“Go with the flow, but in style.”
It’s my motto, in life and in travel, and creating a brand like BagLady Basics has made this seamlessly possible. It’s also the mentality I had when my friend Ayesha invited me to meet up with her in Prague.
She’d extended the invitation at the end of summer, as I was still in Berlin (on my “Little Shepherd Girl” shit), and I figured, why not. I’d been keen on visiting this superbly beautiful city for some time, and it was only a cheap bus ride away!
I gave in to the peer pressure, threw some new B.LB pieces in a bag, and headed over to Czech Republic, from Berlin.
I was ready, excited and a bit curious for our Prague ‘Friendezvou’.
As previously mentioned, I love solo travel but have also been considering traveling with others for some time now. Accepting Ayesha’s invitation, to join her in Prague, was an opportunity to “try on”, traveling with friends.
Not only was I was about to spend time with Ayesha, one of my best and oldest friends, but I’d decided to go all in, with the traveling with company and just let Ayesha take the lead on this trip. I’d figured that I would have been interesting to experience traveling from someone else’s perspective, and knew that it would have been a chance to discover even more about myself.
I decided to let her do the work and trusted that we’d both have a great time with whatever she had planned.
I did no research into traveling to Prague, and Ayesha didn’t seem to care that I didn’t. She’s a very particular person and always aims to have the best experience during her vacations (she quotes TripAdvisor as though it’s the Bible), so I knew I that I was in good hands.
Even though she’s one of my best and oldest friends, we have different taste in many things, which made me even more curious to see how things would turn out.
I aim to experience the more creative, speakeasy, and local side of a city, and enjoy visiting museums, art centers, checking out random dodgy streets, with cool graffiti, hipster cafes, and visiting designer markets.
Ayesha, on the other hand, indulges in more “fancy” experiences, a lot of which come highly recommended by travel sites, with picturesque places being a prerequisite for any trip.
Prague, or Praha (as it's called in Europe), is a city known for its superb beauty and splendid views, and I knew that naturally, Ayesha would be in her element. After all, it is a city adorned with ornate bridges, glistening rivers, and beautiful gardens.
I was without a doubt, packed and prepared for a “more pretty, less gritty” trip!
I put my ‘Livin la Vida Local’ vibe to the side and was ready to experience Prague- just as Ayesha would have it.
We spent three full days in Prague, in which we tried to capture the full essence of this charming city.
Here’s how it went down…
On day one we walked around the city center, which I was very happy about, as I am a fan of exploring places by foot.
Ayesha prefers using some form of transportation besides walking, but she was a trooper on the first day and even agreed to walk to the center.
We initially joined a free walking tour, but unfortunately, it was boring and ended up ditching as it gradually became an annoying tourist trap.
We then decided to explore the city for ourselves, walking for more than 12km. We visited most of the touristic spots, including Old Town, New Town, St.Vitus Cathedral, and Kampa Park.
My first memorable moment was taking endless stairs up a narrow case, to the top of the Old Town Bridge Tower. This afforded us magnificent views of both sides of the bridge- we saw it as a nice welcome to Prague.
Walking across the Charles bridge was also a highlight of our day (even though it was crowded), the beauty of its construction is undeniable, and gazing at the river below, makes one just float away into daydreams.
The Mala Strana area and the Prague Castle were among other sites visited, and to get to the Prague Castle required a bit of an uphill walk, but the view of the city from that vantage point was totally worth it!
We were very exhausted at the end of the day, and took Ayesha only a little effort to convince me into taking the tram for the rest of the trip!
Day one and done! Trippin with my bestie wasn’t bad at all!
Day one was fun, but I was excited to get away from the vast crowds of tourist and rude vendors in the city center.
On the second day we had a more local experience, and admittedly, was a combination of what we both wanted to experience on the trip. I couldn’t resist visiting at least one local hood, and Ayesha wanted to check out Letna Park, as it’s famous for its view of the city.
We spent most of our day in the Holešovice district, the supposedly “coolest” district of Prague. Yes, “Supposedly”, because honestly, we didn’t find much to convince us of that.
