This is not a ‘travel’ blog | Monday Mumbles 18

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Hello,

Lately I have been so uninspired to write here. Maybe that’s why I just feel like scribbling so randomly that you are getting a consecutive Monday Mumbles post. It’s funny because I am the least busy right now in the evenings to write but I just don’t feel like it. Not even a tiny bit. Like, I cannot say that this is just laziness. It is more than that, I just do not want to write, I can sense that. However, earlier when I used to write posts I actually had to take time out for them. Anyway, today I am in a much better mood and unlike my other posts, where I usually share something in a planned way, I just genuinely feel like scribbling away today.

Lately whoever has visited my blog, they have got an impression that I am a ‘travel blogger’ or my main interest is in writing about travel. Well, most of my posts in the recent times have been about places I am travelling to, so its really not their fault that they thought so. Since I know neither of these things are true (I being a travel blogger or my main interest area being writing about travel), I thought I’ll clarify:

  • I like to write about things I experience in my day to day life – a book that I read, a restaurant that I visited, a dish that I cooked, a market that I loved or a city that I visited. Since these days travelling is happening a lot, you see more of it on the blog because its recent. That is all. Its definitely not my favourite thing to write about (I actually don’t know what’s my favourite).
  • I am not even an awesome traveller. Oh, I have wanted to write about this thing since so long! You know how people are bitten by ‘wanderlust’ (especially on social media these days 😛 ) Guess that never happened with me. I like visiting new places, seeing new things, eating at new places and so on, but that’s about it. I have never craved badly to visit any place and I am not someone who would want to always, always travel. You know most people say ‘If I could just quit my job and travel forever’, I would never be that person. Even if I was a billionaire, I cannot love travelling forever. I would rather be at one of my favourite places and take short trips. Or long ones with people I love. So, we are all different. Some of us want to travel really badly, not necessarily by quitting other jobs, but maybe that or maybe getaway as much as possible. For me, travel is one of the activities that I like to do time to time but definitely not one of my favourite things to do. (These days its happening a lot because the opportunity is such, nothing more, its not like I have got some extra love for travel).

My random scribbling is more or less over. If you read till here, thank you so much for putting up with this. ❤

(If you wish to share something in the next Monday Mumbles, do write to me at srish.myblog@gmail.com or in the comments section, or even on any social media).

‘Praha’

Who else finds that word romantic? I should tell you I am not the poetic kinds, but Prague’s Czech name just bowled me over. 😉

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Prague is one of the prettiest places I have been to & while editing pictures for this post, I really wanted to be there again!IMG_2189_Fotor

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Anyway, going a bit off-topic here, I want to make a confession. I feel I never manage to enjoy writing my travel related posts. I feel so pressurised to share the right details but I know when I was travelling, I was just chilling or enjoying the place, so when I sit down to write the post, I know its never going to meet my expectations. Therefore, I just end up writing it as an assignment, like something that I have to do for the sake of it.  So, I am switching things up a bit. From now on, I am going to write my travel tales just the way I want to – sharing exactly what I want to about my time at a place. Its just going to be a tale that you and I enjoy, hopefully. 🙂 Now I am very excited to write this post about Prague because hey! no pressure anymore! Also, my current job asks me to work with travel bloggers and that inspires me so much to work towards having a beautiful, well-maintained blog (laziness wins, but you know what I mean).

Back to Prague now!

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Prague is so seriously pretty. Its old town is a page pulled out of a fairy tale, truly. As cliched as it may sound, it is true.

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The Adam & Eve Towers, see how the right one (Adam) is bigger than Eve, there were many other differences too!

I wish I had clicked more of the old town’s medieval pictures buildings. The old town has these seriously cute little shops selling all sorts of trinkets, modern as well as traditional things. Turns out that Czech glass is very popular, so Czech glass trinkets were all over the place. Of all the places I have been to in Europe, Prague’s old town was one of the most crowded, still it never felt suffocated. There were small eateries, cafes & restaurants all over the place, people having the time of their life without a care in the world!

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Prague is the kind of place where even if you stay for a short while, its quite easy to get the ‘feel’ of the place. When you enter the Czech capital, you can feel the easy, relaxed vibe going around, I cannot explain why that is. No, it is not an annoyingly slow place or something, it just has a relaxed vibe, you come & you know that you are on a holiday! If figures are your thing, you should know that Czech Republic consumes the highest amount of beer in Europe, closely followed by Germany while their population is much lesser than Germany.

