August 17, 2015

What’s up in Europe, Part I

Touring Czechia during the first days after coming from the US to Europe.

Once I’ve arrived, I balanced the jet lag and started a run of errands and sightseeing around the country. Here’s what I saw:

— Prague —

The Czech Republic capital, full of famous landmarks. So I went on a walk to cross the old town to visit some of them. I started near Prague’s castle, in a complex of structures built during the 16th century.

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Then I entered the castle.

guards at the west entrance.

guards change at the west entrance.

The towers to the left are the St. George's Basilica, a church founded around year 930 (!). The structure to the right is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert.

The towers to the left are the St. George's Basilica; a church founded around the year 930 (!). The structure to the right is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus, and Adalbert.

Cathedral in a better light.

the cathedral in a better light.

I didn’t go inside, as there was an enormous line I didn’t want to wait – tourists from all over the planet everywhere. But one can’t be surprised when looking around...

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From there, I walked down to the Vltava River, enjoying being a tourist myself.

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Prague is famous for its variety. Besides buildings, there are hills, parks, even some water channels… a piece of the Netherlands, or Venice if you want.

Prague is famous for its variety. Besides buildings, there are hills, parks, even some water channels… a piece of the Netherlands, or Venice if you want.

I crossed the Vltava River by the Charles Bridge (construction ended 1402), another mass attraction.

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After walking through historic streets...

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...I got to the Astronomical Clock soon, one of the most iconic structures in Prague.

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After the walk, I had to visit some offices and shops, and the best way to get around is by subway. It was exciting since public transportation back in the States is nearly non-existent.

..into a subway.

It is convenient and fast. If you think that driving on medieval streets built for horses is better, it is not.

— Brno —

The country’s second-largest city. I stopped here just briefly.

..and also look at the city from a 23m tall chimney.

— Pilsen —

I met two friends of mine, and we visited the New Theatre; there was an audiovisual installation “test pattern” by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda.

Check out a video, it will be much better than if I’ll try to explain it.

Check out a video; it will be much better than if I’ll try to explain it.

Oh my, that was one of the best $2 I’ve spent in some time.

Oh my, one of the best $2 I’ve spent in some time.

I haven’t been in Pilsen (the Czech one, not the one in KS) forever, so I wanted to walk through its downtown.

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And it exceeded my expectations.

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On their main square is the St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral – a Gothic temple established around 1200.

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A quick shot how it looks from the inside.

A quick shot how it looks from the inside.

At 102 meters (335 feet), its tower is the highest church spire in the Czech Republic. And if you don’t mind a boatload of stairs, it offers a great view from up there.

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In the evening, I met another friend, a poet and an avid smokestacks climber. We had some beer, another commodity Pilsen is famous for. Happy times.

— Loucen —

 A small town in the Central Bohemian Region with a baroque chateau, so I stopped by.

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They have a nice park there.

— elsewhere —

It was really hot in Europe when I got here, so swimming felt great.

Europe was scorching when I got here, so it was nice to be able to swim. Thankfully CZ has plenty of lakes and dams to do so. This is in Jablonec nad Nisou.

— on the road —

To get around, I used mostly public transportation.

And once again, I had to say how cool that is. During the years I stayed in the US, I did only one bus ride in Vegas and two rides in NOLA's ferry. Since I arrived, I used it too many times to remember. But I had a few journeys by car too, and one section of the freeway reminded me the Mid-West…

I kept to the road since then, as I went to Austria and Slovakia.

Thanks for reading!

Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Collections, Stories

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