Life in Czech Republic
As a study abroad student I will be the first to admit that there was point a got a little too carried away in “the country count” – how many countries can I get to during my semester abroad? This happened around the spring time when the weather started getting nice and I was more comfortable traveling far and wide on the weekends. I went to places like Norway and Croatia, which were a little off the beaten path and to date two of the most beautiful countries I have been to, for both their architecture, natural beauty, and people. Despite the amazing places I saw and the great people I met during these weekends abroad I look back and regret it a tiny bit, this cut into the time I could have spent exploring places outside of Prague, but still in this country I called home. Since I´ve been back I have taken the initiative to learn more about this country, their history, their people, and the places outside of Prague.
During this quest I have seen some truly remarkable places that I never knew existed in the Czech Republic and it has been nice to see more of the countryside and less of the cities. A few weekends ago my boyfriend and I took a trip to Cesky Krumlov. For those of you that know CR at all probably know this it the second most popular tourist destination in the country, not really “off the beaten path,” I know. Nonetheless this is a place I never saw last time I was here and it must be the second most visited place in the country for a reason, right? Well, it most definitely is an absolutely beautiful little village. It sits on a unique spot on the Vltava River, where the river forms the shape of an “S.” Due to this unique formation of the river the town has lots of small bridges and waterways that makes it such a fairytale. This town is truly the most romantic and fairytale esq place I have ever been to. Visiting in late October was magical. Autumn is always such a pleasant time of the year, but autumn in Cesky Krumlov is something everyone should encounter. The colors of the buildings set with the leaves of the hills and the blue of the river is something too beautiful for words. Our hostel sat a little outside of the main town center, but right on the Vltava. The sound of the running river at night was enough to put the most agitated baby to sleep. Cesky Krumlov is a part of CR truly to be admired.
After this picturesque weekend in CK the following week was filled with reunions with old friends. My friend, Lukas, who I met during my time abroad here has also been back in CR, but living in the countryside. He decided he needed a little city time and came to visit me and my boyfriend in Praha. It was really great to be back with a good friend in the place that we met. This was his first time back since we left in 2012 and it was interesting to walk around our favorite places together and see his emotions mirror what I felt 2 months ago when I first returned to Praha. Just as I felt, it was strange to be back, of course it was different and certainly we missed our friends we met here that are now in different places. But, it is also a lovely thing to see this place from a different point in our lives, to remember who we were when we studied here, to realize how much this place changed us, and to witness how much we have grown as friends and individuals since the last time we walked these streets.
After Lukas left on Thursday, a mutual friend of me and my boyfriend, Jon, came to visit. We know him from New Paltz and he has been traveling the world since he graduated, about 2 years ago. He decided to come spend my boyfriendś last weekend in Prague with us and of course celebrate HALLOWEEN. Halloween is such a celebrating in the states, but especially in New Paltz, we LOVE this day and I certainly was feeling a little nostalgic for it, so it was very nice to spend with another “New Paltzer.” Halloween is not a thing here, little kids don´t get dressed up, and only the very popular and crowded bars and clubs throw Halloween parties. Fortunately, the hostel my boyfriend and I live in celebrate Halloween to the fullest. It was such a great night and I realized with the right people and the right spirit you don´t have to miss things like this from home, you just need to have the energy to bring it to you.