I left my heart in Prague

There’s only one thing I love as much as getting my hands dirty in the kitchen and that’s traveling around the world. If I won the lottery today I would probably start creating a travel itinerary before even telling my family the good news. Nothing fills me with a sense of excitement and wonder like seeing a foreign country. This year Jeff and I were able to take our first serious overseas trip in 5 years. We visited Germany and the Czech Republic, with a brief but lovely layover in London at the end.

I left my heart in Prague

Germany was as beautiful and picturesque as I had imagined. Sometimes we joked that it looked like Epcot Germany but there was nothing Disney about the towns and ancient castles we saw. I’ll never forget the sweeping landscapes, the green mountainous vineyards…

I left my heart in Prague

My pictures don’t do it justice at all. My breath was constantly taken away by the beauty of Germany. It made me realize how flat my surroundings at home are. We would drive through these incredibly hilly towns with winding cobblestone roads. In some neighborhoods there were red and pink flowers in almost every window.

I left my heart in Prague

Sometimes we would pass fields of wild sunflowers on the side of the road that were the size of my head. There were bees everywhere. No one could give me a clear explanation of why but I got really good at dodging them.

I left my heart in Prague

And there were castles. So. Many. Castles!  This castle, Burg Eltz, was my favorite. To get to it we had to take a 15 minute walk on a small winding dirt path on the side of a mountain. It was like something out of a fairytale.

I left my heart in Prague

Germany often gave me delicate opportunities to work on my fear of heights. It would seem that many castles and fortresses reside on the top of very large hills. I suppose at one point it was helpful for seeing enemies attempting to storm the castle?

I left my heart in Prague

Berlin was an especially memorable part of the trip for me. While I no longer consider myself a practicing Jew, there’s so much recent, intense history and I really did feel a connection with my ancestors while seeing some of the sights. The above photo was taken inside the Holocaust Memorial (also know as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe). It was both moving and haunting. We saw the remains of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. We stood in a park over what was once Hitler’s bunker. We visited Schaffhausen, a concentration camp. These weren’t exactly fun experiences but I’m glad I did it.

I left my heart in Prague

I was sad to say goodbye to Germany but that was quickly forgotten once I got my first good look at Prague. Hello amazing.

I left my heart in Prague

Prague was overwhelming and I could not put my camera down. At first I was distracted by how many tourists were everywhere. Like… elbow to elbow tourists who were all trying to walk in different directions. It was kind of fascinating to have a drink and people watch but when we first arrived I felt like I WAS in fact at Disney World.

I left my heart in Prague

But then we got off the tourist track and I fell in love. I fell in love with the architecture, the people, the history, the beer, the food, the prices (hello $30 for an amazing dinner with drinks).

I left my heart in Prague

There were little glimmers of beauty everywhere I turned. We might have even discussed retiring in Prague someday.

I left my heart in Prague

I’ve never been so sad to leave a foreign city in my life. We thought we had scheduled plenty of time. I felt like we barely scratched the surface. I want to go back. I hope.

I left my heart in Prague

See the cute camera strap I’m wearing in this photo? Right before vacation I was sent a free, handmade camera strap from Nena & Co to review. This trip seemed like a perfect opportunity to put it to the test and that I did. I wore this strap around my neck every single day for two and a half weeks. Did it show a bit of wear and tear by the end? Absolutely, you can see a little string dangling in the photo above. But honestly, that’s what I expected after lugging it around nonstop, sweating on it, flinging it about, and bumping into walls (which I do more than I’d like to admit). A couple of loose strings aside, this strap was incredibly durable. I never felt like my camera was in danger of going anywhere. The threads and strap itself are incredibly soft and never once caused any irritation to my neck. And I tend to wear mostly neutrals so the color of the strap was always just the right amount of flair for my outfit.

Would you like to own one of these straps? Nena & Co is giving one away! Each handmade strap is unique and no two look exactly alike. I know you’re going to love it as much as I do regardless of whether you’re taking your camera on the road or just using it at family gatherings. To enter, use the widget below. Please note that you must be 18 years old to enter and have a US address where the prize can be shipped. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: I was sent a free camera strap by Nena & Co. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  • http://tramplingrose.com Rachel

    Oh, if I could, I’d go to Australia to visit my best friend from high school, New Zealand, because I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid, Ireland for the same reason, France and Germany both to visit places my ancestors once lived, Scotland to hear bagpipes in Edinburgh, Italy for the food…And a lot more that I can’t think of at the moment. :)

  • http://www.PursuingSplendor.com Pat

    Next up on my bucket list is Prague — and we are going there in the spring!!!!!

    • Stefanie

      So pretty — all of it!

  • Lauren G.

    New Zealand or Spain are next on the list.

  • http://sugarhero.com Elizabeth – SugarHero!

    Oh goodness, these pictures are gorgeous! I visited Prague over a decade ago, when it fortunately wasn’t quite as touristy as it sounds like it is now, and it was so fun and so beautiful. I don’t have any big trips planned right now (sniff) but if I could, I’d love to visit Australia and New Zealand!

  • http://www.52kitchenadventures.com Stephanie

    I have a lot of places on my travel wish list. The first few that come to mind: Greece, the Galapagos Islands‎, Japan, and Chile. And I think I’ll have to add Prague to my list after seeing your beautiful photos!