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So, Prague’s most famous tourist things are Charles Bridge & Prague Castle. I have to say that both are not over hyped places that leave you with disappointment. Both are incredibly fun places to be & I really enjoyed the experience of hiking up to the castle by first walking across the Charles Bridge. The thing that I loved most about Charles Bridge was the artists scattered all over the bridge. Most of you know my love for street markets (& handmade stuff, even if its unaffordable :P), so I totally enjoyed checking out all the artists’ work. Be warned, this could take a while! I also loved that Charles Bridge’s walls has some spots where you can actually sit. Although there is always someone sitting there already, but you have to choose your moments. One time we went there after visiting the really popular 5-storey club of Prague, it was so peacefully quiet & beautiful, plus you could see the Prague castle glimmering with its lights in the night. I need more synonyms for beautiful.

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What I liked about Prague Castle was simply its magnificence! One look & its so huge & high up! The cathedral inside is towering & so huge, with artwork all over, be it in any form, just have a look. I think mostly what makes Prague castle so popular among visitors is the view you get from high atop. Its really worth mentioning, see for yourself.

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View from top

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Charles Bridge as seen (& magnified) from the top of the castle!

Other than this, we also took a walking tour of the Old town to know a bit about the other things in the old town, it really has quite a lot of churches & an astronomical clock tower. I don’t understand how these astronomical clock towers end up becoming such popular tourist attractions, I find them the same everywhere in Europe, even though its quite amazing to realize how so much of thought, intelligence & precision went into creating these astronomical clocks.

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The dark tower is ‘Powder Tower’. It divides the old town from the new

Finally, time for my tips for Prague, this time I don’t have so many because when you are in Prague, you will just know. 🙂 The few things worth mentioning:

  1. Prague is a very easy city to see. Take a hike up to the castle, if you are really interested, you can do a guided tour. Relax and enjoy your time at the very beautiful & lively Charles Bridge. Take a walking tour of the old town & the Jewish Quarter. You can also go around the ‘Lesser Town‘, but I don’t have much knowledge about it.
  2. Prague’s trams still exude the old world charm like anything. To some, this can seem pretty outdated but I am not one of them. I loved going around the city in them. If I have to say, I’ll definitely recommend travelling in Prague’s trams.
  3. Prague has this really popular 5-storey club. It has a Czech name, but its the only one in Prague, and really popular. So, you will know. I am not even a clubbing person, still I loved my experience here. 5 different floors with different music, DJs & a whole lot of different ambience on each of the floors, you want to go here, seriously! The lines outside the club can get intimidating on a weekend, but don’t get bogged down. Also, you will see how relaxed people are even while standing in those lines, another example of Prague’s relaxed vibe!
  4. Prague has a lot of alternative tours & things going on all the time. You can check them out by enquiring about them in youth hostels or with fellow tourists.
  5. Oh, I completely forgot to mention please, please do try Trdelník. Its a traditional sweet pastry of Prague, a hollow cylindrical pastry coated with sugar & walnut and the modern version has the hollow filled with ice cream, nutella or whatever you fancy!IMG_2233_Fotor
  6. Edit: I forgot to mention about John Lennon wall & Franz Kafka. The John Lennon wall is a regular wall that started getting filled with paintings by people, during the communist regime, people also wrote their grievances on it. Anyone can paint on it. Although I didn’t know about this wall & didn’t visit. Also, Prague is the birth city of Franz Kafka, so if you are a Kafka fan, you can visit his old house & there is a Franz Kafka museum too. 🙂IMG_2345

That’s all about my trip to Prague. I think Prague is one place that should be on everyone’s list because it is not just another pretty place, it actually makes you feel like you are on a holiday, it just makes you slow down & enjoy life one moment at a time.

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4 things you immediately notice about Berlin!

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I have been meaning to make this Friday’s list since the longest time because, you know, its supposed to be about things you ‘immediately’ notice if you move to Berlin. 😀 Not quite immediate, still this post is very close to my heart. That is because these are all the reasons why I love Berlin. It is not a tourist-y kind of city, and that is why people who come here as tourists don’t find it that exciting. Berlin had a tragic history which meant most of it was destroyed by air raids etc. So, Berlin hasn’t medieval architecture or cobbled streets or vintage charm to lure you, but here are 4 reasons why you will easily fall in love with Berlin:

  1. Young Culture of its Own: Its bad that I cannot exactly explain it. Anyway, I am going to try. Berlin has a very unique culture that is specific to itself. All over Berlin, you can feel a young vibe like the place is thriving with young energy. You know like a life is just beginning to blossom! No, its not like a city of students or something, I have been to cities like that, in fact, I am currently living in one. Berlin, however, is a city of adults, teenagers, old people just like any other place but the place has a young energy of its own, brimming with new ideas. That’s why its called city of artists, designers & illustrators. The young culture also makes it look like a hipster city many times, and I understand that it can be a botheration to some!IMG_2127_FotorIMG_20160619_175217_FotorIMG_2063_Fotor

