Prague, Czech Republic
Prague was my first stay in a hotel. I used a bunch of Marriott points to check into the Prague Marriott. The hotel was really nice, and, after spending too many dollars on coffee, it was nice to be able to indulge in unlimited cups of it for free. The city of Prague was strikingly pretty, but I was a bit put off by the sheer number of tourists. At times, it felt like I was actually at a Disney theme park for Victorian Europe – maybe something like the Canadian Pavilion of the Epcot Center.
I expressed my dismay to a local, who quickly confessed her distaste for central Prague and pointed me to places outside the core that really redeemed the city. Of course, I went running through great parks and managed to see some really interesting sites that might not end up on the typical itinerary, including a radio tower, built in communist times and “enhanced” in modern times – by attaching enormous bronze infants to the sides of it?
After three days in Prague, I was ready to slow things down and headed for Cesky Krumlov, on the big yellow Student Agency bus. On the bus, I met a young Czech woman, who was about to enter university and was toying with either economics or accounting. I told her accounting might be a better option because it will open many doors down the road. I also set her up with a few contacts at Deloitte Prague in case she wanted to spend 30 minutes chatting with someone about future career ideas. I think that stuff is helpful for students. I wish someone did that for me.