Recently, I was lucky enough to win one of the new ACS travel awards which has allowed me to come present at the 4th EuCheMS congress in Prague. As a part of the award agreement, I will be posting 5 blogs about this conference. It was suggested that the number of times people might wish to read blogs which can be summarized by “Oooh, Prague is so pretty, interesting, etc.” are few and that we should limit ourselves to only one blog in that vein. This will be mine.
Obviously the architecture is amazing and many, if not most, of the buildings here are older than the United States. There is a huge castle, members of the Prague orchestra playing in the street, and artists drawing caricatures on ancient bridges. However, what I appreciated during the 4 hour walking tour we went on today, were the quirky little things we learned about the city and its inhabitants. For instance, there is a functioning monastery, the brothers of which run successful a hotel, a brewery, etc. A couple other things that stood out to me are 1) the famous defenestrations, 2) the communism museum and its posters (a teddy bear with a gun? Really?), and 3) the John Lennon wall, where you may go watch people paying homage to the musician by adding another layer of graffiti.
Needless to say, after our tour, I had a new appreciation for Prague, and what was meant to satisfy my curiosity about the city so I can focus on the conference only increased it. However, the commencement of the conference revealed other opportunities to learn about new subjects and provided information that will be useful when preparing for my career after graduation. But that is a topic for another day.