If you’re asking Santa for a trip to Prague next year, or if you’ve got a traveler on your holiday shopping list, you might want to add these items to your list, as well!
(Note: The products featured here link to an Amazon Affiliates account, which helps support this page. So it is greatly appreciated if you buy any featured products on Amazon through the links on this page. Thank you!)
The Coronavirus pandemic grounded planes and closed borders for most of 2020, but we all hope to be be able to travel – or at least begin to travel again – in 2021. Prague is hoping for the return of visitors from Europe for a greater part of 2021 than was possible this year, and we hope that Americans will be able to enter the EU again, too! I already have a few clients from the U.S. who have booked tours for next year. So if travel is on your mind for the New Year, here are some gift ideas for you.
Greetings from Prague as we move into the Holiday Season!
Another Spike in the Autumn
In Prague and throughout the Czech Republic, we had another outbreak of the Coronavirus when children returned to school (and locals returned from their summer travels elsewhere in Europe). This caused the government to again enact strict measures to contain the virus, with eventually everything closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies and medical facilities. This time around we even had a curfew imposed from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., and unlike the first shutdown in March, ALL shops were closed on Sundays.
While Prague continues to open up from its strict Coronavirus lockdown, it still has not fully opened to foreign travel – for either visitors coming in or Czechs wishing to go abroad. So for the first time since the days of communism, really, locals are having their city to themselves.
In efforts to promote domestic travel & tourism, hotels & tourists sites are offering all manner of discounts & coupons, with some luxury brands that previously catered almost solely to foreigners, such as the Four Seasons, offering special packages to suit a local budget. The government has also issued coupons for hotels to give to guests that provide reduced entry into various sites.
Where She Came From: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History by Helen Epstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best Holocaust memoirs I've read. In it, Helen Epstein traces her mother's roots to find out more about the life of both her mother and maternal grandmother back in the author's birth country of former Czechoslovakia, a place the author spent only the first year of her life before she and her parents emigrated to the United States. But she goes even further back in time to discover much about the history and culture of Czech Jews many generations prior to her grandmother's. One of the best things about this book at the time I read it is that it was the best source I had found on the history and lives of Czech Jewry.
The author states that she found her mother an utterly amazing person, and that fact inspired her to learn more about her mother and "where she came from;" hence, the title. And I think that if you read this book, you'll think that her mother was amazing, too!
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I am an American who has been living in Prague for two decades. After a long career in international finance, I left the business world to pursue other interests. I now works as a writer, mentor and guide to the city.