Transport is generally very important for passengers and good transport. The Czech Republic has developed transport and you can use all main means of transport except marine. There is a dense road and railway net, some airports, several river ports.
The road net has different quality, but is all asphalted. The most quality and safe roads are highways. The roads of 1st class are quite quality and connect bigger towns. Then there are the roads of 2nd and 3rd class, which connect villages and small towns. They are not so good because there isn’t a lot of money to mend them. The roads are used for personal, mass and truck transport.
The railway transport is provided by monopolistic Czech railways. The most of train transport has low quality - trains are dirty and delayed, stations are dirty and full of homeless people. Only rail corridors, which are attached to international rail corridors, are quite modern. Undisputed advantage of railway transport is consideration for nature. The railways are used for mass and heavier cargo transport.
The civil air transport is in the world class. The largest international airport is Ruzyně in Prague, the others are in Brno and Ostrava. You can get anywhere from the Czech Republic by plane. But the military air transport is out of date because of archaic planes. The planes are used for mass and specific cargo transport.
The river transport is not so developed, because there is only one navigable river – the Elbe (from Kolín). The river transport is used mostly for transport of heavy cargo (for example: sand or coal) and of course for tourists.
I think that Czech transport gets better and is step by step integrated to Europe transport system.
We live in the moderate climatic zone. There are quite visible temperature differences between the four year seasons – sprig, summer, autumn and winter. Temperatures in summer are about 20°C and in winter about 0°C. Autumn and spring are transitional periods between summer and winter. Spring is usually warmer and happier than autumn.
The weather is very changeable because our republic is situated in the middle of Europe and there is the border of the oceanic and continental climate. The oceanic climate is in Western Europe and it is very rainy; the temperature differences are quite small between summer and winter. The continental climate is in Eastern Europe and it is dry; the temperature differences are major between summer and winter.
Every winter it snows. Above 500 meters above the sea level, snow keeps whole winter there, but in lowlands there is snow for only one or two days. There are no hurricanes but sometimes there are droughts or floods. The raining is quite normal and not very often it is connected with thunderstorms.
I like this weather, because in summer we can swim and in winter we can ski.
Shopping is money exchange for goods. It is continuing of barter trade. But nowadays the world is functional complicatedly, therefore you need special facilities – shops. I think there is no uniqueness in Czech shops and Czech shopping habits.
Shops are usually opened from 8 a. m. to 6 p. m. or 7 p. m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays the shops are opened from 8 or 9 a. m. to 11 a. m. or 12 p. m. On Sundays the shops are closed except Večerkas, NON-STOP shops and some exceptions.
When we go shopping, we can go either to a big department store or to the shop which specializes in some extra goods, e.g.: The greengrocer specializes in fruit and vegetables, butcher in meat, baker in bread and cakes, ironmonger in metal goods (tools, nails, pans, pots), florist in flowers, draper in clothes, fishmonger in fish, etc…
Food is sold in a self-service shop or in a supermarket. The supermarket is bigger and includes chemist’s and ironmonger’s too. A hypermarket is very large, sells all kinds of food and house and kitchen tackles. A typical feature of big cities is a department store. It is a huge building equipped with speedy lifts and escalators. You can buy everything from foods to furniture here. There is a special department for looking after your children. At the exit there are cash desks where you pay for all goods, which you choose. You can pay either cash or with your credit cards.
As for Czech shopping habits, an average Czech family goes shopping every day for necessary food, once a week they do one big purchase for the weekend and from time to time they have to buy shoes, clothes, household utensil, equipment and furniture.
The countryside is everything that is not a city or a town. It is combination of beautiful nature and picturesque villages. It is naturally coexistence between people and nature, which were there from time out of mind.
I think the Czech countryside has two characters. The first character is an arranged, clean and tidy village primary designated for tourism or tourism services. They are placed in the Czech Paradise, South Bohemia or mountains generally. The second character is not a reformed, dirty and untidy village, which looks like 13 years ago – before the velvet revolution, primary designated for agriculture. They are mostly in South Moravia or North Bohemia.
The countryside and life in a village has of course advantages, but also disadvantages. There are good living conditions for you and especially for your children. There is fresh air without emissions. You live in beautiful nature. You don’t hear various noises. But every plus brings also the minus. There is no privacy, because everyone knows everything. There is mostly only one local shop – grocer’s, which is expensive and without wide offer. If you need to go to city, there is a problem with bus or train connection. There is a problem with finding a job at all. And there are no possibilities for modern cultural life.
The countryside is very good for people, who like living without cities’ hurry and noise, who like observance of traditions and who don’t mind hard work.
5. srpen 2007