After we spent two and a half days in Germany, we bought tickets to… Prague. It was a long time on my wish list and being so close to the city of my dreams, we decided to go. Another reason – only 34€ for a return ticket and 3-hour journey. This is exactly what I was missing while living on the island. Freedom of movement, be it train, bus, car or plane and variety of destinations. Prague was on my wish list for over 5 years. Therefore I did not mind waking up at 4 in the morning, to catch up the bus at 4:45.
Sunrise caught us somewhere on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. Admiring the scenery, one phrase from Vanilla Sky got stuck in my head: “Open your eyes. Open your eyes, David!” Little did I know then, who I will meet that day in Prague.
We arrived early morning when the city was still asleep. Quick wander in the Old Town square, while it was tourists free, was a great idea for beautiful pictures. We realized we had no local money, and when ordering our breakfast, tried to figure out why the pancakes were that expensive – 35€. They were 3,5 €, in fact.
When we returned to the city center half an hour later, it was already crowded and full of tourists and local artists. It was then, that we met the hero of our day and the source of our love towards Prague – Dave.
Meet Dave. Czech Dave. He was our tour guide in Prague. He also is the most passionate tour guide I have ever met in my life. A true lover of his home city, Prague. A great speaker and a superb psychologist. For 2.5 hours of our tour, he kept the group, (about 25 of us) entertained, motivated and curious.
I would like to tell you more about Dave’s life. When he was 18, he moved to the US to improve his English and accidentally stayed there 14 years. He is a fan of running. He participated in countless marathons and runs. The last one was on 10th of Sept of this year, in Prague. It all started years ago, once he was chosen to run for a cause, spreading awareness of potable water around the world. He ran 16 countries, on all continents with that NGO, and it was how he started traveling the world. Since then, many years later, he runs his own cause called Water is Life.
Before we started our tour of Prague, Dave managed to remember each one’ of us country of origin. I was amazed to meet people from so many countries. As the group was getting bigger by the minute, I felt truly blessed to be there. I was a citizen of the world, in Prague, together with other citizens of the world. We were all united by our love towards travel. It was amazing! We had people from 3 states in Canada and 5 in the US, Brazil, Colombia, UK, France, Germany, India, Turkey, Israel, Malaysia, Australia, Ukraine, and Moldova, of course.
Let me tell you a little about Free Tours. It is a worldwide movement, where volunteers, students, guides or anyone passionate about travel can become a guide in any city of the world. The tour is free of charge, it covers the main city attractions and it is tip based. You tip the guide, at the end of the tour, and this amount is completely voluntary. Lately, many tour companies started providing free tours, however letting the tourists know that they also provide paid tours of different attractions. Usually, it is not the company that the tourist is choosing to go on the tour with. It is always the guide. During the free tour, you bond so much with the tour guide, you like the way he or she tells the story of the city, and later you realize that you want more. And you go for a paid tour. This free tour we had in Prague was the first one we agreed to go to. Before we hesitated, and I am not sure why. Now I am eager to try this service in every city I will visit.
After lunch, we met with a couple of friends, who became locals 8 months ago and went to a magical place.
To be continued…