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The spring of Prague between friends and coffee culture

In Prague as in Paris, the cultural revolution took place right behind the windows and tables of literary cafes. Exactly like in the Ville Lumière, also in the capital of the Czech Republic, the story took place in the cafes, where the main artistic manifestations were born and they met and clashed fervid minds, opposition was made, culture was cultivated. In these places of Prague were born for example the current Bohemian Prague, as well as the artistic avant-garde between the two world wars.

We sat down to read the newspaper while sipping a good coffee, of course. But then we began to chat with other patrons, we kept up to date on the latest news, we exchanged opinions. And for some, writers and politicians above all, the tables in the bar were real “working” desks. The sign of the cafeteria was that of their “office”, where they invited friends and colleagues and engaged in important discussions. On politics, economy, history, art and culture.

This is why the historic cafés of Prague, widespread between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, can be considered the spontaneous and lively form of what we now call cultural centers where aggregation and the exchange of ideas are encouraged. Today’s social networks had then glass curtains and wooden or marble tables. But they worked great even without wi-fi.

In the cafés of Prague, it is a well-known story, the collapse of the communist system began. In fact, in these smoldering scenarios of smoke and coffee in the 60’s the dissidents led by President Vaclav Havel began to meet and the windows of the main cafés of Prague witnessed the parade of the student march of 1989, then brutally stopped by emergency forces right in the stretch between the Café Louvre and Café Slavia . At the time, the Prague cafes became the heart of the so-called Velvet Revolution.

Someone is still there, witness of a tormented past, cultural hub and monument to visit. Here is a selection of stops you should not miss on a trip to Prague where you can have a cup of coffee and breathe in history.

Café Louvre : already in the name, the local historian of Narodni trida (viale delle Nazioni) recalls the atmospheres of the Parisian literary cafés. The aroma of coffee here has been growing uninterrupted since 1902. At that time the place was a philosophical circle, attended by law students like Max Brod and Franz Kafka.

Among the distinguished habitues, also Albert Einstein, who did not miss a Tuesday evening, and the writer and playwright Franz Werfel, who had a table reserved in his name. In the period immediately following the establishment of the Republic, the Café Louvre became a symbol-sign for artists, intellectuals, politicians and representatives of what was in the vanguard.

Tortolì between flowers, history and a lot of sea

Tortolì is one of the most renowned centers on the east coast where you can appreciate nature, food and local life. From “country of torture” to reminiscences that revert the Trojans, its name is uncertain, or rather the assumptions about its origins are different, but there is a certainty, Tortoli, in the territory of Ogliastra, has an ancestral charm with its citrus groves whose scent pervades the senses, not for nothing in spring becomes ” Tortolì in fiore “, where narrow streets and alleys are covered with an expanse of colored petals. Its coasts, so beautiful: fascinated by the shapes and inviting for the view, they force us to stop until the evening, because the sunset is unique here. And that red porphyry that more than anything characterizes this area.

A fascinating contrast of colors between the sea and red rocks to take your breath away is the Ogliastra. Here the cliff, stuck in the port of Arbatax is a marvel of nature. In any season, with good weather or with a storm, it is always suggestive and relaxing to look out onto the square of the red rocks. The fineness of the sand, the clarity of the water, the Lido di Orrì and Porto Frailis are the worthy setting of this place.

Su logu de s’iscultura is the Tortolì museum, an obligatory stop for those who pass through here. Translated from Sardinian to Italian, it is the place of sculpture, a museum entirely dedicated to contemporary art characterized by the division into two completely detached exhibition areas: one inside, used for temporary exhibitions, and the other, the most beautiful one, placed at the open, along the streets of the village and in the surrounding area. It’s exactly an open-air museum!

Along the road that leads to the coast of Orrì, we arrive at the archaeological park of San Salvatore, which tells the story of this part of Italy starting from the Bronze Age, a complex that offers a view of a nuraghe on the right of the road, the tomb of the giants, monuments built for collective burials, and the menhirs, monolithic megaliths that are on the left.

How to be on the bridge of a ship with an eye that sweeps across the open sea.

We are on the Tower of San Gemiliano , to be in Tortolì and not to visit it is to do a wrong to the landscape! The view is fabulous, but here in Ogliastra we are used to now, any place you reach, any glimpse you visit, seems to immerse yourself in an impressionist painting.