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    I lived here 🙂

  2. Cosmopolitan: I have read so many expats say that Berlin is one of the best cities in the world for expats and it is totally true! Berlin is seriously so cosmo, its not even funny! Berlin accepts everyone and everything with open hands and makes them its own! Everywhere you turn, there are cultural events happening from a different culture. No matter which part of the city you live in, there would be one Indian restaurant, one Thai restaurant, one Korean restaurant, one Vietnamese Kitchen  and, of course, one Doner outlet somewhere near you. Berlin’s super inspiring startup culture also adds to the cosmopolitan nature of this city!IMG_2357_FotorIMG_2103IMG_2099_Fotor
  3. Food: Following from point 2, Berlin really has a loooooooot of variety from so many countries and none of the European cities or countries I have been to matches up! The best part, though, is that vegetarian options are just as much!! No kidding. In this city, you will be spoilt for choice for vegetarian food, and, wait for it, even vegan food!!IMG_2054_FotorIMG_2146
  4. Different area are actually different: You will probably think that this is true for any city, but really, if you lived in Berlin, you will absolutely agree because I have heard so many Europeans say this too. 🙂 There is the sophisticated Charlottenburg, the quintessentially hipster Warschauer Strasse, the tourist-y & modern Mitte & so on. While writing this line, I seriously do miss Berlin! ❤IMG_1505_FotorIMG_1453IMG_1458IMG_1479_FotorIMG_2096IMG_2102IMG_2091

That is all I wanted to share, you guys.

I would love to know what went through your mind when you read this post. Anything about Berlin? Anything about a city you fell in love with?  Tell me in the comments! 🙂

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This grey city which gets colorful every once in a while! 🙂

Mauerpark Flohmarkt (Flea Market), Berlin

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Germany is known for its flea markets & Berlin more so. This Mauerpark one, I guess, is the most popular one in Berlin and the best thing about this one is that it combines the best of two worlds – German flea markets & Berlin’s eclectic culture.

No, truly, this is not something just for the sake of saying it. Berlin’s Mauerpark flea market offers tidbits, unique things & useful things to some people just like any German or other flea market. At the same time, it represents Berlin’s eclectic & diverse culture as closely as possible. Berlin stands for being the land for artists, illustrators, designers and entrepreneurs – a place where they can be themselves & do what they want with full acceptance, because Berlin accepts everyone & everything.

This is something that Mauerpark flea market also represents in one way. Unlike regular flea markets, it doesn’t only have vintage stuff, there are artists selling their latest creations & many people selling their handmade stuff. To add to this, the part of the Berlin wall here is also getting constantly painted & repainted by people/artists. On the sides, there’s a huge crowd sitting atop a hill & cheering Karaoke participants. If you enter the food area, you’ll see that you can literally expect anything in the stalls, Vietnamese, food from Uruguay, Mexican, Bao Buns – you name it. Yes! this is what Berlin is – everything & anything at one single point only.

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‘Mauer’ is German for wall, so I believe this park is called Mauerpark because it is around a section of the Berlin wall. I went here for the second time this past Sunday & thought I’ll do a photo tour. Thing is I didn’t click as many (or should I say as varied) as I wanted, but still here’s what I have. 🙂

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The main entrance

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Right adjacent to where all the flea market action happens, is an open ground where people come over for picnics, although its not a well-maintained or even a clean park.

The park is also lined by a hill sort of surface, as in part of it is high up and that high up surface has Berlin wall bordering it. Have a look!

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That graffiti laced wall that you see is the Berlin wall and, as you can see, its on a height.

On the top, you see the spirit of Berlin, people showing their artistic sense on the Berlin wall, people chilling on swings or just sun bathing!

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Picnic people, as seen from the top

Mauerpark is also famous for one more thing, something that quite exemplifies the young & hipster spirit of Berlin. A Karaoke that happens in the ‘bear pit’. A small area of the Mauerpark flea market is called bear pit & summers usually see Karaoke happening there. The happiness & energy of people there is purely infectious! The way crowds cheer for whoever is performing leaves you with a very positive feeling.

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I am standing here & clicking!

I totally feel that Mauerpark flea market & Karaoke is definitely an experience worth having while you are in Berlin. It happens on every Sunday & you can totally keep some time for it. If nothing else, you will love it for the food variety, for sure.

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You can literally find someone with a robot they made themselves!

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If you have been here or plan to head over, I would love to know your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

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and that is just Germany gearing up for the Euro Cup! 🙂