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 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's capital is full of famous landmarks. So, I went on a walk to visit some of them. I started near the castle, passing a complex of buildings from the 16th century.

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Then I entered the castle.

Cathedral in a better light.

…the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus, and Adalbert.

I didn’t go inside, as there was an enormous line, and 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, and even some water channels.

I crossed the Vltava River by the Charles Bridge (construction ended in 1402).

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another mass attraction.

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 would be 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), so I wanted to walk through its downtown. 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 heap 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 couldn't stop thinking how cool that is. During the years I stayed in the US, I did only one bus ride in Vegas and two rides on a ferry in NOLA. Since I arrived here, 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 of the Mid-West…

I kept on the road since then, as I went to Austria and Slovakia. You can read about it here, or browse my Blog Archives for more stories, topics, and categories. Thanks for reading!

Published by: Jakub Stepanovic in Collections, Stories