When I found out that I would have the opportunity to visit the city of Pilsen I was ecstatic. Through the generosity of Mr. Holub, the kind Rotarian that hosted me, I was able to visit places I would never have dreamed I would be able to visit. And because of this, I have to give my many thanks to him and his family for being willing to host me for the weekend. With that being said, let me begin telling you about my adventures in the cities of Pilsen and Prague.
Traveling to Pilsen
I began my trip bright and early in the morning; 4:30AM to be exact. I didn’t bring very much luggage with me, as I would be only staying in Pilsen for 3 nights. However, I did feel a little lopsided fitting 4 days worth of clothes in my little backpack. I definitely fit the tourist stereotype. I set off from the small village of Sliač, where I set off to the Czech city of Ostrava. Once in Ostrava, I only had minutes to find my train before it left, but thankfully I made it in time. After a few hours, I found myself in Prague, and I was utterly amazed. Even from what little I could see from the train station, I was astounded by the architecture of the buildings and the sheer amount of people going too and from. But I had little time to waste, as I only had a twenty minute layover. I then boarded my final train from Prague to Pilsen, where adventure awaited me.
A Tour of Pilsen
After a quick rest, we began our tour of Pilsen in the town square. The town hall was our first destination, where we found a small replica of the Staré Mesto (old town). We both spent nearly 10 minutes gawking over the intricately crafted models of the buildings and churches. After we were able to drag ourselves away from the model, we decided to visit the cathedral in the town square.
Cathedral of St. Bartholomew
The Cathedral was established at the same time as the city of Pilsen in approximately the year 1295. It is claimed to be the tallest spire in central Europe, and I certainly found that out the hard way. After walking up the grueling 299 stairs to the observation deck, I was rewarded with a nearly unmatchable view of the city. Because of the Cathedrals location in the center of the town square, we were able to see just about every corner of the city of Pilsen. from the top of the tower, you could even see the industrial sector hard at work, resting right on top of the old Skoda factory. I am not quite sure I could put to words just how stunning the view was. You want to know what was even more amazing? That I made it down without dying, because of how steep the stairs down were. It felt like I was climbing down a ladder!
Beaver and a Synagog
There are 4 main rivers that flow through the city of Pilsen, the Mže, Radbuza, Úhlava, and Úslava. All four of these all come together to form the Berounka, which flows all the way to Prague. While walking along one of these rivers, I looked to the side and saw a group of little brown fuzzies scurrying along. When I questioned my native Pilsen tour guide about this, he jumped up and down with excitement, exclaiming that he has never seen beavers in the city before. Apparently a rare experience.
If you are an admirer of France, you are a Francophile. What is it if you are an admirer of Israel? Now hold on my Palestinian audience, I like you too! But I digress. While walking around the city, we came across the Great Synagog. I would say that most would agree that the building is surely quite epic, standing out from all of the other buildings surrounding it. Unfortunately for me, we couldn’t go inside as it was closed. Maybe next time I will be able to see what wonders are hidden inside.
And like that came a close to my first day in Pilsen. I hope you enjoyed it, and look forward to part 2 tomorrow!