Sunday, June 14, 2015

IBI Update: Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

As usual, I've got a bunch of other Prague posts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the #InterHATionalSummer hashtag.

I've heard from a number of people just how cool Prague is. It has a bunch of cultural significance being the home of Franz Kafka, influential cubist artists, and a thriving music scene to this day. It's a city that survived WWII and came out of communism with buildings intact and an economy and culture ready to engage in the developed world. The city fulfills every European fantasy as far as cobble stone streets and beautiful architecture but then also has a weird, off-kilter edge that satisfied my modern self as well. From a visitors standpoint, the city revolves around the river and the Charles Bridge (pictured above). The winding city streets are confusing but add to the charm of exploring the city; while we may have walked in circles a couple times, we also found a few uncharted streets each time we ventured into town. 

As for our visit, we were staying on the north side of the city, up on a hill near a castle and monastery. We were easily able to take a tram in and out of town which was helpful because my skinny leg muscles about died after footing the trek back the few times we did. The whole group received a tour of the city and the students visited nearby Stanley Black & Decker and heard from a marketing exec. during our stay. It was a full week but Jojette and I are still very much enjoying our time with the students. Prague did provide us with our first trip to the hospital for a student visit but all is well and antibiotics were acquired.

Jorjette and I owned the town on our free days, walking some crazy amount of steps (a FitBit counter would have been good for walk-bragging). The daily struggle is staying hydrated for all the walking without drinking too much because you never know when you'll find a bathroom and who even knows if they'll have change for your cash. Anyhow, we hit up one of the National Museums (New Building with exhibits on Death and Noah's Ark), the Grand Orient Cafe (the first cubist building), the Museum of Modern Art,
 took pictures in front of the John Lennon graffiti wall, climbed the Starom Radnice tower and Petrim Observation Tower, and fit in lots of strolling - or in Jorjette's case, power-walking - the streets. 

There were a few areas that were given over to tourists but many of the streets were just authentically wonderful and perfect for exploring. Due to its location in Central Europe, the city wasn't too expensive and the people were friendly. I loved Prague. You should go. Or I'll go again or whatever. 

Up next: Innsbruck, Austria.

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