Thursday, January 31, 2008

Prague in Words and Images: Day 1

Here I am in Prague! Yes, the Czech Republic, in the middle of Europe (well a bit to the west) and it's the middle of winter.

I am here for 4 days for the ECIS / ISTE IT Leadership conference. A small group of IT leaders from Europe and close by, joined by Don Knezek and Lynn Nolan from ISTE, will meet over the next 3 days and discuss many things to do with IT in schools. More about this tomorrow. However, here is my short slideshow just finished for a session where Chad Fairey, Director of Technology at the American School of Paris and I will facilitate discussion professional development models and trends. I want to talk about Personal Learning Networks and have thrown some ideas together.

More importantly, I have been out and about for a few hours seeing Prague this afternoon! I walked and walked right around the castle, over the Charles bridge, into the Old Town Square...and all the way back again! I had lunch at one of the many cosy restaurants and ate mulled wine (lovely!) and 'Bohemian' plate which consisted of roast suckling pig (yes!), duckling, chicken, sauerkraut, 2 types of dumplings and other things.....It was delicious, but all the dumplings were a bit stodgy. Braced again for the cold air, off I went walking, walking, taking pics...

I have to tell you the Lonely Planet Guide Book on Prague is spot on. It mentioned how the restaurants tend to load the price (charging for bread without telling me it was not free, over-charging for the meal as it turned out.....I was too full to notice! and pointing out in a loud voice that the total did not include a service charge). Total cost was about $25US...I am not complaining. It is also spot on when it describes the many shops around the touristy town square area and how tacky they are. I did enjoy walking into the 'Babushka' shops and looking at the many wonderful nested dolls from the region. The hand-painted ones are beautiful! I want to go back and take pics of these, but feel I should buy something first.

My pics from today are on Flickr in a Prague Set. Below are some personal favourites. I would love to come back in the Spring/Summer!

Prague castle DSC00272

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BigMastiq said...

I was checking opinions about Prague as I'm planning to spend my next vacation there and your post is even confirming that wish of mine, never mind the negative comments about the restaurants. Where did you stayed there? I've heard good comments for this Hotels Prague but you might recommend something else?

Anonymous said...

Prague is so friendly and welcoming. I visited many cities in Europe, and crossed the Atlantic to New York, and yet I felt Prague was the most pleasant and welcoming city I had ever visited. This can be attributed to the breathtaking architecture that was preserved as if time stopped, to the picturesque town square, Charles Bridge and many other monuments, or simply because the Czechs are very friendly and tourist friendly. And despite all the tourists it's not at all an expensive destination. Restaurants and Prague hotels are good value, as are tourist sights and museums and you can drink some of the finest beers in the world here for next to nothing. The most expensive beer I had during our visit was 50 crowns (about one pound sterling and that was at the opera).

Kelly said...

I think Prague restaurants are good, but sometimes tourists get into traps. Just be informed and always CHECK YOUR RESTAURANT BILL. Tourists sometimes get cheated. It is customary to charge for that basket of bread and butter they casually place on your table. Sometimes, not always, they automatically include service - usually 10%, which is acceptable, but again check your bill. And don't forget, 19% VAT is also included in your bill. No wonder we didn't find Prague restaurants that much of a bargain.

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