183 JOURNEY:
Finding My Peace in a Bohemian Paradise

January 27, 2021

Welcome to the season finale of The Radio Vagabond.
This time we're in the Czech Republic, visiting the northern part of the country. It's called the Liberec Region but is also called a Bohemian Paradise.

VÍTEJTE V ČESKÉ REPUBLICE

The main reason, I went to the Czech Republic at this time was because of TBEX – a conference for travel bloggers and other travel content creators like me.

In their conferences around the world, they have interesting keynote speakers and useful workshop. In fact, I did one about starting a travel podcast.

It took place in Ostrava, a small city in the eastern part of the country – and not in the capital Prague, as one might think.

I’m actually glad it was here, because I’ve been to Prague many times before, and even though it’s a wonderful, beautiful and historic city it was great to see another part of the country.

Welcome to the Liberec Region in the Czech Republic
Welcome to the Liberec Region in the Czech Republic

And after the conference, I got to see even more. I was invited on a press trip in The Liberec Region in the northern part of the country. They called the trip “Finding Your Peace in a Bohemian Paradise” – so that’s also the reason for the title of this episode.

A quick disclaimer. Even though this is a press trip, where I was invited obviously in the hope that I’d say something nice about the region, I won’t say anything I don’t mean. Everything I say is my own genuine opinion. 

I went on this press trip with a group of talented travel bloggers
I went on this press trip with a group of talented travel bloggers. PHOTO: ToddHata.com

FACTS ABOUT THE CZECH REPUBLIC

  • The Czech Republic is also called by its short-form name, Czechia. It’s a landlocked country in Central Europe and is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the east.
  • The country ranks as the seventh most peaceful country in the world according to the 2019 Global Peace Index.
  • The country has the most castles in Europe – more than
  • Beer is a big deal in the Czech Republic. Czech people are the world’s heaviest consumers of beer. The first pale lager, Pilsner Urquell, was brewed in the Czech city Plzeň in 1842.
  • Soft contact lenses were invented by a Czech chemist in 1959.
  • The world-famous Škoda Auto is based in the Czech Republic. Their cars are sold in over 100 countries.
Liberec offers stunning nature.
Liberec offers stunning nature.

WELCOME TO THE LIBEREC REGION

Despite being the second smallest region in the Czech Republic, Liberec region is well known for local glass and jewellery, and romantic scenery provided by rock towns and a mountain range. The Liberec Region lies in the north of the Czech Republic boarding Poland and Germany.

The top of Ještěd Hill has a stunning view with a unique building that holds a restaurant, a hotel and a TV tower on the roof.
The top of Ještěd Hill has a stunning view with a unique building that holds a restaurant, a hotel and a TV tower on the roof. PHOTO: ToddHata.com

Ještěd Hill

On the first day, we head just outside the region’s capital, Liberec, to the top of Ještěd Hill. It’s got a stunning view and a very unique round building containing both a hotel, a restaurant, and unique TV transmitter on the roof.

This is considered the dominating feature of Liberec and the whole region.

SUNRISE AT JEŠTED HILL

After our visit, Eva asked us if we would like to come back the next morning to see the sunrise. And since she said it would be spectacular most us said yes… even though it meant that we needed to leave the hotel at 4.30 am.

GLASS ART IN LIBEREC 

After breakfast, we went to see something this region of the Czech Republic is famous for, Glass art. The place is called Pačinek Glass and named after Master glassmaker, Jiri Pacinek. He is a talented glass artist-craftsman is truly a master – and captivating many glass art collectors and admirers around the world. Besides his own creations, he’s cooperating with several world artists and designers.

A lot of their unique art objects have been created and many of them became a part of famous world museum collections.

The garden is very unique. None of these glass flowers and plants can be found and seen anywhere else than right here. You can come and see it anytime through a day, and you should, since the garden looks differently in daybreak, in midday sunshine, or at a sunset… And there are new glass plants appearing every year. 

The Glass Garden is open yearlong. You don’t need to book, and the entrance is free.

I’M BLOWING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

And then the glassmaker hands me the tube with a piece of melted glass on the end and I start blowing gently and turning it slowly, so gravity won’t make it drop to the floor.

The rest of the group is standing in a circle around me – looking very impressed.

I bet they are thinking: “Hey, that radio guy is really a professional glass artist… he kept that a secret for a long time” … but then the bubble burst. Literally.

Travel Blogger Michael Huxley from England.
Travel Blogger Michael Huxley from England.
Canadian Andy Vanr seems surprised of what he created.
Canadian Andy Vanr seems surprised of what he created.

As I mentioned before the Czechs are famous for its beer. And this small microbrewery is called Cvikov Brewery.

In 2013 the tradition of beer making came back to this place.
In 2013 the tradition of beer making came back to this place.

The beginnings of brewing beer in Cvikov dates back to 1560 when a privilege was granted to brew wheat beer and produce malt. They continued making beer here for more than 400 years, but in 1968 they shut down.

First, after nearly half a century of nothing, an entrepreneur bought the devastated complex in 2013 and brought the tradition back.

We got to taste five of their local craft beers.
We got to taste five of their local craft beers.
The Regional Art Gallery Liberec in a unique building.
The Regional Art Gallery Liberec in a unique building.

ART AND A SHARK

The next day after a wonderful breakfast we started The Regional Art Gallery Liberec. Not only is it an interesting gallery but it’s also in a beautiful building. 

On the way to The Botanical Garden, we had lunch in Restaurant ZOO1320. A very nice, beautiful restaurant and I highly recommend you go there if you’re in that area.

I FEEL PRETTY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

And then we head to Palace Plus, the largest jewellery shop in Central Europe. It’s 700m2(7500 square feet) and they sell more than 4500 styles of jewellery. After an introduction to the place by the president, we had the chance to design our own necklace, bracelet, or beaded earrings.

Palace Plus is the biggest jewlery store in Central Europe.
Palace Plus is the biggest jewlery store in Central Europe.
Focussed travel bloggers threading beads.
Focussed travel bloggers threading beads.

So, here we were, threading beads in The Czech Republic. Now that’s a first.

I feel pretty...!
I feel pretty...!

TROPICAL BOBSLEDDING

At the time I was in the Liberec Region it was very hot. So, I had not expected what came next. Bobsledding. It was cool to feel appreciated. The place we-re at a place is called Bobová Dráha and it was so much fun feeling like a kid for a bit.

And now it’s time to say goodbye to Liberec in The Czech Republic, and also the last episode in this season from Europe. I must say that it was great to see parts of The Czech Republic that I haven’t been to before. I hope it inspired you to head north after your visit to Prague.

Thank you to Visit Liberec for inviting me on this wonderful press trip. And to Eva Hornová for being such a nice person – and for teaching how to speak Czech. Well sort of.

Now I’m heading back across the Atlantic Ocean for yet another road trip in the US. I’m going to visit all six states in New England and a whole lot more. We start in Boston and I’m so looking forward to that.

My name is Palle Bo, and I gotta keep moving. See ya.

When you’ve done listening, you should also watch
YouTuber Todd Hatakeyama’s video from the tour.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

I really would like to hear from you. Where are you and what are you doing as you listen to this episode? You can either send me an email on listener@theradiovagabond.com or go to TheRadioVagabond.com/Contact. Or send me a voice message by clicking on the banner.

Either way, I would love to hear from you. It’s so nice to know who’s on the other end of this.

SPONSOR

A special thank you to my sponsor, Hotels25.com, who always provide me with the best, most affordable accommodation wherever I am in the world.

The Radio Vagabond is produced by RadioGuru.
 
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