A couple of weeks ago, I took a day trip out from Prague to Karlštejn. The small town is just a short train ride away through some of the Czech countryside, and the vibe is so different from the bustle of the capital.
The views around Karlštrejn are so scenic and calm….
Along one of the main streets of town, everyone has a driveway like this:
That main street connects to a moderate hiking path up a hill that leads to Karlštejn’s famous 14th century Gothic castle….
I really enjoyed the walk up to the top of the hill with its picturesque views!
At the castle, I took a 2 hour English tour explaining the history of the place and the old royal families, but no photos were allowed inside. The whole place is full of historic relics, royal portraits, twisting paths and staircases.
Back down in the village after the tour, people were out enjoying the breezy weather. The whole town has a relaxed and unhurried feeling, perfect for a short day trip.
I loved getting a chance to see some of the Czech countryside and the old castle. : )
Late afternoon and early evening are my favorite times of day to be around the Vltava River here in Prague.
In good weather, people always come out for paddle-boat sightseeing….
And the light slanting in at this time of day is beautiful, giving all the riverside architecture a timeless look…
…as well as adding extra sparkle to Prague’s gilded accents…
And the sparkle of the water as the sun sets is the finishing touch to the great atmosphere.
What’s your favorite time of day? : )
I had a couple of days off work this week, and I spent the extra free time wandering the streets of Prague. I love taking in the city by exploring and meandering. : )
Today, I started my walk near the Vltava River….
The restaurants along this part of the riverside have a great view of the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.
Later, I tried this traditional Czech/Slovak bread. It’s a good, quick snack – perfect for my walk. I loooved the taste of cinnamon.
Then I walked up and down these streets, near the castle…
…where I came across this bakeshop selling goodies through the window!
Where did you walk today? : )
It’s been super busy this past week, and a lot has happened!
First, my Kindle broke. Then my iPod semi-broke. To keep the theme going, I broke my sunglasses… and after that my Internet went out.
So! Now I’m blogging from a cafe with WiFi in one of the malls here in Prague. The malls here seem taller than the ones at home – they’re usually around 4 or 5 floors. This way, they’ll fit better with the compact European buildings.
Also, over the weekend I made it back over to Germany – to Munich! It was great to visit the country again after studying there last semester. : )
Part of the Münchner way of life is enjoying the outdoors, and Munich’s streets are dominated by outdoor cafes, traditional biergartens, and random picnic tables….
In Munich, I came across my fave German candy that I can’t seem to find anywhere outside Germany.
I bought 5 boxes on my way back to Prague – stockpiling. ; D
In school, I’ve always learned that the Czech Republic is one of the prime examples for a successful transition from a communist command economy to a free market economy.
Studying economics in a classroom, however, is totally different from living on the frontlines here in Prague.
Being here, I can see firsthand the determination of the people and the effort it takes to keep moving the economy forward. I see the dedication to profit margins, the ambitious competitiveness strategies drafted by hopeful deputy ministers, the back and forth dialogue of small private business owners – private businesses that, 22 years ago, didn’t exist.
It’s tough though. Under the communist system, customer service-oriented industry wasn’t the focus – so today, this service field is still finding its way. And marketing (an aspect of business obsolete under communism) isn’t embraced 100% yet.
The Czech economy is doing better and better after only two decades, and I think it will continue to develop. Everyone seems eager to meet the challenges facing industry; they’re always pushing on – onward and upward. : )
I love weekends in Europe.
Last Saturday, I went to a Czech outdoor festival with looots of great food….
And then, on Sunday, I went up to one of the highest places in Prague with great views of the city. There was this calm park…
…plus several rose gardens….
And towards the end of the day, I took the metro home. The Prague metro, by the way, is at the bottom of some of the longest escalators I’ve seen in Europe.
And both days I saw the sun set on this view: Svatý Antonín Church. : )
A few photos from this week….
Prague’s Charles Bridge is my new favorite place to be while watching the sun set – it falls behind the Prague Castle and the play of light is amazing….
Love walking along the Vltava River – the riverside architecture is all so unique.
I take the tram to work almost every day, and this view makes early mornings worth it:
I am officially addicted to Czech cafes. This is inside one of my favorites….
Tourist season is going strong in the city. The mélange of people from all over the world is pretty exciting to see. And no matter where people come from, they all have one thing in common: a camera. : )
I’m still learning my way around the small, intricate streets of Prague (and sometimes still getting lost!). But the wandering is usually fun – there’s always something new to stumble across. : )