Use Exciting History Podcasts To Revolutionize Your Travel

Exciting history podcasts. That’s right. I used those three words in one sentence without a hint of sarcasm or satire. They’re few and far between, but they do exist and holy smokes will they surprise you and revolutionize how you understand world history and the destinations you’re visiting.

Unless you were a history major (and even then), chances are good that you haven’t done a deep dive into a specific region or civilization’s history since you were a kid.  The history you got as a kid was useful, but also likely full of holes and deeply biased. Upon landing in a new city, it’s common to do a very shallow and cursory dive into the city/country/region’s history but that rarely goes beyond “This wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD.”  Who was Hadrian?  Where does he fit in the greater Roman history?  Why was he building a wall? Who the hell knows. For most of us those are the mysteries that are lost to time – both in the sense that even if we did know the answers we likely forgot them, and if we didn’t …. well, time is precious and even those of us with a desire to read historical texts like Meditations or in-depth period histories rarely find (or make) the time for them.

Prague’s Bridges at Night – Weekly Travel Photo

Prague's Bridges at Night

One of the best parts about Prague is its incredible series of bridges.  They line the lazy bends in the river and create a unique texture that somehow snags the eye and pulls it in.   By day the bridges inspire with their varied architecture – some modern, some historic.  By night they entreat the onlooking eye with a blur of light and color.

While the most famous is, of course, Charles Bridge with its wide pedestrian walkway and series of statues representing saints and kings, each bidge has its own storz and charm.  This photo was captured on a snowy evening from a park that sits opposite Prague Castle.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a  Canon T3i (600D) Camera.

Charles Bridge at Night – Weekly Travel Photo

Charles Bridge at Night - Prague

With the crisp crunch of fresh snow under boot I made my way down to one of Prague’s signature landmarks. It was 1:30AM and the temperature had dropped to about -10 degrees Celsius.  It was cold.  Brutally cold. Luckily, the light wind had died down and all that was left were brief waves of light snowfall.  Snowfall so sporadic and with flakes so light that they slowly drifted to earth, seemingly defying gravity all the way until the last moment when they threaded their crystalline structure in with the myriad of beautiful shapes already decorating the bridge’s cold stones.  There were only a few of us willing to brave the late hour, cold and snow – a rare opportunity and occurrence for one of Prague’s most popular landmarks.

So it was that I stood huddled behind my camera and tripod snapping photos and waiting for half-drunk, star struck lovers to wander their way along the bridge, pausing periodically for a deep kiss.  If not couples, it was small groups of party goers slowly wandering their way back to their hostels.  Perhaps the most colorful was a young man in his late 20s who was completely sloshed, had a red rose with long stem in one hand along with a cigar.  In the other, he delicately held a nearly full wine glass.  As he passed he smiled and nodded, almost skipping as he walked – caught completely in the moment.  He looked the part of a dandy, fashionable dress shoes, long light colored scarf, and jacket hanging open in apparently defiance of the weather.  Shortly after passing me he slipped on the ice, and went down in a roll, somehow managing to not only keep his wine glass in hand but to keep it from sloshing too much of the wine onto the snow.  An impressive accomplishment

Charles Bridge is a beautiful structure.  Lined by imposing statues, and with two large guard towers standing vigil at either end it embodies everything a historic bridge should be.  It stretches across Prague’s Vltava River and is was built over a 60 year period in the late 1300s and early 1400s.  If you find yourself in Prague, don’t just settle for a mid-day viewing when the bridge is covered in vendors, buskers and tourists.  Bundle up and head down to catch it in its empty glory.  It is a beautiful and memorable site!

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a  Canon T3i (600D) Camera.