Travel Diaries 2017: Copenhagen & Prague
From London, Bath, and Brighton, we then went on to go to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Prague, Czech Republic. I have checked most of my boxes when it comes to Western Europe so I figured I needed to explore the great beyond and am so lucky to be able to do just that.
I am no stranger to Danish design (hello, Bang & Olufsen, HAY, and Kjaer Weiss?). I love the minimalist aesthetic that Danish, and well, Scandinavian designs have. It is always so beautifully made with mindfulness and serenity in mind. The same is reflected in Copenhagen. Everywhere you go, you'll always feel like you're in a high-end minimalist paradise. People are mindful of what they eat and buy so everything is of such high quality and most of the things that you find will be organic! Of course, it comes with a price–a hefty one too. Travelling to Scandinavian countries can get quite expensive, food especially.
I did not buy many things while I was there because unfortunately, I visited during the holidays and so two of the four days that I was there was spent just walking around town looking at sights. Its architecture can feel quite cold compared to other countries you're probably used to.
What I loved too about Copenhagen and Denmark in general is the lifestyle that people have! Hygge is, in the words of Marie Tourell Søderberg, author of the Hygge book, a Danish word for finding happiness in the little things in life. Kind of like living more with less. It was a weird, coming from London whose general population live such fast, hectic lives, and being in Copenhagen where things seemed to move so slow but people seemed so much happier. There's a sense of peace that comes with slow living. I also felt so much more wholesome eating food that is so good for you but definitely does NOT compromise on taste. It was actually what inspired me to really pay more attention to what I eat and learn how to eat healthier (more on that on another post).
While you're here, definitely check out Torvehallerne which is a market with both fresh produce and food! It was a food lover's dream. Also, go to Royal Smushi Cafe near the shopping district after a look in the gorgeous department store filled with Danish Design Illum Bolighus for some delicious Smørrebrød/Sushi hybrid. Papirøen is also a great place for street food!
Prague, Czech republic
Oh Prague, you are so beautiful. I was instantly in love with all of the architecture in Prague. Now I see why all of my friends from architecture really love the city. Its absolutely gorgeous in all its bohemian glory. As you walk around the city, you'll see many signs and art inspired by (or even from the era) art nouveau with art by the likes of Alphonse Mucha everywhere. In a way, it seems quite creepy as with most old things but it has a delicateness that is very comforting. I also noticed that a lot of the city has pastel colours which is just gorgeous especially in the sun.
Czechian food is quite similar to other Central/Eastern European dishes with a lot of stews, hearty dishes, and potatoes. Something that you have to try while you're there is Trdlo/Trdlnik (I actually don't know the difference, but usually it's the same thing), a sweet pastry-type cone that can be served alone or with toppings such as whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate, or fruits. I find that it tastes best eaten alone because it is just so good already! Think cinnamon butter pastry. I bought a couple all over the city but I find that the best one is from Krusta right at one end of Charles Bridge. It was just the right amount of flake and softness.
In terms of shopping, Prague is quite similar, however, Czech design is very booming (you can see them here but unfortunately the site is all in Czech) and there are plenty of places that might surprise you with very well-designed goods. Design*Sponge did a very good listing of great places in Prague. For the beauty lovers, definitely check out Manufaktura, which is like Czech's The Body Shop. It is literally everywhere in the city! You won't miss it. The stuff in there are quite cheap and the things I bought I have liked. I got the Beer Body Balm, Apricot Hand Cream, and Daisy & Coenzyme Q10 Body Oil. All of which smell very nice and powdery–and very cheap too!
I got quite a bit of things and will definitely try to do a haul/review on the things that I bought. I'm still waiting for a bit to see results for the skincare products but will definitely show them to you in the near future!