Celebrating the end of finals, we finished our time in the Czech Republic with a class trip to Bohemia. Now for those of you who are geographically challenged such as I myself, I’ll explain this to you. Bohemia is the western half of the Czech Republic whereas Moravia is the eastern half. I honestly thought Bohemia was it’s own separate country - goes to show how much I pay attention. This was our last trip as a group before we went our separate ways and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the program!
Our first day we arrived in the little town of Litomysl and enjoyed an afternoon of exploring as well as a guided tour through a local church. It’s been under renovation, so we were one of the first groups to see it’s unique museum and children's learning center. The rainy weather didn’t give us many options for adventure, so we ended up getting pizza & wine and enjoyed a night relaxing in our cute cabin-like hotel.
The next day we were off again to Kutna Hora. One of the most interesting stops included a bone church, made from the remains of bodies in mass graves. The entire surface of the room was decorated in fascinating displays of human bones shown in interesting patterns or carefully constructed piles. As eerie as it sounds, it was really pretty neat. If you’re ever casually in the area, I’d say this is a must see! We continued the day touring St. Barbara’s cathedral and enjoying the evening with each other from the balcony of our hotel. Before leaving town for Cesky Krumlov, we spent the next morning on a quick tour of the silver mines. We got to wear traditional miners attire and claustrophobically experienced the working conditions of this career. All I’ll say is, thank goodness for jobs above ground.
On the way to our final destination in Bohemia, we got to stop at the Budweiser plant and see the process of this popular lager. It was intriguing to see their methods mind the free samples. After getting accustomed to the cute little town of Cesky Krumlov, our teachers, Jan and Martin, set up a tour at a local castle and theatre. The theatre was the most fascinating thing I’ve ever seen, all in it’s original Baroque style. The stage used perspective tricks and amazing use of vintage cinematography to create the illusion of space and sound. The sets could be changed within seconds by the use of multiple pulley systems underneath. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos, but believe me when I say it would be a dream to see a play or Opera performed there. As the rain cleared up, the afternoon included an entertaining rafting trip with almost our entire group. I think I speak for a majority of us when I say it was an incredibly fun time enjoying each others company while lazily floating for a few hours. We ended the night with one last class dinner together and paid a visit to a local club before visiting yet another castle on the way back to Olomouc.
All-in-all, Bohemia was the perfect way to end our program and I am forever grateful to have gotten such an amazing experience! I can’t quite put into words how much studying abroad has affected my outlook on life in general. So for now, we’ll save that for another post. With about 3 weeks of personal travel left in Croatia, Scotland, and Iceland, here’s to another few days of avoiding adult responsibilities. Na shlendanou!