Today I went to a town in the northern part of the Czech Republic called Liberec. It is the 6th largest city in this country, but I don't think it is visited by tourists very often. It was nice to get away from Prague, and see another city. One of the best parts was seeing snow! Even though it is just an hour north of Prague, they already have a good 4 inches of snow!
The first thing I needed to do when I arrived in the city was buy some clothes. It was a lot chillier than Prague, so I bought a nice ugly Christmas sweater, for a nice price of 10 dollars, and went on my way. The people at the clothing store were really helpful, and they helped me learn some new Czech words as well!
In general, everyone in the city was very kind. Usually, people in Prague are very reserved, and when you ask for their help, they seem very put out. Here, on the other hand, everyone was quick to lend a hand. I felt free to ask people what certain buildings were, and where the museum was. The only person that was slightly rude was the lady at the tourist office, but she gave me a free map, so things were fine. Even old men, who would be cankerous in Praha, tried to point me to the bus station.
The town has a beautiful municipal house in the center, from the late 19th century, and it was the first thing I saw when I got to the center.
Afterward, I just walked around until I stumbled upon a little gallery near the center. I walked in, asked if there was any information in English, and, after a negative response, said that it didn't matter, because it was art, right? The lady smiled, and the ticket to get in the museum was only ten crowns, so I spent a good hour and a half looking at art from all sorts of periods. They had a wide collection, and though it started with modern grafiky, upstairs there were works from the 16th century. I joked with one of the attendants about it was so weird to walk from one room and see these incredibly modern interpretations, and then the next moment look at a painting of a Flemish landscape from 1650. I was actually able to have decent conversations with the attendants, and they all really liked me. When I pointed out my favorite work, they encouraged me to even take a picture!! Now, that doesn't happen very much at an art gallery.
Afterwards, I was getting a little pooped, so I decided to head back to Prague. On the way, though, I saw a doner place, and couldn't resist buying one of my favorite snacks. They never seem to disappoint, and I am going to miss them in the states....
I only have a couple of Wednesdays and free weekends left abroad, and I am going to try to make the most of them by seeing more traditional Czech towns. I had a really good time wandering around alone today, and was, once again, wishing that I wasn't living a city where EVERYONE can speak English.... Oh well, c'est la vie.
ps, I promise to write an update soon about my weekend in Belgium, which was great. But I am a bit tired, and am going to watch Mean Girls instead!