Palma de Mallorca prohibits rental houses for tourists. The mayor: “We will be a model for other cities in Europe”

A banner against apartments for tourists hangs from a balcony as a woman tend clothes at Barceloneta neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain, November 28, 2016. The banner reads “No tourists apartments”. REUTERS/Albert Gea

If you are planning a holiday in Mallorca this summer, know that finding a bed will be more difficult. Starting in July, the Balearic island will be the first Spanish city to forbid, to those who own an apartment in the city, to rent it to tourists. The measure, which saves only villas and independent houses that are located in protected areas or industrial areas, is designed to counteract rents in black and comes after the heated protests of residents, tired of increasingly high rents.

Due to the increasing demand from foreign visitors, prices for short-term rentals have risen in recent years, with increases of up to 40% from 2013 to today. According to the Spanish newspaper El País, only 645 of the 11 thousand holiday rentals offered to tourists in Palma have the necessary license to do so, with an increase in irregular rentals of 50 percent from 2015 to 2017. Also included applications and online sites such as AirBnb , Mallorca, like other European cities, has been stormed by mass tourism, to which the local population is increasingly impatient and has turned some areas of the island into real free zones (just think of Magaluf, the theater every year of episodes of unbridled sex in public, and of practices such as “balconing”,

In the face of a city that seems to get out of its hands in the summer, mayor Antoni Noguera has gone on the attack. “There is nothing worse than an uninhabitable city for its inhabitants, where rents are unsustainable,” he told the PAIS . But “Palma is a determined and courageous city” that I am sure will serve as a model for other European cities, “when they will understand that finding a balance is fundamental”.

ALBERT GEA / REUTERS
Even before Palma, the cry of revolt had arisen in Barcelona, criticizing the extreme massification brought by its 27 million guests a year. In 2015, at the balconies and windows of the city, banners and billboards appeared that invited tourists to pack their bags, in a city that also owes 14 percent of its GDP to foreign visits (but where, in 2016, the number of beds offered by the holiday homes has outnumbered those of hotels and authorized facilities). In short, from Paris to Barcelona to the main European capitals, the Airbnb phenomenon brings with it a trail of controversy. Who knows that Palma, with the “summer ban”, can not do school.

HOW TO FINANCE YOUR WORLD TOUR?

To go around the world, you have to pay for it. On average, a one-year world tour costs € 14,500 ( see our budget page around the world ) and although it can be done for much less than that, it is still a significant sum . How to finance your trip? There are several solutions.

Our investigation: how do Tourdumondists finance their trip?

how the Tourdumondists finance their trip

See our big survey of the world tours in full.

SAVE

For those who have a job, the best solution is simply to put money aside. Even with an average salary, it is possible to save. It is enough to take a not too big housing, if possible in colloc, to be limited on the restaurants and the exits, to take the public transport and not to succumb to the temptations of the shopping.

Piggy bank

FIND SPONSORS

Choosing a project, building a file and prospecting for sponsors is difficult and time consuming. A large majority of travelers going around the world have no sponsors. However, if you have not managed to save enough money and do not want to wait to go around the world, you can try to find sponsors.

Choose a project

To hope to find a sponsor, it is necessary to have a project to present. Sponsors may be sensitive to a humanitarian, ecological, cultural or sports project. But be careful not to build your project for the sole purpose of finding a sponsor. It is important to find a project that is really important to you.

Some ideas

Here are some thematic ideas for a world tour, gleaned from the Internet: microcredit, video, eco-responsible, cycling, cooking, crafts, trains, comics, stop, homestay, photo, diving, horseback, creation of business, wine, schools, football, micro-credit, theater, music, hospitals, photo … However altruistic projects have the best chance of succeeding.

Have yourself and your family sponsored!Have yourself and your family sponsored!

Constitute a folder

It is important to tie your file in order to convince the sponsors. You can submit it in pdf to send by email and possibly provide a paper version to send by post but the most important thing is to have a website that clearly shows your project. Be creative to stand out. A good video presentation can make the difference. Detail the visibility you give to your sponsors on your site. Specify the purpose of your trip and detail the budget so sponsors know what the money will be for you. Two good examples of sponsorship files: the Romain Corraze file and the file of I have an opening

20 EXAMPLES OF ITINERARIES FOR A WORLD TOUR

Planning your itinerary is the most fun part of preparing for a world tour. Nevertheless, do not expect anything and take into account the various parameters.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE

How long ?

The first thing to do is to determine for how long you leave. Most rounds of the world last between 6 months and 1 year. This is the time it takes to have the time to visit several countries without too much rush but do not lose either full contact with his family and his professional environment. In addition, the duration of tickets around the world is theoretically limited to 1 year.

You have less than 6 months? Why not postpone your world tour and restrict your trip to one continent?

Make you dream

Make a list of the countries you absolutely want to visit. If you go to several, then we must reconcile the lists of each and see what are the countries in common, to arrive at a common list.

