“My Mojito in La Bodeguita.”
One threshold I’ll never forget crossing is the one that led me into La Bodeguita del Medio. Mind still swirling from the dizzying beauty of Prague’s architecture, geography and gastronomy–I’m already thinking that things just can’t get better, but they do. I’ve never been to Cuba (though I’d love to go), but this cocktail joint is like the fastest trip across the Atlantic I’ve ever been on. You smell the cigars, see the salsa dancers, find a nook to nestle into on the bar and just drink it in. My first taste of my mojito especial was heavenly. The fresh lime and mint artfully muddled, the crunchiness of the raw sugar…ach, it’s absolutely gorgeous and wholly refreshing.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Prague, or Praha as the locals call it, here’s a quick background: Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and is the heart of the region of Bohemia. Prague has existed under many different empires over the ages, including the Holy Roman Empire, the Third Reich (interestingly Hitler decided not raze Prague’s large Jewish Quarter because he wanted it to be a museum of sorts to what he hoped would be an extinct race), the USSR, Czechoslovakia and finally now itself, just the Czech Republic. For all this conquering, Prague is remarkably preserved. I suppose even the tyrants over the ages didn’t have the heart to destroy this stunning city. Thank you evil, power-crazed men, very much for that. Loads of travelers have hailed Prague as the new Paris, but what I love about it is that it’s the affordable Paris. Reid and I adored ducking into loads of sidewalk cafes for a stein of Gambrinus or an espresso. The Czechs are friendly, the tourists are happy and the overall feel of the city is just magical. Walt Disney seriously has nothing on Prague. I’m just glad I got to spend time there when it’s still cheap. The Czech economy is apparently doing rather well, and it’s not so much a secret anymore how amazing Prague is, so it’ll only be a matter of time before it truly is like Paris ($£$£$£$).