Friday, August 1, 2008

The sleepy streets of Olomouc

It's Friday night and the streets of Olomouc are empty. But don't be fooled. The locals are out, but you have to look in the "hospody" or Czech taverns to find them. This is where Czechs gather - sometimes every night - for beer, food, more beer, and sometimes wine. Also, the streets may be emptier than usual because, as I've been told, Olomouc is particularly quiet in the summer. It's a college town and most of the students are gone.

Here's a relatively people-less street.

And here's a row of bars/restaurants where you can actually find some people. I was at the one on the end in front of the yellow building until about 3 am last night (this morning). It's part of my studies - I'm trying to immerse myself in Czech culture!

I could bend the truth a bit and tell you that I've been really busy in summer school - practicing Czech, studying hard, etc. But this program isn't so demanding (especially compared to Russian school at Middlebury), so I've been able to take it easy, for better or for worse. If you are on Facebook, you may have noticed pictures of me at the pool or the pub. These are my regular hangouts after class. But remember that they placed me in one of the advanced Czech classes so I am definitely learning something.

Most of the other students in the program are in Prague for the weekend, but a couple of us are headed to Vienna instead. An American I met in Riga is studying in Vienna for the summer and has graciously offered to let us stay with her, so I just had to pay for the slightly expensive, but relatively short train ride (~$30 and 3 hours from Olomouc, one way). You will probably be as surprised as I was a few weeks ago to discover that Vienna is actually further east than Prague, and so it is actually closer to Moravia (eastern Czech Republic, where Olomouc is located), than it is to Prague & Bohemia. Here's a map to prove it:

I'm eager to report back about the coffee, schnitzel and strudel in Vienna... OH, and about the culture and history and all that too!

1 comment:

iwanagain said...

As a soon-to-be 35-year-old woman, I have to say, my favorite college towns are empty college towns. All the amenities; less of the idiots.