Check Out the Czechs

One of my favorite country names growing up was Czechoslovakia. Such an exotic, foreign sound to it. Of course, the dissolution of the Soviet empire would put an end to it, with the country after independence peacefully separating into its two original components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Czech Republic itself is comprised of what used to be known as Bohemia (the western part) and Moravia. And yes, Bohemia did give rise to the term “bohemian” to first signify gypsies, and subsequently anybody of a more wandering, carefree lifestyle. But that’s actually due to a mistake: the French mistakenly thought the wandering gypsies arriving in their country were from Bohemia, and by the time anyone realized the error, it was too late (thus, for example, the famous musical character Carmen from Bizet’s opera is a “bohemian” Spanish gypsy).

Apart from confusing us with country names, the Czech Republic has also been the source of some names we all might recognize: Martina Navratilova (tennis star), Ivana (Zelnickova) Trump (famous for her marriages), and model Eva Herzigova, among others.

But it’s the city of Prague that’s the true crown jewel of the Czech Republic. After traveling for nearly a year, it’s perhaps easy to become desensitized to the wonders of yet one more beautiful European city. I shouldn’t have worried: as soon as I stepped foot in Prague I went “wow!” and walked around staring in wonder. I also got a ticket for jaywalking (I’m not kidding), but that’s a whole other story.

Simply put, Prague is one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in Europe, one of those must-see destinations that’s a delight to the senses (4.1 million tourists annually can’t all be wrong!)

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