I specifically journeyed there to check out the DOX Contemporary Art Center, which is definitely worth a visit, but I was generally disappointed with the area.
Wethen found our way Vnitro Block- that made our search for cool a little less futile.
Vnitro Block is a somewhat hipster space with a startup vibe, that is home to a designer boutique and sneaker shop, cinema, café, and dance studio. The service at the café was sub-par at best, so we had a quick bite there, rested for a while and then set off to Letna Park.
Letna Park is famous for its view of the city as well as its beer garden. The park itself is charming as well, but we were there for the views and the booze, and immediately upon arrival grabbed some beers (which is cheaper than water in Prague), kicked back and took in the sights of the city from an alternative, less crowded perspective.
Day three was the icing on the cake of the Pretty Prague experience, as we visited two beautiful gardens, the Vrtba Gardens (which looked like a garden that came right out of a storybook), and Wallenstein Gardens.
We were even lucky enough to enjoy a free concert at Wallenstein Gardens, which also included free traditional Czech food and beer.
We got lost at some point in our day and ended up in a building that housed a retro elevator called a paternoster elevator a.k.a The Elevator of Death.
It was the coolest and most unexpected thing that we’d experienced on the trip, especially since we’d thought that we would have been crushed to death if we hadn’t jumped off the elevator at the indicated stop!
Yes, it was that dramatic, with a dude standing to the bottom, yelling at you to get off!
What a fun ending to this “Friendezvou’’!
BUT WAIT, I didn’t forget about the food!
We ate a lot on this trip, and the portions in Prague are HUGE! So the phrase, OMG I’m so full, became a frequent utterance. We had traditional Czech food, with my favorite being their dumplings and goulash, as well as other cuisines, such as Indian and French.
What we didn't get, however, was a taste of Prague's nightlife. I guess it comes with old age, ha! We didn't care to head out at night after our long days but managed to venture into a few underground bars during the day.
Prague is a beautiful city, but it’s also a city that has an aura of mystery and intrigue, and writing this post, makes me want to revisit to discover more of what lies beneath the beauty and charm.
My favorite thing about this trip was catching up with Ayesha. We usually keep in touch via text, but there’s nothing better than spending face-to-face time with the people that you care about.
Our conversations and interaction over the days showed me how much we’d grown over the past years- grown up, but not apart, and have managed to stay best friends for more than 15 years, even while each of us lived in different places for most of those years.
Our lifestyles are somewhat different, as we have chosen different paths, but our support for, and acceptance of each other remains constant.
We spent a lot of time catching up on our Praha trip, but also had quiet moments together which were always natural, and never awkward.
We are aware of each other’s need for reflective silence and personal space, and it’s an aspect of our friendship that I’ve always cherished.
During those quiet moments I reflected on the thought, that true friendship disregards distance, and abounds throughout all, that relationships should never be forced, but do require effort. And of how much, now more than ever, genuine female friendships hold great importance in my life.
It is no doubt that we now live in a period (pun intended ha!) where women have once again become a great and notable force of creating change in society- change for ourselves, and for others. And the initiative of sisterly comradery has risen from many challenges that we face daily.
It’s a new wave of feminism that we all can be a part of, by even doing as little as being empathetic towards each other, lending an ear, without judgment, or putting more effort into creating, and maintaining healthy female friendships.
It’s an opportune time to focus on us as WOMEN.
A time to not only focus on self-love and ambition but one in which we can try to be more aware of the importance of being our sister’s keeper, inspiring and encouraging each other to go places and accomplish all of the dreams that are placed in our hearts.
I believe that if we all knew and felt support from each other, that our big dreams would seem even more possible.
There are people who say that they “don’t need friends”, and I’m definitely not one of those.
I need friends, and now, more than ever I need my girls, women, sisters, my ladies, and I hope that they need me too!
I hope that we all continue to help and share with each other- our stories, fears, struggles, triumphs, advice, and mentorship.
Let’s make it our mission to continually surround ourselves with the growing number of women who are enthusiastic about going places and taking other women with them, in life and location.
Who knows, maybe you’ll end up in Praha with your bestie ;)
Feel free to follow Ayesha, and her travels @ayesha_sasha