The Prague Spectator no. 3: Plastic waste, plants, pictures, books, fleamarket stuff, garbage separation.

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This post is about us. It is maybe not the usual way a hotel gets advertised. But it’s absolutely true.

Let me tell you what this is about. When we got the little guesthouse in September 2015 we decided it needed a unique idea that corresponded to our own convictions.

So there was this cultural focus – books, videos, a digital library, city walks, information about practically everything, and, starting from April or March 2017, small events on such topics. It’s meanwhile about 400 books on Prague and Central European history, on art, architecture, music, and so on. Many of the books are from Prague’s marvellous antiquarians and from my own library.

die-prager-universitat-karls-ivGuests can donate, and so we got quite a few interesting books from them already. Fred from the UK gave us a huge picture book on Prague’s famous passages, those almost secret doorways with an exit on the other end which help to escape the enormous crowds of tourists in Prague’s downtown. The “Deutsches Kulturforum östliches Europa”, the Berlin based German Forum for Eastern Europe got aware of our activities and sends us three of their recent books for free.

The cinema in our street that a few smart young guys re-opened after 30 years with a very selected programme offered us to show old Czech movies, borrowed from Prague’s huge National Movie Archive, subtitled or, as rarities, in their German version. I’ll add a little lecture on the background of the movie and sometimes a walk to the movie locations.

Then we said we want to focus on ecology. Each room has two boxes for collecting paper, bottles, plastic and drink boxes. We’re cutting colored water and coke bottles across and use the rings and bottoms as decoration. We are collecting lots of second hand equipment and try to put it back into usage, like furniture, lamps, kitchenware, decoration items. Our guests get their green tea in beautiful old cups we got from one of our grandmothers. Walking to work in the morning I found a Gauguin print in a garbage heap, no original though, but good enough to hang on one of our corridor walls within 10 minutes.

img_3025Plants, lots of plants on our front, in the breakfast café, in the rooms and corridors, planted in pots, old cups, tin cans and 1 kilo yogurt pots. Guests get little watering cans to take care of them.

We have no car. For shopping we walk to a nearby supermarket. Those walks are always a pleasure as we only have to cross the beautiful park around the corner, the former garden of Jewish-German millionaire Moritz Gröbe whose villa and vinyard are the dominants of the park.

We reuse garbage bags if somewhat clean to pack the plastic for the garbage separation containers nearby.

We cut the butter into portions and fill the jams into small glass jars. As little pre-packed stuff as possible. Bread that gets dry is a treat for our little dog.

One of our guests recently said, that when he walked into his room he had the feeling he walked into a living room.

We got 200 reviews on airbnb and a hundred on Tripadvisor.

See for yourself. You’re welcome.

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