To help you, learn about countries by helping you travel forums and by reading guides. In torrent files, you can easily download a package from all Lonely Planet guides in old editions. Be careful, it’s bad and it’s illegal but you can catch up later by buying the real new guides in paper format.

Of course, this list evolves as time, budget, airfares and seasons are taken into account.

The falls of Iguazu it is dreaming!The falls of Iguazu it is dreaming!

How many countries?

Tourdumondists spend an average of 16 countries. The number of countries crossed is mostly between 11 and 21, depending on the length of the trip, the size of the countries crossed and the pace at which one wishes to travel.

It is better to limit the number of countries visited. In less than 3 weeks, you will have a hard time going beyond the main tourist spots of a country. Spending more time will allow you to get off the beaten track, to soak up the culture and thus open more easily to unexpected encounters with locals.

In which way ?

Among the blogs we have listed, there are almost as many travelers from west to east as travelers from east to west. The direction of the journey depends on the date of departure and the seasons in the countries crossed. It is therefore mainly a question of weather.

BANGKOK THE OVERACTIVE CAPITAL

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand both historical and ultramodern. A sprawling city where everything is possible …

When we arrive in Bangkok, it’s shocking! The airport is brand new, huge and ultramodern. We are looking for a bus to get to the city center. We are offered a direct air-conditioned shuttle to Kao San Road, the backpacker district. Here, everything seems to be organized to the millimeter for tourists. We would almost regret the chickens in the old bumpy buses.

The city makes the same impression. Bangkok was described as a chaotic and noisy city. But after India, we have the opposite impression. The city looks spotlessly clean, modern tall buildings everywhere and not a horn sound. Some red lights even count down the number of seconds remaining before going green. We appreciate the calm, even if it is not very exotic.

We find a guest house a bit away from Kao San road. It is a small all-wood house, fully furnished in colonial style with a small lush garden. We feel really good.

In Kao San, we find ourselves in the middle of a crowd of Anglo-Saxons. We joined the classic backpackers route: Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand. Thousands of English and Australians looking for beaches and parties. In other words, people are quite different from those we met in Nepal or India. At three o’clock in the morning, the street is full of drunk people who play guitar, dance, or think they are birds …

We spend a few days strolling through the beautiful Buddhist temples and do some shopping in the huge shopping centers. We spend an evening with O, the Thai friend of our friend Gillou and friends to her. We have a glimpse of the night in Bangkok. Here prostitution is completely trivialized. There are even menus offering ping pong shows and other exotic shows. A bit strange as an atmosphere.

Next destination: Koh Tao, the Thai paradise of diving. We will finally see the sea!

KOH TAO THE MAGNIFICENT ISLAND OF DIVING

Koh Tao is an island so beautiful that it looks fake, too perfect to be real. It is located in the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. The beaches are beautiful and under water is the little mermaid. It’s a divers paradise and the dive industry here is working hard. Like most dive islands it’s a good place to party …

July 10: Finally the sea!
We traveled several hundred kilometers in just 7 hours, on a perfect highway. On the edge of the highway, pretty little hedges. An air-conditioned bus trip, with all modern comforts. No chicken or goat inside, only tourists.

Arrive at 3am from the mast to the port. We are waiting for the boat for another 4 hours at a local travel agency. Everyone is patient in his own way:
Some of whom Sylvain sleep on the floor in a room apart. A funny show (see video section). Others are on the internet, watching a movie, playing guitar or even chatting at the bar while drinking a beer.

After 1h30 on the boat, Koh Tao approaches already. A small island covered with coconut trees, parsemmee ca and the pretty little wooden bungalows. The rocks eroded by the sea are so smooth that one would almost think of a movie set.

We stay in a wooden hut on stilts with sea view ready from the central beach where everything is happening: Sairee Beach.

Koh Tao despite its small size (we cross the island on foot in one hour) is the Thai capital of diving. Most tourists here are there for that. We too, and we start the next day.

Francois takes a big slap on his first dive. Thousands of multicolored fish everywhere, bizarre and varied corals and anemones cover the bottom of the sea, the water is at 30 degrees, perfectly transparent. Ouuaaaahhhhhhhhh !!! impressive when you know the North Sea at 10 degrees, perfectly gray with 3 gray fish and 2 lobsters.
After that is the escalation of the incredible: turtle, big naughty sharks, spotted rays, muraines, and especially …. the whale shark (extreme luck)! The whale shark is the biggest fish that exists, it can be more than 10 meters. Good ours is a beautiful baby of 4 meters.
Francois also takes some diving lessons. At the end it reaches 20 meters deep. Not too bad.

