Wish You Were Here: In The Gardens of Petřín Hill

A stroll in the gardens on Petrin Hill

I am looking out and all around me I am surrounded by nature. Roses to my left and right, their aroma swirls through my senses. I am very high up now, higher than I intended to be and I can see all of Prague, as far as my sight will allow me to. Children frolic in the green grass and despite the signs warning them to refrain from touching the flowers, they throw caution to the wind — as I should.

A visit to Petřín Hill, one of the great lookout spots in Prague showed me just how lucky I am to be here.

As a resident of South Texas I am only familiar with hot summers, dying grass, some cactus, agave, and of course — palm trees. To clarify, I’m not knocking “the valley” down in any way. It certainly holds its own beauty, but it’s a rare and misunderstood one. In my case, 21 years of the same scenery can’t be expected to provide immediate thrills.

Prague provides a different kind of sensation. When I think of post cards, this culturally rich city immediately comes to mind. As I experienced in Petřín, Prague is fortunate to have several high altitude points where beautiful views of the city provide the perfect “kodak” moment. As a photographer, I’m simply loving it. Everywhere I turn, there’s something gorgeous to look at, another moment to grasp.

Petrin Lookout Tower

Among the lavish gardens, Petřín also houses a lookout tower strongly resembling the Eiffel Tower. Taking a tiresome hike up this tower you can get an even broader look at a city that never rests. I chose against it. My attention was drawn towards the roses, and I had to stick around for a while. Where were all the palm trees I was so used to?

It’s safe to say that I’ve been spoiled with such beautiful gardens. Prague boasts at least 88 protected areas of lovely green, ranging from parks to just gardens. This means roughly 20% of the city is covered with these areas.

As an outsider, I find the people happier here, at least the ones in the parks. Don’t quote me on this but I do find some relation with nature and happiness. Studies? If only we could find a few minutes in our busy days to reflect on all the things we try to accomplish — We’d be much more satisfied with all our work, regardless of how rough it may be coming along.

In the short while that I found myself in this beautiful garden, the stress and worry of the previous day was completely worn off, brushed off my sleeve and thrown to the basket.

Rose gardens on Petrin Hill

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