  • http://www.vikalinka.com Julia@Vikalinka

    Thanks for sharing beautiful photos, Jennifer! Travel is one of those things I will never give up. Sometimes I see cute old people who are taken everywhere by coaches and I imagine my husband and I doing the same when we are in our 70s and can’t walk anymore! I just found out I am hitting 3 countries in the next 6 months and that got me pretty excited. Even though they are all work trips it’s till travel! :-)

  • Olja

    oooh, Peru and Machu Picchu would be my top choice!

  • http://www.blueinkasides.wordpress.com Amelia

    Next up on my bucket list is Ireland.

  • http://www.foodiewithfamily.com Rebecca {foodie with family}

    I have and love a Nena and Co strap, too! They’re so beautiful and distinctive! Mine is holding up beautifully!!!

  • Denise Fedor

    I would love to go to Italy. Two years of Latin in HS. Does anyone do that anymore?

  • Kathy H.

    Loved the photos! I would love to go to Italy!

  • Tina Johnson

    Beautiful pictures of your trip, and I would love one of those straps for my Nikon. Thanks!!

  • http://www.tasteloveandnourish.com Caroline

    Wow, Jen! What a fantastic trip! Your photos are so beautiful and have left me wanting to go online and book my own trip right now! That strap is SO snazzy! I love it! If I were to go anywhere, right now, I’d have to say Italy. I just want to eat my way through…but Prague and Germany are on the list too now! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://foodnessgracious.com Gerry+@+Foodness+Gracious

    Great pics! I remember the first time I took my wife to Scotland and she constantly pointed out castles :)

    • Jennifer Farley

      This country has a serious shortage of castles.

  • http://veryculinary.com/ Amy+@Very+Culinary

    I visited parts of Europe for 2 whole months about 20 years ago (specifically, France, Switzerland, and Germany.) I spent the majority of time in Germany. I remember marveling at all the castles, too! I cried the entire time in Berlin and the Holocaust Memorial. I’m not entirely a practicing Jew, but when you’re Jewish, you’re…Jewish. It’s just who you are. And you cannot help but feel the anguish.

    Thanks for taking me back there for a few minutes.

  • http://www.foodpleasureandhealth.com Dixya+@+Food,+Pleasure,+and+Health

    wow..im in love with those castles.

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca+@+Confessions+of+a+Chocoholic

    Beautiful photos! I’d love to visit Germany and prague someday too. And what a cute camera strap!

  • http://www.geecassandra.com Cassandra

    So beautiful! I’ve read a lot about Prague and would love to visit the city and environs one day. I especially love how you captured the reflections in the water at nightfall!

  • http://www.teaspoonofspice.com Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil)

    Ahhh, it’s been way too many years since my post college European adventure so loved living this trip vicariously through you. Never got to Prague (on the travel bucket list) but got to see a decent amount of Germany – so beautiful -and really makes you realize how nothing is really “old” in America. Berlin was fascinating – I was there just a few years after the fall of the Berlin wall. Thanks for sharing your adventure & lovely photos!

  • http://www.shepaused4thought.com Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought

    I love Prague… relatively untouched by time or war. It should be on everyone’s bucket list. :)

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura+(Tutti+Dolci)

    Gorgeous photos, I must visit Prague one day! :)

  • Elizabeth

    Italy is definitely up there!

  • http://alwayzbakin.com Michele+@+Alwayzbakin

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! What beautiful places to visit. So glad you had a great time. :)

  • http://whatjewwannaeat.com Amy+@+What+Jew+Wanna+Eat

    This looks like an amazing trip! Germany and Prague are definitely on my list. But next I’d like to check out Japan!

  • http://www.almostbananas.net Naomi

    Prague has, by far, the most cameras per meter squared I have ever seen. And I was there in the ‘off’ season. But I guess it’s for a reason, it really is beautiful. I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that there is a castle in my town (in Slovakia)! I’d love to go to Mongolia and get a taste of the nomadic life and snag some of their gorgeous felted wool products.

  • http://www.pinchandswirl.com Marissa | Pinch and Swirl

    Sold! Prague added to my bucket list. Such beautiful photos, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ruthie Gee

    I would go back to Santorini…. it’s perfect, a little bit of heaven on Earth. When my husband was alive we went to Santorini and I thought I would never go anywhere else as beautiful.

  • http://ilonaskitchen.wordpress.com ilona t

    australia!

  • http://www.youngatheartmommy.com Jessica

    I would travel to Alaska!

  • Tracy

    The whole world. The Middle East if it were safer. Chile and Germany where I’ve spent considerable time. New Zealand. Mexico. Ireland. Greece. Peru. Vietnam. And my beloved USA, where I was born and live and whose surface I’ve barely scratched.

  • Danijela A.

    I love Prague, and I hope to go back again, but until then I would so like to visit Petra, London, Paris, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat.. :-)

  • http://honestandtasty.com Bita

    That is such a unique and lovely strap! Gorgeous shots btw. I love your style :) OK, I would love to travel to Greece and Scotland!

  • http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com Karen (Back Road Journal)

    I love Germany and Austria…they are picture perfect. We keep wanting to go to Prague but the car rental companies we have used doesn’t let the cars we rent into the area.

  • http://www.pinchandswirl.com Marissa | Pinch and Swirl

    OMG!!! I’m so excited about the camera strap. Thank you so much.