Between the 21st of May and the 2nd of June, I went on a group tour to some “East” Europe and Balkan countries. This was my first time going on a group tour, complete with a guide who would take us to all of the sights, and accompany us all the way from Incheon airport to Europe, and back. The tour was arranged by Hana Tour, which is touted as the Number 1 travel agency in Korea. While it was slightly more constrained and limited than going by myself since we had to adhere to a strict schedule, it was a lot more comfortable to know that all the hotels would be properly booked, transportation was pre-arranged, and I didn’t have to do TOO much studying in advance.
Our route would take us through the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. After Bosnia, we would return to Dubrovnik, Croatia, for a two-day stay, before flying back to Seoul via the Helsinki International Airport. I say “East” Europe countries, not because of any Cold War associations, but because geographically, they are located in the East-er side of Europe. And the Balkan countries include Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia.
Our flight to Helsinki, Finland, followed by the one to Prague, Croatia was pretty uneventful. Landing was a little bit rough in Helsinki, and I did get a little bit of motion sickness, but all was well, since our first dinner in Prague was a Korean meal (for some reason). But more on that later! Since we still had some daylight when we arrived at Prague, we did some evening sightseeing around the Old Town Square, where saw (among other things) the Astronomical Clock and the Church of Our Lady Before Týn.
The Astronomical Clock was easily my most favourite part of the square. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest one still working, thanks to proper maintenance spurred by the local legend that the city will suffer if the clock is neglected. Once every hour, animated parts of the clock move, and through the little windows, you can see the 12 Apostles parade by. I wasn’t able to take a video of the display, but here is a YouTube video:
From across the square, we could see the pointed tips of Prague Castle. I won’t go too much into detail about the history of the castle right now, since we did revisit the site the next day, and took a lot more pictures while it was bright out.
And now I’ll just leave you guys with this picture of the city from across the Vltava River at night. You can see Prague Castle, all lit up with its lights.