Life Through A Local Lens
One of my favourite trips to date involved taking a walk through the steep, winding and enchanting paths of Bohemian Paradise in the Czech Republic. When my friend apologised that we hadn’t been to visit Prague – as most people might choose to do when in Czech – I was quick to point out that I can arrange to go there anytime, but it’s not every day that you get taken around beautiful yet perhaps lesser known places like Bohemian Paradise or to spend time baking traditional Czech treats!
Taking Time Out
This time I found time to wander around the local shops and to take the train over to Dortmund to visit friends and experience the beauty and tranquillity of the Phoenix-See (which remained beautiful in spite of the horrendous rain that fell that day!). I even popped into the local Gymnasium to join pupils in their English classes – and was treated to some gorgeous cakes and snacks (and a glass of Sekt!) while I was there! To be welcomed to spend a day at the local school whilst on holiday might not be many people’s idea of ‘fun’ or ‘a relaxing break’ but I loved being given the opportunity to ‘get stuck in’ and talk to the pupils.
A River Runs Through It...
Everyday Experiences Every Day
It’s fantastic to go somewhere armed with a hectic schedule of taking in all the big, famous tourist attractions at breakneck speed within a matter of days and to try new, exciting experiences you might never consider at home. And it’s great to be able to come home and say you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, Cologne’s cathedral or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
But isn’t it just as exciting - perhaps even more so? - to toss the guide book, with its more traditional recommendations for where to go and what to see and do, to one side and to appreciate instead the lesser known sights, sounds, people and their culture?