Karlstejn Castle

Today I left the city of Prague to city a town called Karlstejn that has one Karlstejn Castle. Charles IV once lived here (he was once also the Holy Roman Emporer.) It was a 40 minute train ride outside of Prague. Have I mentioned how much I love trains? They go everywhere and are so affordable here. Anyway, I can only share photos from the outside, as this was another location where photos indoors were not allowed. However, they have done a great job keeping the castle frozen in time as much as possible, with some relics and paintings dating back to the 14th century.

Enjoy the photos. As with any of them, full resolution versions available upon request.

The John Lennon Wall in Prague

Per the Wikipedia article,

The Lennon Wall is a wall in PragueCzech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs.

During my meanderings around Prague yesterday afternoon, I finally found it, though by accident. Most of the original Lennon art is gone and covered up by other things with a fair amount of Beatles related graffiti.

Prague: Feels Like Home

Yesterday I came back to what feels like my home away from home: Prague. After spending 2 weeks here to start my sabbatical, I’m back at Sir Toby’s where I first stayed when I arrived – even back in the same room! There’s a certain comfort in starting and ending this trip in the same place. I suppose it gives it a sense of completeness, like closing the loop on the experience this has been.

The above photo is of the Charles Bridge that I took during my first week. I took it from I believe the south tower of St. Vitus Cathedral. It’s incredible to see how many people cross that bridge when they come to it. 🙂

I only have 5 more full days here before I return to reality on Friday. Though there isn’t much I want to do, I plan to make the most of the time by seeing one or two more sights and spending my free time reading and journaling/blogging. One of the main purposes of this sabbatical was for rest and I have no qualms about the fact that I didn’t see everything. Even if I had, would it matter much in the end? And while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being away, I do have some excitement building in me for getting back to what is familiar.

The photo below, also taken during the first week in Prague, was taken just outside this hostel as I was heading out for the day. For anyone from or connection to Chicago, this will bring a smile to you. I think I now know where Chicagoans got the idea.

From Prague to Munich and Beyond

My time in Prague is winding down as I wait for this illness to fully subside. My diet of crackers, bread, and pretzels the last day and a half has been nothing short of dry and a little salty. Admittedly, being told to hold back on certain food and drinks is one way to stretch the old budget, I guess. Yet I feel as though I’m being held back from the cultural experiences of a location when you can’t sample food.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Munich, where I will spend 2 nights before heading off to Switzerland for 5 nights, then back to Munich for a night before coming back to Prague for the final days of my sabbatical. I certainly hope there are enough English speaking people where I’m going because my German is pretty much non-existent! While I still know amazingly little about the Czech language, I’ve grown accustomed to reading the signs for public transit and hearing certain words here and there. It’s a comfortable lack of knowledge I now have.

I know many of you are hoping for more pictures and I continue to be lazy in picking some good ones out for you. I blame it on being sick, so there. Don’t worry, there’s stuff to share and you’ll get to see them.

I’m halfway through this trip. Two weeks ago today I was finalizing my packing and heading to the airport to embark on this journey. It’s too early to say whether or not I’ve changed. As I’ve been reflecting in my super-secret for my eyes only journal, I’m not sure that I’ll know how I’ve changed or what I’ve learned until long after I’m back. And that’s OK by me. In a world that demands instant in-depth analysis of everything that happens, taking time to figure myself and my experiences out is something I’m completely fine with doing. Take that, world.

The next hostel in Munich promises to be amazing and is listed as the cleanest place in the world. (Perhaps this is an exaggeration.) Oh, and for those curious where I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time this past week, It’s a place called the Czech Inn. No, the pun was not lost on me. I’ll post again from Germany, possibly with photos from the train, assuming I have a window seat.

Having a Case of the Mondays – Wednesday Edition

2 days later and I’m still feeling effects of whatever it was that hit me on Monday afternoon. The fever returned Monday night as I tried to sleep. On top of that, I’ve been having some mild stomach/GI cramps, among other challenges. Sadly, my appetite is all but gone for now. Today I visited a doctor here in Prague. No bacterial or viral infection, but they did give me some stuff to make my stomach feel better. That, and my diet needs to consist of bland foods and lots of water. Oh, and I need to rest a lot for the next 1-2 days.

So, I guess I’ll be taking it REAL easy until I leave for Munich. Go figure this 2nd week in Prague would turn out so differently from the first week. Looks like I’ll have time to do a lot of reading and going through more photos. I’ll post some stuff later today.

Having a Case of the Mondays

Today was just an off day all around. Woke up late, started slowly. Had lunch at a local Chinese place (less than $5 total FTW!). Then found some park to read and journal. This is when it all went downhill. The combination of salty Chinese fast food, not enough water, sitting in the direct sunlight for about an hour, and walking around did a number on me. Achy body, start of a headache, etc. So I got a couple bottles of water and downed one pretty quickly. When I got back to the hostel, I felt a fever coming on!

Thankfully, I had a first aid kit with some meds with me (thanks REI!). After more water and some rest out of direct sunlight, I feel much better. But it’s been one of those days where it was tough to focus on anything. Odd. So no fun pictures to share with this post, just an update on me.

So what’s in store for tomorrow? Who knows during the day. A couple staying in the same hostel room have invited me to go salsa dancing tomorrow night! I think I may just take them up on that offer to join. I’ve always heard Prague’s salsa scene was hot, just like my fever was today.

The Signs of Fall in Prague

I’ve wandered through parks and continue to just watch the locals do their thing. I like getting the perspective of the “other side” of life here, the part that isn’t all about the activity in the city center and main attractions. Enjoy the walk through the pictures. Each one will be followed by its name as if found in an art gallery.

Dogs playing in the park.

Mother with child and puppy.

Golden framing.

For want of a balloon.

Catching some rays before nightfall.

I see you.

Untitled.

(I love sunsets.)

Interpretations of Signs on a Tram

On a lighter note, here’s some interpretations of signs I saw on a tram.

1) We’re not a fan of the gangsta look here. Oh, and fanny packs are out.

2) Traveling musicians are not welcome here, especially if you play country.

3) No American Idol rejects. Or rejects from any other singing competition on TV around the world.

4) If you don’t let the old lady sit down, she will cut you. (Let’s be honest, that cane is probably hiding a long thin blade.)