The first time I went to Europe it was 1997. I was young and my partner at the time was busy at some herpetological conference all day for a week. So I explored Prague for a few days with the wife of another conference attendee. She was a friend of sorts back home but after what I’m about to tell you, wasn’t so keen about my company any more. I suppose I can’t blame her.
I knew nothing about travel in Europe. But once I figured out the subway, I thought I was pretty invincible. I convinced my friend to visit Prague Castle with me. After marveling at the guards and the size of the thing, we wandered down a small alley. I thought the stone walls and cobblestones were wonderful and definitely there would have been a gate or something if we were going the wrong way, right? There was the most adorable iron door in one of the walls, just taller than me with a round top to it. And it was standing ajar. I peeked through and there was a huge, somewhat overgrown garden on the other side. What the heck. I convinced my friend somehow to follow me through the gate though in her defense I still remember her protests twenty-two years later. We wandered uphill through the trees and overgrown paths and not one time did it occur to me that we shouldn’t be there.