After having spent five months in Prague, I came to the conclusion that a foreigner who wants to dive deeper into the Czech culture, has to spend more time out of Prague. One hour away from the capital, you can find some cities like Kolín, Brandýs Nad Labem or Železný Brod.

All of them may not have a beautiful historical centre, however there is definitely some life! And believe me or not, the virtual “barrier” than stands between locals and foreigners is way thinner than in Prague. You just have to push the door of any (if not the only one) local bar in town, and you will soon find yourself drinking some beers and playing table football with random and funny people.

Hey, Coline and Cristian here!
We just came back from our mid-term meeting in Zďár nad Sázavou (from January 5th to January 9th, 2018), a lovely town between Prague and Brno and we can`t really wait to share our beautiful experience with you!

Thanks to the on-arrival, we now feel adopted by Česká Republika! We can dance Polka, drink beer as much as Czechs can do (158 liters per year!), sing as Jaromir Nohavica, and from now on Czech language has no secrets for us (just kidding, of course).

What did surprise you?

COLINE: I was amazed by Prague’s capacity to evolve so quickly, whilst keeping the same atmosphere. I was only away for three years, but every day I notice how much the city’s landscape has already changed. Yet, I still oddly feel at home. Even if Prague may be about to become the new Berlin (take a walk around Krymska, you will see why people say it is known as the hipster area), it is still a Czech city. Prague stays the city of culture (concerts, operas, …), architecture (art nouveau, cubism, …) where it will always be possible to drink a nice beer in a good old hospoda.

CRISTIAN: The atmosphere in Toulcův Dvůr. The building perfectly preserves its old fashion allure and it`s surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, while my YEE colleagues as well as members of other organisations are extremely nice, helpful and friendly. I would say that Toulcův Dvůr as a whole can literally be defined a little slice of heaven far from the noise and the chaos of the city.

I first became aware of this phenomena during my study years when my brother did a presentation about it for one of his study subjects. Later, when I became more passionate about stargazing, I noticed during my night walks how lights from Austria drew a silhouette of the mountains. My interest in this phenomena rose profoundly in the last year thanks to a street light not far from my window.  

The phenomena responsible for all these memories is called Light pollution. Light pollution occurs when we use too many lights or when we use them in a inappropriate way. Light ends up where it’s not meant to be, causing energy loss, starless nights, behavioural changes, sleepless nights...