Tag Archives: Czech Republic

‘Travel Snaps’ ~ The Hotel Diplomat (Vienna House) in Prague

For previous ‘travel snaps’ of my adventures, please click on the ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu 🙂

Wednesday 16th August 2017

As you will know, if you have been following on with my travel adventure series, arrival at our hotel was not without a little bit of drama! 🙂

However, it was lovely to at last get off the bus, after being on the road for a few hours. It was just before dinner time, and the evening was sweet, sun-kissed and pleasant. I was beginning to feel the excitement of a traveller in a new place.

Before me in front of the hotel was a long straight main street, clean, and neat, except from the occasional glimpses of graffiti, with trams gliding past. A couple from my tour group who have travelled extensively throughout America said that it looked a lot like San Fransisco.

I was pleasantly surprised as I wandered into the hotel to check in. The lobby was vast, and nicely stylised. However, you may want to take a sneak peek into the hotel for yourself. 🙂

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Prague’s Districts & our Hotel

For previous adventures in this series, please click on my ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu.

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And so, having finally disembarked after the earlier mini-drama, we were free to check into and explore our new surroundings, and ‘home’ for two nights – The Vienna House, Hotel Diplomat, Prague. 

The hotel is situated in Praha 6 (or district 6) of Prague. 

With the help of Wikipedia, here is a short overview of Prague’s districts: 

Prague has a local-government structure of two or three tiers, depending on the area of town. At the top is the Magistrate of the Capital City of Prague (Czech: Magistrát hlavního města Prahy), which is responsible for public transport; waste collection; municipal police; firefighting; ambulance services; cultural activities; care of historical sites; the Prague Zoo; and other activities of citywide significance.

Since 1990, the city has been divided into 56 (since 1992, 57) self-governing municipal districts (Czech: městské části). The districts are responsible for parks and environmental protection; ordering equipment for schools and volunteer firefighters; some cultural and sports activities; activities for seniors; some social and health programs; cemeteries; and collection of fees for dog tags and the like. Another important activity of the municipal districts is the ownership, maintenance and, sometimes, sale of public property, especially public housing.

Since 2001, the 57 municipal districts have been grouped into 22 numbered administrative districts (Czech: správní obvody), for national-government purposes. One municipal district in each administrative district has responsibility for providing certain services for the entire administrative district. Those services include providing business licenses, identity cards and passports. The municipal district with such responsibility shares a name with the administrative district it serves. For example, the municipal district of Prague 19 provides those services to the municipal districts of Prague 19, Prague-Čakovice, Prague-Satalice and Prague-Vinoř. Residents of Satalice can get dog tags in their neighborhood but must go to Kbely, home of the Prague 19 government, to get an identity card.

Both the citywide government and the municipal districts have elected councils and mayors. The mayor of the Capital City of Prague is known as the primátor, which is sometimes translated into English as “lord mayor” (even though the Czech title carries no connotations of nobility).

From 1960 to 1990, Prague was divided into 10 districts. Those 10 districts are still used for addressing and transportation purposes and, for example, the organisation of courts and prosecutions. Street signs additionally add the name of the cadastral area (Czech: katastrální území), which usually reflects the name of an old municipality before its assimilation into the city of Prague. Thus, a sign in Kbely will say “Praha 9-Kbely,” not “Praha 19.” Prague residents are much more likely to use the name of a cadastral area or a 1960 municipal district than the name of a post-1990 district in everyday communication.” (Source: Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Districts_of_Prague).

‘Travel Snaps’ ~ You’ve reached your destination…but you’re not going anywhere yet! A heated ‘cultural interchange’ of sorts :)

For previous tales of my adventures in Europe, please go to my ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 🙂 x

It was a relief to finally get off the bus after several hours traveling, however it wasn’t a simple disembarkation. The approach to the hotel involved a narrow circular space for coaches to park, however as our Scottish coach driver tried to skilfully manoeuvre his vehicle he was obstructed by a headstrong Italian coach driver who tried, and tried and tried again and again, unsuccessfully I might add, to park in a very narrow space at the side of the hotel, therefore obstructing any other vehicle, especially a large one, from getting past. A somewhat ‘interesting’ cultural interchange then took place with each driver getting down from their coaches to confront the other driver, complete with emphatic hand gestures from both parties. 

Some of the conversation could be heard, and a lot of the ‘conversation’ was easily played out before us through the body language of both of the men. I can only imagine that a very stereotypical conversation between them might have proceeded as follows:

Italian driver – raises his hands with exasperation and exclaims: “Mamma Mia!”

