For any of you that don't know, I love postcards.
I've decided that this is probably the best way to document my time in Prague: a blog based on photographs and postcards.
I'll post more often this way (hopefully), and there will just be a small amount of text--a postcard's worth. And this way I'll be able to send "postcards" to everyone.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fred and Ginger

Today was the warmest, sunniest day yet. There is barely a trace of snow left on the ground. Most places have thawed and melted out completely. I've been finding things that I had no idea existed because they were covered by the snow and ice. It is also possible to walk down certain paths and stairs now that they aren't completely snowpacked.

I walked down by Karlovo Namesti and along the Vlatava today. The river walk is one of those places that was too snowy to really enjoy, but today it was perfect.

Saw the "dancing building" by Frank Gehry for more than a glance today. It was kind of dirty. But so are a lot of the other buildings around here. Luckily spring and rain seem like they're on their way.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Czech Food: Fried Cheese

This is the closest you can get to fast food here. Vegetarian fast food, that is. They have street vendors who sell all kinds of sausages that you take away on buns. But the best is the fried cheese. It's a square patty of fried eidam (that's their common cheese) it's like a giant mozzarella stick on a bun. The bread products are so good here. And the mustard all has more horseradish than yellow mustard would have at home.

All in all, it's absolutely delicious.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seeing Contours

I'm taking a "Landscape Architecture Technology" course here. The professor is American (!) and so far he's been having us do exercises to work on our perception of scale, distance and contour in the landscape. Which is something I definitely need to practice.

Today we worked outside: trying to judge certain distances and where we could find level ground. We were only using our eyes and simple tools (ie: string), not full-out surveying. Then we mapped out contours in the snow. Our whole class was tromping through this park trying to mark all points of equal elevation. Pretty hilarious.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This morning it was bright and sunny and lovely here in Prague.
Sam had been out early in the morning and had ran across a food festival, so we went back to check it out. The first stand had swirly cut fried potatoes... we asked them what was going on, what the event was called, but they couldn't come up with the translation. "Meat festival" was their closest guess.We tried a lot of different things, all fair food, but nothing like our fair food, that's for sure.

Afterwards Sam and I rode the funicular up Petrin Hill and then walked back down through the park. The views were amazing. Everywhere we went today was pretty crowded--the line for the funicular was crazy, and from what we could see of Charles Bridge, it was packed. First sunny Saturday we've seen, so I guess it makes sense.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Contemporary Architecture

Today I went to a class about Contemporary Architecture. The day has been overcast and slightly warmer than freezing, so for the first time the indoor temperatures are feeling uncomfortably warm.

Apparently the professor felt the same way--instead of lecturing he took us to a neighborhood north of the campus and we "promenaded" through it looking at contemporary Czech architecture. He mentioned that last semester his leg was broken, so they didn't go on so many excursions. So this might happen more often than I first thought.

During orientation week, one of the presenters warned us about going out for walks with Czechs--because a walk could be an all-day affair. So far that's been fairly accurate. On the trip to Karlovy Vary we would "walk the rest of the way" and it would end up taking 45+min.

We'll see how long these contemporary architecture walking tours take as the semester continues. Today's was about an hour and a half in the misty cold. But still lovely!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

School, lunch

So we started classes this week. We don't have to solidify our schedule until next wednesday, but we have the opportunity to "survey" all of the available classes or attend the ones we're interested in and then chose later.
It has been interesting to see the options. So far there have been a lot more art classes offered (which we don't have a lot of at home). The studio I chose also offers some things that we don't get to do at home: we're going to be using a lot of different newer software and technology to design our studio projects. I thought the chance to learn some things about parametric design software, etc. was something I couldn't turn down.

The pictures are from lunch (yesterday). I had the chocolate chip yogurt, mini baguette, and shockingly pink drink. Sam had the cabbage salad, Branden had the more traditional potato pancake and chicken (although in very non-traditional portions).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Karlovy Vary (Weekend Trip)

To end the Orientation week we went on a trip with ~30 other international students to a spa town about 2 hours away from Prague. On the way we visited the memorial in Lidice--a town that was wiped out by the Nazis. It is about 20 minutes outside of Prague.

The next stop was Karlovy Vary. We visited the Becherovka museum/distillery. The liquor is pretty medicinal-ly, kind of smells like ginger and many more spices that you can't even name.

After that we got back in the bus and went up to a small mountain town. The snow was incredible up there. Prague got nothing compared to them. The kids from Canada were getting really excited because it looked like home. There must have been 2' on the ground (and the trees, and everything else), there were drifts that were even higher. We went snow-tubing up there... I went down a couple of times, then was too cold. Spent a good portion of the time with a hot drink in my hand and inside. I was not alone--we were all in one tiny room by the end.

That night we stayed up in the mountainous area at a B&B/hostel. And the next day we went to Karlovy Vary. There we swam in a thermal pool (23C water in 1C air temp= not as hot as I thought it would be).

Started classes this week--so I'll post a little about them soon.

And the FOOD! I've been trying to document the food, so get excited for those photos.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Orientation Week

This week was orientation week for all of the international students. They had informational meetings for us, we registered for classes, and then they offered some trips later this weekend o that we can see more of the Czech Republic.

It is going to take awhile to see all of Prague. Sam and I have gone to new places each day, but the paths that we've made through the city are miniscule--a drop in the bucket.

Yesterday the International Student Organization sponsored a "Prague discovery game" in lieu of tours throughout the city. It was a sort of scavenger hunt. We were placed into more or less random teams and then sent on "quests" throughout Prague. Like in the picture above- we had to sketch a silohuette of the Cathedral. Sam and I were on the same team with a couple of guys from Italy and Germany--we ended up winning the entire game. Pretty much just by chance, but still.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First weekend in Prague

We tried to get up and go see the Charles bridge by 10 in the morning on the first full day after we arrived. We were sucessful, but it was a lot more like Disneyland than the areas that we had been through the previous day. There were a lot of signs and advertisements in English, and everything was very touristy. I cannot imagine how packed those streets must get in the "high season" for tourism. It must be insane.
Later that afternoon we went to my favorite place that I've seen yet. My czech "buddy", Kamila, Took us to the smaller castle--not the famous Prague Castle. The one she took us to was smaller, Kind of like a river front park put high up on these fortifications. It was beautiful, and all of the people that we saw were Czech. The views were incredible, even though it was foggy and misty.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


We flew out on the fourth. Went from KC> Chicago> Frankfurt> Prague and arrived here at 9:30 in the morning. The last leg was the best (after we figured out how to get through customs and back through security). I do not know if the airport was under construction or if our plane was too small, but we boarded a BUS from the gate and then they drove us out to the plane sitting on the runway. There were so many buses and vehicles out there. Sam and I were cracking up the whole time (partly due to lack of sleep), but it was still pretty funny. They gave us breakfast of a. .. i do not know the German. some sort of square bread with pepper cream cheese spread on it. Kind of like a bagel without a hole. It was probably the best thing I had eaten the whole trip.