Tomorrow will be our fifth day in the Czech Republic. So far we’ve been trying our best to leave behind our “visitor” identities and experience Prague as the Czechs do. In order to help us accomplish this, we’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with some new friends: Tomas, Suzanne and Tomas. All three are students from the University of Economics here in Prague. On Friday evening, Susanne and Tomas took us all to a traditional Czech pub near the University of Economics campus where current students commonly hang out. It was interesting to see how the students at the pub gathered primarily to have meaningful conversations with each other, which is something that is not as common among American college students. Luckily, Susanne and Thomas were able to explain the Czech students’ behavior that we were witnessing firsthand.
On Saturday we embraced the local culture by experiencing a day of Czech activities outside of “the big city” of Prague. With Thomas and Thomas (two of the University of Economics students) as our guides, we set out to have a Czech castle adventure. I don’t think any of us could have anticipated how beautiful the experience would be! We started out by taking a train about 45 minutes outside of Prague. Once we stepped off the train, we started our uphill climb to Karlstejn, stopping at small shops and stands along the way. After taking a tour of the amazing Karlstejn castle, an original castle of Charles IV, we headed back down to the little town to have a traditional Czech meal of pork and dumplings. Thomas and Thomas taught us some important Czech phrases over lunch: “prosím” (please), “děkuji” (thank you), “miluju te” (I love you), and “jedno pivo prosím” (one beer please). It was a great meal and an even better conversation.
After our castle adventure concluded and we arrived back in Prague, Thomas and Thomas took some of the students to the Czech Beer Festival. It was convenient timing for the students who are studying the beer sector. Check out their sector blog to learn more about their experiences at the Festival and their thoughts on the role of beer in Czech culture: Branding Beer Across Cultures.
A beautiful train ride through the Czech countryside, a tour of a real life castle, traditional Czech cuisine, a Czech language lesson, and the Czech Beer Festival: not a bad way to spend a Saturday! Děkuji Tomas and Tomas, for the helpful insights into Czech culture and for a wonderful day that was enjoyed by all.