While Savannah and Charleston are gorgeous in Photos, it’s when you’re really there that the cities come to life. When the Spanish Moss covered trees are blowing in the wind, when the fountains are gently bubbling water as a jazz musician plays a sweet tune in the air, those are the moments that make the South feel like another world. So since you couldn’t all come on our trip to the South with us, here’s a little video guide of Savannah and Charleston so you can feel like you were there too!
Prague has been on my travel list for a long time now and while I haven’t been able to make it work so far on our travels through Europe to explore this ancient city, when I was approached to share more about it, I couldn’t pass up the chance!
Walking the streets of Prague, one marvels at the astonishing architecture spanning centuries of history; from Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau and modern Art Deco architecture side-by-side, Prague is a wondrous sight. So, if you’re planning to travel to the Czech Republic, here are six landmarks in Prague which you must visit.
The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock
The most recognizable icon in the city, this Gothic structure dates back to the 14th century and houses a beautiful mechanical clock. Crowds gather hourly just to see and hear it chime and marvel at its beauty and wonder. Canadian Traveller states the astronomical clock was a collaboration between clock maker Miklaus of Kadane and Jan Sindel, professor of mathematics at Charles University. It remains one of the most incredible inventions of the medieval world and has survived revolutions and uprisings.
One of the most architecturally beautiful and largest coherent castle complexes in the world, Prague Castle was founded in the 9th century during the Premyslid Dynasty. It features in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the castle spans across 18 acres thanks to several expansive courtyards, according to PartyPoker’s article ’10 Fantastic Things to Do in Prague’. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the castle comprises palaces and ecclesiastical building of varying styles and ages; from the Romanesque style buildings of the 10th century, through Gothic modifications of the 14th century. Unfortunately, it is also a no-fly zone, so drone videographers will have to make due with ground level photography.
Also known as Jerusalem Synagogue, due to its location on Jerusalem Street in Prague, it is situated outside the Jewish Quarter and was originally built in 1906. Designed by Viennese architect Wilhelm Stiassny in honor of the silver Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, the synagogue reflects a unique synthesis of styles, including Moorish architecture combined with Art Nouveau. It is characterized by large central arch frames and rosette window with the Star of David in the middle.
If you’re a lover of asymmetric modern architecture, the world-famous Dancing House is the symbol of modern architecture in Prague. Designed Canadian-American architect Frank O. Gehry, it was finished in 1996 and was inspired by the dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Originally construction was met with a heated debate as many did not see it fitting in with Prague’s overall architectural design, however, when it was finished it received Time Magazine’s Design of the Year Award.
The famous historical fort is one of the most significant National Cultural Monuments of the Czech Republic and today shelters many architectural treasures. This extensive complex spreads out on a high promontory overlooking the Vlatva River and contains the famous Vysehard Cemetery, Slavin Tomb and the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. The hill-fort was founded in the late 10th century during the reign of Boleslaus II the Pious. Throughout the centuries it became a seat of power, notably of the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
St. Vitus Cathedral
Perched up high on Castle Hill, the cathedral and its high spires are an important symbol of Prague. Thought Co’s article ‘Prague Architecture for the Casual Traveler’ discussed that it is a masterpiece of Gothic design and took almost 600years to complete with construction beginning in the mid-14th century. However, for centuries it sat unfinished and it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that it was started again and finally completed in 1929. The harmonious combination of five centuries of architectural designs make it a uniquely beautiful and timeless structure.
After our first day in Savannah, we felt like we had explored most of the city on foot and were looking for a spontaneous day trip somewhere in the area to explore a new area for the day. Initially my thought was Hilton Head, South Carolina, however upon further research most people suggested that Hilton Head is great for a vacation but not necessarily a day trip – they did recommend however the cute little South Carolina town of Beaufort. So upon a couple quick image searches to see what it looked like and seeing the incredible little town full of old houses and Spanish Moss, we jumped at it and headed to Beaufort, South Carolina for the day.
We started our day with a drive through the Old Point neighborhood stopping at every chance we got to gawk at the incredible old Southern houses and amazing oaks lining the streets covered in hanging Spanish moss. Beaufort is the Southern small town of your dreams and that’s no exaggeration – it’s gorgeous.
After an hour or so of driving and stopping, driving and stopping in the neighborhood, we headed for the main street in town on Bay Street. We parked the car and wandered up and down the street, popping into the stores and buying a few things. Finally we headed to Q on Bay for some lunch and had amazing Southern food, including my final indulgence of shrimp and grits of the trip.
