World Travels: Czech Republic
Some of you might not know that although I live most of the time in Switzerland or Victoria, B.C. I was actually born in the Czech Republic and that is my native language (although after living in Switzerland most of my life I could argue that Swiss German is also my native language). So it’s only natural when I am traveling around the world to stop in the Czech Republic to visit my friends and family there.
So let me tell you a bit about my birth country. First of all, it’s located in Central Europe and bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. The capital is Prague (my birth town) and has a population of around 1.3 million people with the Czech Republic as a whole having over 10 million inhabitants. The official language here, of course, is Czech.
There are so many things to see and do here too. You can watch the changing of the guard at Prague Castle; check out the great architecture; or walk across Prague’s iconic Charles Bridge with all it’s beautiful statues.
You can also sample some of the many local pilsner beers that are original to Czech Republic; or take a spa treatment and mix with B-list celebrities at Karlovy Vary (which was featured along with the Hotel Pupp in the movie ‘Last Holiday’. You can see the trailer for the movie below.
Many famous people of history are from what is now known as the Czech Republic. There’s author Franz Kafka; classical composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana; singer, guitarist and composer Tomas Kalnoky; model Ivana Trump; as well as Saint Wenceslas, duke of Bohemia.
Here’s a video tribute to Bedřich Smetana one of the Czech Republic’s most celebrated composers and the one almost everyone thinks of when they think of the Czech Republic/Prague. Czech Airlines used to play this piece on it’s planes after they touched down and were taxiing to the arrivals gate. I am not sure if they still do that or not but it was a really nice touch.
Things to eat while you’re here are knedlicky which are a type of dumplings and svickova na smetane which is a meal of roast beef with sour cream and cranberries.
Don’t forget to wash it all down with a nice local pivo (a.k.a. beer) too. Pilsner is the MOTHER of all beers… and the brewing style of a pilsner beer comes from the town Pilsen, which is exactly the beer you see in the picture below.
So the way to brew the beer spread over the world from this famous spring in Pilsen. The name “urquell” translated means ‘original source’. Pilsner Urquell was the first pilsner beer in the world and now nine out of ten beers produced and consumed in the world are derived from the original pilsen beer.
Here’s a few interesting facts about the Czech Republic: It has the most Wi-Fi subscribers in the European Union and it is ranked as the third most peaceful country in Europe. It is also ranked as the most democratic and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the region. (Source: Wikipedia) Also, the sugar cube was invented in the former Czechoslovakia. All good things to know, right?
So now you know more about my native country. Join me next week when we head to Switzerland where I grew up most of my life and currently live. See you then.