The rest of the time (when we do not dive) it’s hammock, beach and swimming. Even in mask and tuba we see lots of pretty fish. Francois finds himself even facing a shark 2 meters. It does not attack it, but it’s not reassuring. We travel the island on foot or scooter. It’s Seb, a guy meets on the boat, who takes us behind him.
The further we go, the more we meet French and Spanish. These people like it to be in the lost corners.
Most of the tourists remain plants on Sairee beach unable to move further.

It is sure that here every night is the party and it’s tired. It happens on the beach with good music, fire jugglers, and cocktails served in small buckets of beach (the famous buckets). There are a lot of small babes who wriggle. Sylvain comes alive, nice kid.

At night we become even more aware of the beauty of the village. In the trees the red, blue, yellow lamps … color the beach, streets and scultures in varnished wood that run through it (giant heads, animals, or even a huge dick in varnished wood …).

More than a week passes like that quietly. Yet Francois begins to lack adventure and small lost corners. Gillou arrives July 16th in the neighboring island. We leave for Koh Phangan to wait for him there.

KOH PHANGAN AND THE FULL MOON PARTY

Koh Phangan is a beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand but it is also the island of debauchery and the incredible party on the beach: the world-famous Full Moon Party …

In Koh Phangan it’s low season. We choose a hotel away from the crowd. Francois does not like English people. “That unnecessary superficial fetards,” he says. They usually all settle on the mythical beach of Haad Rin where the famous Full Moon Party takes place.

Our hotel is totally empty. We take the best bungallow directly on our private beach. Deadly!
The sea is less beautiful than Koh Tao oddly and it is not very easy to find fish or corals. Yet the island is much larger and we each rent a scooter to try to see more. We discover some small paradise beaches with white sand.

Very quickly we understand that Koh Phangan is not really for the sea that people go there.
It’s for the party. Incomparable with Koh Tao. This time there are thousands of people dancing on the beach every night on electro music.
In addition to the fire jugglers, we can make fire jumped rope, dive into burning hoops, limbo emflamme … we like the fire here and us too.
Besides, Francois is trying the jumped-fire rope. Impressive (soon the video on the site)!

Soon Gillou and O (his girlfriend Thai) join us with some friends to them. Seb Koh Tao is here too.
It’s nice to see the Gillou. It is all white it’s funny. With this case of Gillou fetard we spend the worst party since the beginning of the trip to the Full Moon Party on July 19th.

The day of the Full Moon Party land on the island thousands of fetards just for that.
This holiday is not different from those of other nights. It’s the same thing: many more people, many more bars, many more people tearing up, drugs, stuff, more stuff …

We find friends of Koh Tao down and the party lasts until dawn and after.
Gilou is not fresh, oddly Francois and Sylvain are tacket again at 6am. It is the Redbull from here who is very powerful (for my mother I specify that it is not a question of drugs, but of a legal energizing drink).
Of course, at the end of the evening, everyone was lost. Francois took the opportunity to make a photo report very informative (not to be missed) on this late evening and fetards still present. Cingles!

The next day is the great separation … Bouuuhouhuh …
It’s been a long time since Francois wanted to go on an adventure. He leaves for Singapore while Sylvain wants to follow Gillou and O to Bangkok. He wants to see Gillou in his natural environment and visit Ayuatthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand.

Sylvain and Francois will meet again later in Indonesia.

TEMPLES OF AYUTTHAYA AND LOPBURI

Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand from the time it was called Siam. In Ayutthaya and Lopburi cultural tour, history to program and visit of beautiful temples …

Return to Bangkok with O and Gillou. I sleep with them in their new apartment. This is the luxury. In the residence there is swimming pool, sauna, squash courts and gym. O is going back to work. With Gillou we spend a day enjoying the residence. We push the vice to buy a camembert at Tesco!

The next day we leave to visit Ayutthaya and Lupburi. Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand, an hour’s train ride from Bangkok. Dozens of temples are scattered throughout the city. We spend the day cycling around. In the evening, not easy to find accommodation, all guest houses are full. We end up getting a room with a large mattress on the floor.

The next day, direction Lopburi, a little further north. We meet an Italian on the train (I forget her name, that’s dragging on writing articles!). We spend the day three to visit temples invaded by monkeys. They are not wild, to say the least. They do not hesitate to jump on our bags to see if there is not something to put in their teeth inside. Our partner is even bitten.

We spend two more days in Bangkok to walk around. A last night with O and Gillou at the saxophone bar to listen to a good little concert and then it’s goodbye. Gillou is still two weeks in Thailand with O. I fly to Singapore.