Only about an hour from Savannah and an hour from Charleston, Beaufort is the perfect day trip if you’re in either city and looking to explore more of the area. This little magical town was a treat and we were really glad we gave it a chance on a spontaneous decision!
Kimpton Brice Hotel – Savannah, Georgia
601 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401
When we were looking at our time in Savannah and planning our trip, I looked to see if there were Kimpton properties in the area. Usually, Kimpton’s are my go-to hotel chain wherever we travel so I check them first and low and behold, up came the Brice in Savannah and the rest is history!
Location – While the location of the Brice initially seemed far from everything when we were driving into town, we quickly realized that while it may be one of the last hotels on the strip of hotels near River Street in Savannah, it actually was only a 10 minute walk to everywhere in the historic district of Savannah.
Decor – Like all Kimpton’s, the decor of the hotel is great. It’s modern and fun and has lovely touches everywhere you look.
Quick Valet – Anytime we needed to get our car in and out of valet, it was super fast and easy.
Restaurant Design – We didn’t eat at the restaurant at the hotel, but it looked super cute and fun!
Price – We stayed the weekend a couple days after Valentine’s Day and so the rates were fairly high (even with my professional discount) and unfortunately I was under the impression that the rate quoted to me included taxes and fees when in reality it didn’t and that added a lot more to the price. I don’t really think the price we paid was worth what the hotel offered.
Hotel Layout – The hotel looks like it used to be an old motel and so it’s a huge property with winding corridors and weird fire doors in odd locations. In the update, it looked like the updated all the aesthetic finishes but didn’t do much for the layout of the hotel and building itself which still seems a bit odd and outdated.
Old Bathrooms – While the bedroom of our room was updated and modern, the bathrooms didn’t make it into the renovation budget it seems and were really old and outdated.
NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND
It’s not in the main hub of hotels near River Street, but close – East Bay Street is a long stretch of hotels and restaurants across the street from a park and River Street in Savannah and while the Brice is still close to everything, there are a number of hotels closer to the main hub of the area.
Valet Parking – Valet parking will set you back about $40 per night.
All hotel photos via.
Land of Marvels was welcomed to the Brice at a discounted rate however as always, all opinions are my own.
Ghost City Grave Tales Ghost Tour – Savannah, Georgia
While in Charleston, one of Nick’s colleagues from the area recommended for us to a ghost tour while in Savannah, as it’s known as the most haunted city in the USA. He recommended Ghost City so we went with them, but there are a lot of companies that do these tours so you could look into other options too. I love supernatural natural stuff like that and have always been sensitive to the supernatural in my personal life, so this was right up my alley. We actually booked only a day in advance and even though last minute, it was one of our favorite parts of our time in Savannah!
Tour Guide – We had KB as our guide and we loved her! She was the perfect mix of great story telling and information along with great insider knowledge of the city.
Tour Route – We did a big loop around the downtown area of Savannah and got to see some spots we hadn’t seen during our day wandering around the city which was nice. It’s a nice couple hours of getting to see the city and understand it better.
Meet Up Organization – We did our tour on a Saturday night and they had a lot of different groups going and where we met in Johnson Square there were a ton of people and it got a little chaotic. I wish they would have told us to go to a specific corner of the square or something to meet as it got a little crazy before we got going. They did do their best to manage it, it just was a lot of people!
Group Size – I’d say there were probably 12-15 people in our group and I wish there had been about half that so we got a little bit more of an intimate feel. It wasn’t a huge deal, but if I did it again, it would be nice to have a smaller group.
NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND
Wear Comfortable Shoes – It’s a 1.5-2 hour tour so wear comfortable shoes to walk around that whole time!
If you’re supernaturally sensitive, be ready for some weird vibes – I’ve always been sensitive to the supernatural and since I was little have always felt supernatural presence around me in certain locations so if you lean that direction, just be aware that I definitely got some weird vibes and feelings in certain locations on this tour. One square in particular (the last one on the tour), gave me a really negative feeling and presence and I was really ready to get out of that location, so just know that if you’re sensitive to it, you will definitely feel it on this tour. Just be ready for it so it doesn’t throw you off. And if you aren’t sure if you really believe in the supernatural (like Nick), don’t worry either, you’ll still have a great time and learn a bunch of history of Savannah.