Discovering Romani Culture in the Czech Republic

With the exception of stereotypes*, it’s difficult to find information concerning Romani (gypsies) in Europe. Rick Steves has a brief article on his site, and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations gives a bit more information. For a continent obsessed with museums, only one exists** in Europe dedicated to the history and culture of the Roma […]

Another Castle in Moravia: Helfštýn

Castles intrude upon most of my trips. I don’t plan to visit, but a friend always drags me along. After a handful, they blur together like cathedrals. Not being Catholic, the cathedrals come off to me as beautiful (sometimes), but pompous and slightly shameful. At least with a castle I get a view of the countryside or […]

Photoessay: Moravian Town Squares

I get burnt out on castles. The views are great, but after a handful, they blur together. Town squares are different. They reflect the economy, history, regional or national character, and vibrancy. Some are the hectic hub of a city, but others are calm refuges. Festivals, markets, or protests flare up to occupy the time, or […]

Talkin’ Brno Blues: Alienation and Dislocation While Traveling

The morning is the worst part of the day. If I’m forced to breakfast, I’ll glare at the food as I eat, or moulder over a glass of tea with too much sugar. The upswing is that the day improves as time passes, so I’ve the rest of the day to enjoy after a hellish […]

The Country Music Highway of Eastern Kentucky

Before I left for the Czech Republic, I wanted to take another road trip. As luck led me, I took two, but this is about Kentucky. The other is a story for another day. I love travelling in Appalachia. There’s so much that’s familiar, but the accents change dramatically. It’s like visiting a distant cousin. […]

The Second City of the Czech Republic

Brno has a reputation for being more laid-back than Prague, and it seems to be true. Prague doesn’t let anyone breathe. You constantly chase the bus or tram;  the crowd carries you wherever it pleases; you take a brisk walk to the next sight or meal to cram in everything. You’re fresh and excited the first […]