Sunday, March 11, 2012

Initial Thoughts and Reactions to Prague

  • Inspiration! I expect I will be walking around on cobblestone streets enchanted with the historic architecture relatively unharmed from WWII, the entire city in a warm and inviting color scheme. I feel like I already can't even stand how beautiful pictures are.
I'll be passin' castles on my strolls around town like it ain't no thang. (wow, apologies for my wangsterisms)
How is this much beauty even possible!?

  •  I'm 50% Czech. (Technically, 25% Slovakian, 25% Czech, but the two countries divided after my ancestors balled it up over there, so I don't count it). It's like my own sort of Birthright/homecoming of sorts.
  •  My wonderful Aunt Lin frequently travels and semi-resides in Praha when she isn't busy with her other travels, writing a book in SouthEast Asia or learning to ski in Minnesota (She's kind of my idol). Hopefully she can make it when I'm there as well, show me the city through her eyes.
circa 2010 please
  •  History. Once the capitol of the Holy Roman Empire, stories and memories of eras past have seeped into the core of the buildings, and permeates my conceptions of the city. Prague has endured WWII almost unscathed, and has lived to tell about the Cold War. It holds scripts from the rise and fall of Communism, the Prague Spring, the Velvet Revolution, and the peaceful split from Czechoslovakia into the Czech and Slovak Republics as recent as the early 1990s. It's a story of evolution. A delicate, ornate, and rich story that I'm betting still affects daily life.
    The Prague Spring - activists demanding democracy and an end to the socialist regime
  •  Excitement. Prague is a metropolitan, high-density, walkable city. Complementing its sobering history is the vivid street life. Prague is the 6th most visited European City, rightly so with many music halls, museums, theatres, galleries, and exhibits. I anticipate that there will always be a variety of options to keep busy with.
    The "Dancing House" (aka Drunk House)
  •  Real Beer. Real Cheap Beer. The Czech Republic is the number one beer-drinking nation in the world. Would you like a beer with your breakfast omelette? Yes please.
  • The Czech Republic is not in Western Europe, which I like. When choosing to study abroad, I didn't want your typical destinations. I toyed with the idea of going to Russia, but decided to save that for later and start with Prague. Far enough East that it isn't too overdone, Far enough West that my Grandma doesn't think I'll mysteriously disappear and never return to the states again. Where I am right now, the Czech Republic, along with Slovakia, Estonia, Austria, Lithuania, Russia, and Romania seem much more appealing than Italy, France, or Spain.
I am SO excited to begin my travels. I'll be doing two different program next academic year, both in Prague. I think I'm already in love. 

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