Our first full day in Prague we took a recommended free 3-hour walking tour with Discover Prague and loved our tour guide, Simon, so much that the next day we took his advice and chose to spend the morning exploring the Jewish Museum, which included The Pinkas Synagogue, The Old Jewish Cemetery, The Klausen Synagogue, The Ceremonial Hall, The Spanish Synagogue, and The Maisel Synagogue (we didn’t go in this one). We were blown away by the beautiful sentiments created to remember and celebrate the Jewish history of Prague, none of which we were even aware of prior to our walking tour the day before. Hands down the most touching exhibit was the floor displaying artwork created by Jewish children from the concentration camp of Terezin from 1942-1944 which was collected and buried for safe keeping by their art teacher, Mrs. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. It was both heartbreaking (funerals, death) and heartwarming (flowers, houses, hope) to see life depicted through the eyes of these children. The Old Jewish Cemetery, containing some 12,000 tombstones but 100,000+ bodies as they were buried in layers, was an eerie reminder of the suffering endured by the Jewish community here in Prague. It was an unexpected eye-opening day that taught us a lot:
- Ask locals for recommendations when you arrive
- There is an incredible amount of history that I know nothing about
- Keep an open mind when traveling, just because you don’t know everything or anything about a destination doesn’t mean it has nothing to offer you
- Don’t discard specific types of exhibits and sites to see, you never know what you might love
- There are so many forgotten victims from World War II in places I never learned
- We need to continue to revisit and appreciate the past so we can learn from those “mistakes” and grow in the future
- You don’t need pictures of everything in order to remember – taking pictures inside was prohibited (found the 2 images below via google) only pictures outside of the cemetary were allowed – go here to read and see more.
We couldn’t come to Greece and not explore at least one of the beautiful islands so our wonderful tour guides, KTP and Kuhter, planned us a day trip to Hydra. After the bumpy two hour boat ride/nap, we arrived on the picturesque island. We set off to hike to the top of Mt. Eros making sure to stop and take in the stunning views of Hydra below as well as view the small church along the way. Once we reached the top, we were rewarded with an unobstructed view of the city below and the ocean beyond it, plus the opportunity to see a monastery and relax in peace/silence. The easy hike down left us with plenty of time before our ferry ride back to Athens so we grabbed a table next to the waterfront, a delicious lunch, and much deserved beverages at The Skipper and soaked in the last of the perfect views. Definitely one of my favorite things we did while in Greece and I highly recommend getting out of Athens to explore at least one of the islands. Perfect day.
We also took a three hour bus ride to Delphi to see the Temple of Apollo and the Stadium, the site of the Pythian Games (predecessor to Olympic Games). After touring the architecture we set off to explore the small modern town of Delphi by visiting multiple restaurants with mountain views taste testing local beers, meats/cheeses, gyros, and crepes.
The four of us had a short flight from Istanbul to Greece, where we spent our first couple days discovering the ancient Greek ruins in Athens, mainly the Theatre of Dionysus, Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Zeus (where we had some fun with jumping pictures), and Ancient Agora. Besides the main sites we also had tons of fun shopping the markets/stores, eating THE best gyro ever two days in a row (pictured below), witnessing a guard slip flat on his butt during the Changing of the Guard ceremony, laughing hysterically as Kuhter climbed a tree for awkward family photos, trying homemade liqueur and wine at the oldest distillery in Athens, Brettos, and hiking up Mount Lycabettus for incredible views of the city. Two quick tips for tourists though: (1) there was a LOT of historical information at each architectural site and I would recommend hiring a tour guide for the Parthenon and Acropolis to make the tour and stories more enjoyable and less daunting (2) all attractions close at 3:00 PM daily so get there early. Have you ever been to Athens? What was your favorite thing you saw or learned? Check out our detailed adventures here!
Remember when I asked and answered this question to announce we were quitting our jobs, packing it all up, and traveling for seven months? Yep, that was back in August and our seven months of living it up have officially come to an end. We landed back in the good ole U.S. of A on Saturday afternoon and are staying in Chicago for the week to
delay reality even longer see friends and family, spend the day with these two (here, here), and be Chicago tourists for a day before heading home to crash at our parents’ houses (yep, that’s right, we are married 27-year-olds sleeping at our parents’). Being home is a grab bag of mixed emotions: sad that our travels are over, grateful for all our experiences, curious about where in the world we will end up, and excited for whatever the future may hold. One thing I do know is that I am beyond thrilled to get back to my consistent posting schedule, sharing new recipes, more frequent outfits, and travel inspired posts!! Hope you all had a great weekend and have a fantastic week. Anything exciting planned?
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