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Communist Prague: 3 places to learn about it

If you’re interested in the history of Prague and Czechoslovakia in the Communist era, a number of walking tours are on offer, as well as a few museums. I visited the three main sites that have to do with the Communist era in Prague: besides the more mainstream visit to the Museum of Communism, I’ve…

Ruminations on an Auschwitz Tour

When I was a kid – six or seven years old, I’d guess – my parents decided I was old enough to see a documentary about the Holocaust. With no idea what it was about, I was delighted to be allowed to stay up past my bedtime. If my parents explained it at all, before…

The KGB Museum in Riga, Latvia

You could easily miss the KGB Museum in Riga if you didn’t know where to look. Commonly referred to as “the Corner House,” it looks on the outside like a quite stylish residential building. I walked right by it and had to retrace my steps a block or two away. Basically what the KGB did…

A Riga City Tour: 10+ things to see in Riga

This could have been a review of a tour that doesn’t actually exist. What I mean is that the Riga city tour I took was sponsored by #LiveRiga, a campaign of the Riga Tourism Development Bureau, but it is not run on a scheduled basis. Rather, our guide, Juris Berze, is a freelance tour guide,…

Two Latvian food tours

As you’ve probably guessed, I love food. I can’t call myself a foodie, exactly, because I’m not choosy about what food I eat. I’m likely to enjoy whatever national cuisine I try, or at least find it interesting. Generally, I’m happy with anything from street food to chic food. But tasting the difference between one…

a typical fairytale castle: with a tower and defensive crenellations on its walls, perched high on a hill above the village visible in the foreground: Visiting Karlstejn Castle from Prague

Visiting Karlstejn Castle from Prague

It took me three tries before I got to visit Karlstejn Castle in Czechia. I’d wanted to see it ever since my terrifying flight in a teeny-tiny airplane from Czech Airport, when I got, quite literally, a bird’s-eye view of it. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means that I’ll receive a small commission…

The castle extends across the whole photo, with a large blockish building on the left and a round tower on the right.

Visiting Cesky Krumlov Castle and UNESCO site

When we arrived at Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, it was almost dark and we couldn’t see much. Following our GPS, we found our hotel, checked in, and ate dinner at a nearby restaurant. Nothing too exciting so far, but we’d come because the town is a listed UNESCO world heritage site, a designation…

One of the more ornate houses on Telc main square, this one is deceptive in that what looks like sculptural decoration is actually painted.

UNESCO sites in the Czech Republic outside of Prague

Most people who visit the Czech Republic focus on Prague. Prague is such a beautiful city that it makes a great city trip for a weekend or a week, and no wonder: the old city of Prague is the most important of the UNESCO sites in the Czech Republic. Prague’s Jewish Quarter is a part…

The frescoes inside St. Barbara date to the late Gothic period and portray townspeople in the silver industry.

Kutna Hora UNESCO site and a macabre church

Kutna Hora, a small city east of Prague, contains an entire historical quarter that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, more correctly called “Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec.” The old town maintains its original medieval layout, established at a time when…

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