Touring Abroad: Prague and the Czech Republic

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Kate is a junior studying this semester in Linz, Austria. Check in each week for posts from Kate and other bloggers as they share their experiences abroad.

 

Time is moving so fast abroad. I can’t keep up! A couple weeks ago, my fellow exchange students and I went to Prague together. It was one of the best weekends I’ve had so far while in Europe. Prague is a sight to see. Everything is so cheap, the people are very nice and the sights are breathtaking.

We left on a Friday morning at 7:45 and packed the whole group on a bus. The Americans posted up in the back of the bus like the cool kids, which was honestly the best thing we could have done because we are the loudest and most obnoxious group of people in the whole exchange. At least we were not in the middle of everyone, laughing and goofing around.

Our first stop of the trip was at the Budweis Brewery in the Czech Republic.

Before we arrived in Prague, we were treated to a tour of the Budweis Brewery right across the border of Austria and the Czech Republic. This nice old man taught us about the complex process of crafting the perfect pint of beer.
Before we arrived in Prague, we were treated to a tour of the Budweis Brewery right across the border of Austria and the Czech Republic. This nice old man taught us about the complex process of crafting the perfect pint of beer.

Our tour guide was a nice elderly man who knew the ins and outs of beer. We learned about the complex process of making the perfect beer from beginning to end. In the middle of the tour, they treated us to a beer-tasting where we got a small cup of beer to sip on. However, it was late morning and I didn’t have it in me to drink beer — I heard it was delicious though!

 

“The ancient splendor and beauty of Prague, a city beyond compare, left an impression on my imagination that will never fade”

Richard Wagner

 

From there we drove a little further and arrived in Prague during the early afternoon. It sure was an experience being on a large bus navigating through the winding streets of the city. One thing about Prague that sticks out in my memory is the vivid colors of the city. Exploring the streets of Prague, you see buildings of different colors, quaint little restaurants and souvenir shops on every corner.

The Old Town of Prague with the original buildings and cobblestone streets.
The Old Town of Prague with the original buildings and cobblestone streets.

The hostel experience was exactly that — quite an experience. There were four rooms in our large room. In our room of girls we had eight ladies, the boys had ten beds in their room and there were similar numbers in the other two rooms. That makes around 30 people sharing two bathrooms and two showers. Although the bathroom situation was interesting, it was really fun being together and hanging out every night.

I think you really get to know people the best when you travel with them. Traveling brings others’ passions to the surface. You get to see your friends’ eyes light up when they see a beautiful photo opportunity. They pull you into all the little family-run shops that intrigue them. Traveling is a great way to learn about other people and also yourself. You learn you are actually totally okay with being away from home. You realize no matter where you are in the world, there are always going to be people in all corners of the planet who care about you.

When I first decided to study abroad for a semester, people questioned me saying “Kate, a semester is going to be a long time. Are you sure you can do that?” I’ll admit, when I first boarded that plane leaving Saint Louis, I was so nervous and excited I felt sick. But as soon as I got to Austria and met these people, I felt so at ease. This post has taken a turn from a summary of my trip to Prague to a sentimental post about traveling, but I can’t express enough how much this trip has done for me — andI have only been here for a month and a half.

Okay, I am not going to end this post all sappy. So I will end it with something funny I learned today in German class.The word for “Father” in German is Vater. Which is literally pronounced like “Farter” but with a british accent. What is life if you don’t laugh about a fart joke every once in a while, right?

 

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