Last month I got to spend a week in Prague attending the European Antennas and Propagation Conference (EuCAP). It is an interesting place, there are a lot of very old buildings and some stark utilitarian structures from the Communist era. The conference was in a building which was apparently originally built as the Communist headquarters in Prague, it is a vast complex in an imposing location with very impressive views over the city. Another striking communist era construction is the building containing the Prague Hackspace, brmlab. This remarkable venue looks like it could be featured in a Half-Life game. The hackspace seems very active with a vast array of tools and materials gathered in only a year and a half. There were at least three RepRaps in the hardware room and more being produced, a home made laser etching machine and a server room big enough for a large corporation! Unfortunately I didn't get any photos inside the space.
The metro is a very efficient and easy to use transport system with a fairly simple layout of three crossing lines. The C line which goes past the conference center is very shallow and actually crosses the valley in an enclosed bridge slung beneath the road.
The conference attendees were in many ways very stereotypical, a lot of jackets with elbow pads indicating the finest of European RF academics. At the conference dinner there was not enough beer pouring capacity for the large number of engineers present.
Czech cuisine seems to be based around variations on the theme of goulash, potatoes and cabbage. The conference catering was no exception with a variety of different types of goulash available each day along with the ever present Pilsner Urqell beer that is served with every meal.
Tourism seems to be a very important part of the economy here with the popular squares full of people and activity until long past 10pm even on week days and barely room to move at the weekend.
It's been a pretty tiring week with 9.5 hour days Monday to Thursday and a somewhat tempremental thermostat in the hotel room. I'll be glad to get home but the views of the city have been truly spectacular.
Gothic Architecture: The Church of Our Lady before Týn is the burial place of astronomer Tycho Brahe.