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Interview with tour guide Štěpán
1.Hi! Tell us a bit about yourself. What are you studying & what are your hobbies?
I have a degree in Political Science and I am currently finishing another degree – in Theology. I love going fly-fishing, playing my guitar and sports in general – volleyball, jogging, soccer, floorball… and the list goes on! And I love BIKING of course :) I’m a really passionate cyclist.
2.Which languages do you speak?
My mother tongue is Czech :) but I also speak English, Swedish (I studied abroad in Sweden) and a bit of German and Russian. Oh and I’m learning Old Greek at the moment!
3.Which tours do you take care of at Green Lemon? Which are your favourite?
You can see me on Segway as well as Gocycle tours! Can I pick two favourite tours? :) My favourite tours are “Over the Hills of Prague” and “Bike for Beer”. I love nature (hence the first tour) so it’s fun to show visitors that Prague is not only full of cobblestones and historical buildings. I also love longer tours where you can get out of the city for a while and savour the beauty of the countryside – hence the second tour!
4. What are your favourite sights that you frequently come across on a Green Lemon tour?
The Memorial to the Victims of Communism is haunting and, for me personally, a must-see Prague sight. I also love the Strahov Monastery and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
5.What do foreigners find surprising about Prague or the Czech Republic in general?
People are often surprised that Czech universities (in general) don’t have any tuition fees, that beer is so cheap (yes, the ‘cheaper than water’ myth can actually be true!) and that Czech people generally speak many languages.
6.Which Czech dish would you recommend to a first-time visitor?
You have to try “svíčková” as well as “vepřo, knedlo, zelo” when you visit the Czech Republic – it’s a must! Most Czech people have a soft spot for svíčková particularly.
7.What are visitors interested in the most? Any interesting/crazy preferences?
I would say that people are mainly interested in 20th century history, which is understandable. Also, this isn’t really a preference but it’s something that many people always seem to mention: when I mention something that’s “gothic”, people immediately think of the plague, wars and witchcraft. :)
8.What has been the strangest question that someone has asked you on a tour? :)
Hmmm… that’s a bit hard. I guess no one has asked me anything “super strange” so far. :) But people have asked me why it’s not possible to ride a Segway on Charles Bridge.
9.How are your tours different? How are they ‘you’?
I always like to make my tours contextual. And I’m also a big fan of history, so I like to tell visitors all the interesting stories that are tied to the places we visit.
10.What’s different about riding a Segway? Did something about Segways surprise you?
Well, I really didn’t expect that after 6 hours (or more) of riding a Segway, I would need some exercise. :)
11.Tell us about riding a Gocycle. How did you – an experienced cyclist – feel riding this e-bike for the first time?
I was mostly surprised that the bike felt really small – the wheels as well as the bike pedals felt really small in particular. And then when I tested all the different speeds or gears, I was surprised that already on Mode 1 I went as fast as a rocket. :) Pretty cool!
12.Which tour would you recommend to someone who’s not necessarily a sports freak?
I would say a Segway tour, definitely! I think the “Dark Knights” one would be my pick. Where else do you get to experience the city at nightfall from the comfort of a Segway?
13.What’s the coolest part of being a Prague guide? And what about being a Prague local?
The coolest part of being a Prague guide is the ability to meet interesting people from all over the world. I also love the fact that I don’t have an office job - I love being outside every single day! And the best part of being a Prague local? Knowing the streets well :)
14.Tell us an essential Czech word/phrase.
Láska – that’s Czech for love. :)