interesting to read back over my first few posts on this blog and realise how I now feel about many of my first impressions. Prague is such a city of contrasts - old and new, peaceful and loud, foreign and yet strangely familiar. But of course, after a year, things ought to be familiar. The great thing is that here, familiarity doesn't breed contempt - everyday I seem to see the same things with different eyes.

Sometimes, on my way to work in the morning, I look out of the tram windows and wonder about how different this all was thirty or so years ago, before the new republic was born. And just seventy years ago, when the streets I now know so well were being worn down by Nazi jackboots, now replaced by marginally less menacing tourist hoards and equally savage stag parties.

I have another two months working in Prague and then I have a final month to savour the sights, sounds and smells of the city without any cares in the world.

Never mind Prague Spring - it's Prague Summer that I'm looking forward to!