Learning by Travel: Prague

In July 2001 my parents and I participated in a BYU Travel Study tour of several countries in Europe. There were about 16 in our group, including BYU English Professor Glade Hunsaker and his wife, who provided overall direction to our group, and who provided some lecture material that gave perspective on our experiences. One day as we drove through the countryside of Tuscany in Italy, he took the microphone on our tour bus and spoke to us about knowledge and understanding. He mentioned that there are about 20 typical logic errors that we should understand to help us assess the value of analysis and arguments that we observe. He then said there are two primary ways we learn: by reading, and by travel. With that in mind, here are some things, perhaps mundane, I did not know before my recent visit to Prague, Czech Republic, on January 20 and 21.

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When traveling to the Czech Republic by car, one must purchase some sort of license or tax sticker and affix it to the lower portion of the windshield on the passenger side. A car without a proper sticker will be denied entry.

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There is a popular soft drink in Prague that is dark brown in color. It is made from by-products of producing decaffeinated coffee, and licorice is another primary ingredient. (I did not try this concoction)

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The Prague subway system was built during the Cold War when Czechoslovakia was under Soviet control. In addition to its transportation function, it was also intended to serve as a nuclear fallout shelter for the 1.5 million inhabitants of the city. Prague experienced significant flooding in 2002. Those floods exposed flaws in the construction of the subway system, including key portions of the structure that should have been able to protect the subway both from a nuclear blast as well as water flooding. For example, thick steel doors were not necessarily installed according to specifications – – strong doors were installed but the adjacent brick walls were weak and gave way.

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Prague has several sports arenas. As in the United States, naming rights are old for the arenas, so an arena bears the name of one company or another. However, they change the names of the arenas so frequently that local people revert to using names other than the current names – – otherwise, it becomes too difficult for people to communicate.

2 Responses to “Learning by Travel: Prague”

  1. Glenn Says:

    But did you like it ? I studied Czech Business Law for a year in Prague, and the narrow streets of Prague grew into me. Learning by travel is mostly about different cultures and meeting locals.

    Some of the metro stations are so low underground that the escalators took 10 minutes to get down…

    • gregjonesorg Says:

      Hi Glenn,
      Great to hear from you! It sounds like you are the true expert on Learning by Travel. I’ve been to Prague 3 times now – – once on vacation with a tour guide for a couple of days, and twice with Novell, each of those being brief trips. My experience in Prague impressed my greatly, it is an amazing city. However, I am afraid I have never been able to get socialize with the “locals” and so forth, other that limited contact with the great colleagues we have in the Novell office. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. I was surprised to see your comment. Hopefully you’ll post some more if you keep reading gregjones.org.

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