287 Steps Later

I love the cobblestone streets and sidewalks here. I look at them from one angle then another, seeing different patterns from various perspectives. The designs are so intricate; I’m amazed such care was invested to create something people walk or drive on every day. Cobblestones aren’t easy to walk on, so they force me to slow down and see more of what’s around me.

I followed the cobblestone path up to the Prague Castle this afternoon. I was greeted by multitudes of enormous buildings and palatial courtyards. I ducked into St Vitus’ Cathedral and admired stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings. I eavesdropped on English-speaking tour guides explaining the history of the church. I saw a sign boasting excellent views from atop the South Tower, along with a warning sign there were 287 steps to climb. 287 steps? Not a problem.

Not a problem unless they are 287 steps in a circular stairway about two-feet wide, with people ascending and descending at the same time. Much to my surprise, I learned that I get dizzy very easily. It was impossible to see more than a couple of feet in front (or behind) as I climbed, so meeting others was a surprise, causing each of us to squoosh to the inside or outside of the narrow staircase.

I arrived at the top, breathing heavily, to which another tourist told me, “Only one more flight to go,” then laughed at the expression on my face. I was at the top and it was stupendous. I looked down at the courtyard in which I was recently standing, tourists scurrying around like tiny ants. I saw the river and multiple bridges. I saw waves of endless red rooftops. I saw spires of cathedrals. Well worth the climb.


Looking up at the South Tower

287 steps higher, looking down at the courtyard

119 thoughts on “287 Steps Later

  1. I just about fell out of my chair when I saw your post on WordPress. I’m editing photos right now from our vacation to Prague, Istanbul & The Hague. I knew where your 287 steps led as soon as I saw that courtyard photo on Freshly Pressed. My husband climbed the tower while I sat on one of those benches below. How awesome to find your blog. We loved Prague. I’ll be posting photos from our trip over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I’ll be reading yours to see what you’ve experienced. So happy I found you, Lori!

    • The view was beautiful from the top. In addition to looking down at the courtyard, you could look out across the city and see endless rooftops, the river, and bridges!

  2. The Mrs. and I were there earlier this year. We didn’t have a tour guide, but we did have a lot of confidence from the Praha pilsner from the monastery down the hill. 😛 It’s absolutely beautiful. Interesting fact about the cathedral; if you look at the bottom, you can see images of the architects during latter portion of its construction. Those architect effigies are wearing modern suits. That means it took hundreds of years to make this building… amazing. Your angles really show the scale of the buildings too.

  3. Sigh, I remember those 287 steps. Still one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited…though I know what you mean about feeling dizzy! Totally worth it once you get to the top though. Love your pictures, they take me back!

  4. Ah, good old Prazsky Hrad. Many of the best views of Prague to be had from there. The tower is great! The funny-sized steps don’t help but the views are completely worth it. Great shot of the ant-like people in the courtyard… 🙂

    • Thank you! An unexpected benefit of being Freshly Pressed is checking out the blogs of people who have visited and discovering so many new sites to follow! 🙂

  5. Gorgeous pictures, ma’am. And so glad you enjoyed Prague, as it seems everyone here did also. I’m lucky, when I go, I stay with my cousins and get to see places tourists never get to go, and I have a fair command of the language, too. Which helps immensely. Byl jsem nahore tamto schodi, take — I went to the top of those stairs, too 🙂

  6. Prague is wonderful. I was there in January. Did you visit the bridge? Did you rub the bronze plates? People were all going crazy rubbing them for luck when I was there.
    I wrote about the John Lennon wall on my blog – it was so interesting.

    I could easily live in Prague! Looks like you’ve been having a fantastic time.
    Jamie

    • Hi Jamie, I walked across the bridge several times. My favorite walk was early, early one morning. There were only a couple of other people walking and the fog was lifting off the river. It was magical. 🙂 I didn’t rub any of the bronze plates, but I saw others doing it. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Thanks for cluing me in.

  7. beautifully written with beautiful pictures too match. It’s nice to know historical building are still respected, admired and appreciated! You’ve made me want to visit those cobblestones. Thanks 🙂

  8. Keeping your eyes focused farther away is good to avoid the dizziness, but as you pointed out old places like this don’t give you that luxury. Have you climbed inside the dome at Duomo in Firenze? The passageways are sandwiched between two domes: twisting, winding, cramped. I recommend it, especially for the view from the top.

  9. I look up to people who love traveling, see them as being free spirited. I personally have never been able to make the time to take a trip all by myself and really hope one day I can 🙂

    • I never thought I’d be the type of person to travel alone, either. Growing up, I never did anything alone. In college, a boyfriend convinced me to take a trip by myself (backpacking through the Australian outback) and I’ve loved traveling ever since! If you have the opportunity, I’d encourage you to do it. 🙂

  10. Hi Lori. Loved your post. The old world has some beautiful places. I saw parts of France, Germany, and Switzerland. Notre Dame, Arc de Triumph all very beautiful.

    Dusty

    • Hi Dusty, I haven’t explored much of Germany or Switzerland. There are so many countries to see; I’m looking forward to visiting more of the old world countries of Europe.

    • I loved Prague. 🙂 I would recommend visiting the Old Town, walking across the Charles Bridge at dawn (otherwise it’s super crowded), visiting the Lennon Wall, seeing the Jewish quarter, walking around the Prague Castle complex (the building are open until 5 or 6, but the compound is open until midnight. You can see beautiful views of the city from there), and listening to music. There are excellent concerts everywhere, particularly jazz and classical music. If you like jazz, go to the Jazz Dock. If you like classical music, check out a performance at the Municipal House, or at any church. You’re going to have such a great time!

  11. I very much enjoy traveling as well and having lived for a period of time in Sweden I appreciate the wonders all around this world. This pictures are great! Isn’t it amazing how vastly different each experience is in each new country?

  12. Reminds me of our recent trip to Italy, where we climbed duomos in Rome, Florence and Milan. All involved climbing a few hundred steps in narrow, dark and sometimes stinky staircases but was worth the effort to see the cities from above.

  13. Just back from a magical trip to Prague,……………….. my calves are still suffering from climbing the tower at the Castle, I could hardly walk the next day but wow was it worth it for the spectacular view!!! To travel is to live ~

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