I have officially left Prague and am now in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. So I thought it would be nice to reflect what I had learnt in Prague and the feels that I got whilst there. I’m not the one to be giving a history lesson but if you don’t know the history I can give you a brief run down. Formally known as Czechoslovakia, it was one of the most strongest European countries economically up until World War II where it was taken over by Nazi Germany. Hundreds of thousands of Czechoslovakian citizens and their jewish populations were sent to concentration camps, interrogated in prisons and/or were forced labourers. It wasn’t until 1945 before Soviet and American armies arrived to liberate the country from German rule and is now known as the Spring Uprising. The country was then a communist state up until 1989 when the Velvet Revolution occurred, where the country became a democracy peacefully in that year. History lesson over.
The 2 images above are of the John Lesson Wall, which is located in Lesser Town just off the Charles bridge. This wall was like your average everyday other wall until 1988 when the youngsters decided that they weren’t happy with the communist country and how it was being run. Apparently, authorities had tried cleaning the wall only to have it become graffiti-ed over again and again with world loving messages. Today, it is a vibrant addition to the city and is changing everyday judging from the people drawing with pen on the wall. I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I stood there looking at the wall. This is the sign of unhappy citizens in a country who wanted to be heard and change their country for the better (I hope). A country that had gone through so much from being one of the strongest countries in Europe to one whose Government was exiled during World War II. It gives me hope! So much so, it was making me teary.
This is a picture of the Zizkov TV Tower aka one of the world’s ugliest towers, which was built by the Nazi German’s to block radio signals from the east. I stayed close to this tower so got to see it lit up at night (Czech flag colours). War bunkers and communist-styled buildings dot this city. Adding something to the Gothic, baroque and cubic architecture. To me, it’s a blend of their history into the modern day Czech Republic and a reminder of their past so evidently everywhere. It makes me want to play a lament to the country and I hope they see additional good years to come.
I’m pretty bad at taking pictures of food. Once the plate hits the table, I’ve already reached for cutlery and cannot stand friends who prohibit you from eating until after they get their snaps. Part of a culture is their food so what better way to experience it than to eat it. If you’ve read anything about Czech cuisine, you will hear that it is heavy. This is correct. The traditional Czech foods involve some hearty meats served with dumplings. This is not to be confused with Asian dumplings, Czech dumplings are made from flour (can be anything from potato, what or buckwheat) which is then boiled and then sliced up and served with the hearty meat. I tried the beef goulash after getting over my sickness, delicious. No picture here as I had already eaten it before I thought about taking the picture.
First picture above. Smazeny syr aka fried cheese. This particular one was camembert cheese served with potatoes and cranberry sauce. Can I just say that this is the best thing ever invented after sliced bread? A friend had told me to go and try this and it was actually quite hard to find in the Old Town. It was heavy but the cranberry sauce was a nice addition and I almost finished it minus the potatoes. Tip of the day, always walk to surrounding streets of touristy areas to find the best deals. I will definitely try and hunt for more tonight!
Last picture is Trdelnik. Now I have eaten this back home in Aus at a Hungarian patisserie so was confused when I arrived here and found these everywhere. After alittle research (googling), turns out it’s just generally Slovak which each country claiming it as their own but it actually originated from the Hungarian-speaking Romanian town Szeklerland. It’s made from dough that’s rolled into a thin log and then spun around a pin. It’s covered in sugar and then roasted until golden brown. There are variations to how it’s garnished, sometimes just sugar on the outside, you can also have nuts and the option of nutella on the inside. Personally, I would go without nutella as it’s already quite sweet from the sugar. Perfect afternoon snack as you people watch.
What are some of your favourite Czech foods? Let me know!
I am currently writing this in Prague, not that I have actually seen much outside the area I’m staying at yet. I landed mid-morning after the mammoth 21 hour plane trip (3 flights in total) and have since spent my afternoon in bed feeling sick. Yes, I have thrown up. Yes, I’m currently drinking some peppermint tea and yes, I am about to eat some blueberries.
This trip has been kept under wraps for a while. I initially booked this trip about 3 months ago and it has been crazy until now. Oh yeah, did I mention anywhere on my blog that I’ve submitted my PhD thesis? This is the post PhD party and a 2.5 month one at that. Minus the getting sick bit. It is safe to say that this trip is the first in years where I don’t have much to really think about and can try and relax. Does anyone even know how to relax anymore?
I’m not sure how often I will be posting but probably not every day as I’m also keeping a personal diary (old school handwritten).
Leaving you here with the mystery as I need to be un-jetlagged, quicken the drying process of the currently flooded bathroom floor after my shower and I also need to make up for the 3 hours sleep I got over the past 2 days of flying!
Keep living guys,