catching up

Because our friend Toine has been visiting for the past few days, I have not had the time to update on the rest of our Czech Republic trip. We spent the twenty-fourth in Brno and the twenty-fifth in Prague. Brno was not quite what I expected; it was very small and slightly confused. The city felt simultaneously urban and suburban, trash and clean, old and new. It juggled its old city image, with the former town wall, and its new city image, with its reformed Soviet housing and Mies van der Rohe’s Tugendhat Villa. It was a very strange city indeed.

On our last day in Prague, we shopped for souvenirs (scarves, Czech garnet, and the like), ate more traditional Czech food, and strolled around the Old Town again. It was a nice day. I bought my grandmother a 100 year-old rosary I found in an antique shop. Its beads are handmade, off-white, and beautifully imperfect. I thought the piece was just amazing, and I hope my grandma will love it.

For the past few days, Seth, Antonia, and I have been making the rounds, visiting all of our Paris bucket-list destinations. We stopped by the musée du quai Branly and a few other spots in the fifteenth arrondissement, the Marais (because I love it so much), Belleville, Parc de la Villette, a cute street of single-family homes in the nineteenth arrondissement, and Berthillion. I have really enjoyed taking it easy and savoring my last few moments in the city.

The three of us leave for Barcelona tomorrow. While I am super excited about our trip, I am quite sad to be leaving Paris. As annoyed as I grew with the French people and their language, I do adore this place. The other night, we went to the theater to see Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The movie (a love letter, really) was absolutely beautiful and heartwarming, and it felt extra special to watch it with a group of Parisians. Simply put, there is no other city like this in the world.

[photo: St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent, Prague]