Scottish (Glaswegian) driver – steps forward towards his opponent, points to his head and sarcastically retorts: “Is there nuthin’ in yer heid? Yer no gonnae get in that space. Gonnae no dae that, ye Numpty!”. *

And so it went. However, once the other driver found that after a few more attempts he actually wasn’t going to get into that space, he aborted his mission, making way for our driver to park, let us off the bus, collect our suitcases and make our way into the hotel. And on disembarking from the coach, we were greeted by this very European looking fellow 😉

*Please note that no offence is meant, this is just a little light-hearted humour to describe what happened.

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‘Travel Snaps’ ~ First Glimpses of Prague

Please click on my ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu to find previous ‘episodes’ of my Travel Adventures.

The very act of traveling forces you to think about the demarcations of time, of journeys, of chapters, seasons and new beginnings. The several hours spent on the bus from Frankfurt to Prague afforded a time of ‘enforced rest’, and yet that brought with it its own sense of waiting and anticipation.

Eventually, as early evening approached, so too did the first glimpses of Prague, or at least a small part near to the Hotel Diplomat where we would be staying.

In my mind, I had imagined a city of spires, and old ornate buildings, history and bridges at every turn. These views would come the following day, however, my first glimpse of Prague outside of the main city was of long clean streets, trams, people strolling through the town and pretty houses.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words (whether or not that is true is a matter of perspective), so I hope you enjoy these pictures, and my first glimpse of Prague with me.

Travel Snaps ~ On the Road Again ~ Frankfurt to Prague

See my ‘Travel’ section on my main menu to catch up on previous ‘episodes’ of this travel adventure! 🙂

Wednesday 16th August 2017. 

An early morning continental buffet breakfast followed the overnight at the NH Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany. This meant getting packed, cases down ready to be loaded onto the bus and I only had time to grab a quick and light breakfast before making my way to the bus. However, from what I could see there was a huge spread of both hot and cold breakfast foods, and I personally enjoyed tasting new flavours of herbal tea – there was quite a range!

We were back on the bus by 8.15am, and the temperature in Frankfurt was 19 degrees C, comfortable but not too bright. By 11.35am it was 24 degrees C and the sun was shining brightly.

And so it was another few hours on the bus, anticipating our next destination of the capital city of the Czech Republic: Prague – the city of 100 spires.

Here are a couple of the travel snaps that I took en route while on the bus, and in case you’re wondering what I look like, there’s also a picture of me that I took in the NH Hotel. 😉

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Prague

Happy Friday, everyone!

Following on from my introductory post on my upcoming travel adventures (https://livingfully2017.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/budapest-prague-vienna-lets-go/), here is my first fact in the series about Prague.

Prague:

Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic, and is known as ‘The City of a Hundred Spires’, based on the count (103) of the Czech 19th Century mathematician Bernard Bolzano.

Today, it is estimated that Prague is now the city of over 500 spires! I wonder how many you can count in this picture? 🙂

 

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Image courtesy of freeimages.co.uk

https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-prague-sunset-beautiful-city-image38348058#res336036

 

Budapest, Prague & Vienna…Let’s Go! :)

I love to travel. I have had the privilege of sampling a taste of a number of different countries including India, USA, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sicily, the Netherlands, Belgium, Guernsey, and probably other places that have presently slipped my mind. With some of these countries, including Austria, I have only passed through while en route to other places.

However, large parts of the world remain uncharted territory to me including Eastern Europe. So this year, I decided having worked hard, and saved hard, to venture out into this new and exciting and as yet unexplored part of the world for me.

Next month I will be, God-willing, visiting Hungary, The Czech Republic and Austria, and in particular spending time in their capital cities of Budapest, Prague & Vienna.

I have to admit that my knowledge of these countries is at present fairly limited, so I thought it would be a fun thing to do to bring you along on my adventure in preparation for my travels by finding out and sharing an interesting fact about these places each day.

I also realise that many of you are far more proficient ‘globe trotters’ than I am, and that you may have ample experience and knowledge of these countries and capital cities (you may even live in one of these places!), in which case you are more than welcome to be tour guide and share your recommendations, experiences, anecdotes, ‘must see’ places, and places to avoid in the comments below. The more the merrier! 🙂

In the meantime, here is my first discovery:

Budapest:

Budapest is the capital city, and also the most populous city of Hungary, and is also one of the largest cities of the European Union, with a population of over 1.7million people.

Budapest was formed in 1872 or 1873 from the merging of two cities on opposite sides of the River Danube, Buda (the original meaning of which was probably water) and Pest (a Hungarian word meaning furnace, oven or cove – I wonder if this is due to the hot springs?).

Here is a beautiful picture of the Danube river intersecting these two sides of Budapest:

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Image courtesy of Stock Free Images (TM).