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 Editor's Review
Czech Republic
 
A distinct shortage of vowels and some tongue-torturing letter combinations make Czech a challenging language for visitors. Everything else about this friendly country is welcoming. Prague has been a great European capital for over a thousand years and offers attractions for historian, art-lover, and shopper alike. The Charles Bridge over the Vltava river is a meeting place to match the Spanish Steps in Rome or the Rialto in Venice. Strollers, artists, buskers, street vendors, all add their ‘colour’, as do swans on the river. Prague is a Christmas city – kicked off by the Dec 5th feast of local saint Mikulas, aka St Nicholas, alias Santa Claus. The month long Christmas markets in the town squares, are in the shadow of St Vitus Cathedral containing the tomb of Good King Wenceslas. Further afield, Karlovy Vary is 19th Century Carlsbad and still an attractive spa. Cesky Krumlov is a beautiful medieval town, full of romantic squares and a superb castle. To the east are the mountains of Bohemia, offering terrific skiing, climbing, or simply gorgeous views. Enjoy the celebrated beers – Pilsen is a Bohemian town – and the equally good, though less famous wines, of Moravia.
 
Prague
 
The Czech capital is a city reborn since the Velvet Revolution of 1989. As you wander through its many squares, you’ll find Gothic and Baroque façades sitting shoulder to shoulder, shops nestling under Romanesque arches and stately Renaissance palaces where the changing of the guard is still a daily ritual. High over the city tower the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral, part a sprawling Castle Quarter that hides a maze of medieval cobbles, pastel coloured cottages and museums that cater for every interest. Against this old world canvas beats the pulse of a modern city, alive with cubist art, street performers, a lavish choice of café bars, Bohemian restaurants and vibrant, up-all-night Jazz venues.
 

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