The idea of running through Prague’s cobblestone streets sounded exciting, romantic even, with cafes and flower shops lining the streets. However when I walked out the door of the Residence Lundborg, I realized I had no idea where I was headed.

I pulled out my map and attempted to read it for the seventeenth time; though no matter how many times I tried, I still was unable to understand Czech.

I, finally, shoved the map back in my pocket and took off in the direction opposite of Charles Bridge, which was packed with tourists standing shoulder-to-shoulder under the noon sun.

I found myself weaving in and out of tour groups and cars trying to maintain a steady pace, but after every three steps, I was tripping over strollers or stopped at a crosswalk.

After a half of a mile of this, I was fed up. I came to a stop and was quickly surrounded by people “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing.” Following the direction of their camera lenses, I turned to my left and realized I was in front of the Before I Die wall. People of all ages were taking turns writing their aspirations on the wall as part of the global art project created by artist Candy Chang.

The wall reminded me to be patient and appreciate my first trip to Europe – even if it meant I wasn’t going to beat any of personal records.

With a better attitude, I continued my run. I was still unsure of where I was going, but before I knew it, I could see my reflection in the windows of the Dancing House.

Czech architect Vlado Milunic and American architect Frank Gehry designed the building in the early 1990s. Gehry originally named the building Fred and Ginger after dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, but now the nickname is its common identifier.

After snapping a few pictures on my cell phone, I followed the river back through the local markets and souvenir shops to the hotel.

Though I did not push myself to new aerobic levels or burn an abundant amount of calories, this run brought the excitement back to my workout routine. I took the time to experience and appreciate the world around me – something I often forget to do back in Kent.

 

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