In and Around Karlštejn Castle, Czech Republic

A couple of weeks ago, I took a day trip out from Prague to Karlštejn to see Karlštejn Castle. 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….

calm waters.
czech countryside.

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!

royal view.

At Karlštejn 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.

bike ride.

I loved getting a chance to see some of the Czech countryside and the old castle. : )

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Late Afternoons on the Vltava River

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…

riverside buildings.

…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.

close to evening.

What’s your favorite time of day? : )

Read more posts about the Czech Republic here.

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Walking through Prague

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.

restaurant with a view.

Later, I tried this traditional Czech/Slovak bread. It’s a good, quick snack – perfect for my walk. I loooved the taste of cinnamon.

czech bread.

Then I walked up and down these streets, near the castle…

one way.

…where I came across this bakeshop selling goodies through the window!


Where did you walk today? : )

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Still Kickin’

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….

a Münchner way of life.

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

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Business in the Czech Republic

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.

old city.

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.

tiered gardens.

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.

rooftops of prague.

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. : )

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Over the Weekend

I love weekends in Europe.

Last Saturday, I went to a Czech outdoor festival with looots of great food….

street 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…

eiffel tower wanna-be.

…plus several rose gardens….

rose garden.

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. : )

end of the line.

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This Week in Pictures

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:

morning commute.

I am officially addicted to Czech cafes. This is inside one of my favorites….

cafe afternoon.

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. : )

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A Lazy Day Off

Today was a lazy day for me.

I spent some time meandering around and exploring my neighborhood, plus hanging out at a nearby outdoor cafe. I couldn’t really read the Czech menu there, so I ordered randomly off the coffee section and got this espresso + ice cream + whipped cream drink. It was pretty yummy : )

day off.

I’m newly obsessed with the kindle – I’ve been reading all kinds of adventure fiction based on reinventions of old mythologies (Rick Riordan, Michael Scott….)

What are you reading lately? : )

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The Road to Prague

Hey everybody,

So! I just got back to Prague in the Czech Republic where I’ll be interning this summer.

The road getting here was kind of rough – my original flight was delayed, delayed, delayed, and then finally canceled. I had to stay an extra night in Atlanta in a hotel near the airport, and ended up taking a different flight out the next day.

Finally made it here though! And I am super excited to learn more about the history of Prague as well as Czech culture, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys here.

The culture is interesting and different everywhere you look. Today, on my first day here, I came across some traditional Czech dancing. Here’s a quick video:

I can’t wait to see what this summer has in store. : )

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