IAESTE CECzechia 2022 will take place in a beautiful historical monument, the Nečtiny Castle, which is located not far from the city Pilsen. Fun fact: the area of Nečtiny is known to have very low amounts of light smog, making it one of the darkest places with best night sky visibility in Europe!
The first written mention of the village of Nečtiny dates back to 1169, when a fortress belonging probably to the ancestors of the Beneds of Nečtiny stood on the site of the present parish church in the village of Nečtiny.
At the beginning of the 14th century, the area became royal property and in the 1430s, John of Luxembourg had built Preitenštejn Castle here as a royal stronghold. It was then in the direct possession of Charles IV, his son Wenceslas IV and other rulers.
Figure 1: Historical painting of Nečtiny
In 1549 Nečtiny belonged to Florian Gryspek of Gryspach and he probably started the construction of a Renaissance castle under the ruined Preitenštejn. Below the castle, a mill and a brewery were established on a newly founded pond.
The castle underwent its greatest reconstruction between 1855 and 1858, when a French-German family had it rebuilt in the Tudor Gothic style. Since then, the castle has been dominated by
a square tower and decorated with triangular gables, battlements and polygonal turrets.
The devastating fire of 1964 was an unmitigated disaster, turning the castle into ruins and completely destroying the magnificent carvings in the interiors. Only the square tower and the chapel were spared.
After the fire, the castle was restored to its original beauty, at least in its external appearance.
Figure 2: Period photography of Nečtiny.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL TIPS TO IAESTE CEC
It is 2022, and yes, we should reconsider the way we travel to conferences! By now, we are all well aware of how flights greatly contribute to our carbon footprint. One of the ways we can lower our impact on the environment is by flying less. You might start feeling guilty, being angry or scared by this introduction. Therefore, we offer you some inspiration on how to avoid this sudden existential crisis and simply tackle this ethical question with a step by step approach!
Let’s skip the discussion about the sense and nonsense of taking a flight or not. Instead, what about using common sense to determine whether to take a flight or not?
BOOKING TRAINS 101
The sad truth is that the perfect train-ticket-search-engine is not invented yet. Therefore, we introduce you to a man who is going to save your life: Mark Smith, the man in seat 61, the hero who is smarter than any search engine and who will guide you through the dark labyrinth of vague ticket sales, all the way towards the holy grail of responsible travelers: cheap, easy and comfortable train trips! Give it a try and check out his blog: www.seat61.com! Trains trips to Prague can cost as much as 14 euros from Vienna, 15 euros from Munich, 17 euros from Bratislava, 21 euros from Brussels, 21 euros from Budapest, 43 euros from Zagreb, 43 euros from Ljubljana, 50 euros from Amsterdam,… When booking your tickets, consider a ticket straight to Pilsen and not to Prague – Pilsen is much closer to the venue.
To reduce your impact optimally, try to travel together. Fill (a) car(s) with your LC members and go on a road trip to CEC! Not only is it a great teambuilding activity, but it is also an excellent recipe for spontaneous adventures, tested and approved of by many travelers throughout the times
BUSES TO PRAGUE OR PILSEN 101
Buses are a great alternative, especially if you are on a budget. Two operators we have tested and approved of are Flixbus and Regiojet. Both offer cheap rides from many locations, as well as the option to save time and take night buses.
Reduced fares with Flixbus vouchers and ask other members to obtain a promo code!
- To Prague from Dresden, Krakow or Bratislava for 10 euros, from Warsaw for 11 euros, from Vienna or Jena for 13 euros, from Munich for 15 euros, from Budapest for 16 euros, from Brussels, Ljubljana or Zagreb for 30 euros, from Sarajevo or Amsterdam for 35 euros,…
- To Pilsen from Munich for 12 euros, from Dresden or Krakow for 16 euros, from Warsaw for 30 euros,…
Reduced fares for students with ISIC cards!
- To Prague from Bratislava or Vienna for 6 euros, from Krakow for 11 euros, from Dresden for 12 euros, from Budapest for 16 euros, from Munich for 18 euros, from Amsterdam for 42 euros, from Brussels for 35 euros,…
- To Pilsen from Bratislava or Vienna for 6 euros, from Krakow for 8 euros, from Dresden for 13 euros, from Budapest for 16 euros, from Munich for 18 euros, from Amsterdam for 32 euros, from Brussels for 35 euros,…
Pro tip: on some routes Flixbus and Regiojet have comparable offers, however, Regiojet might go a lot faster as there are sometimes fewer stops in between. The services are very comparable, except for the larger comfortable busses if you travel with Flixbus, versus the English speaking steward(ess), entertainment system, and free hot drinks if you travel with Regiojet.
We do realize that there are many reasons why, after all the above-mentioned alternatives, a plane is sometimes just the most convenient means of transport. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that, as it is completely understandable. Yes, we have to admit that not all alternatives are as easy or optimal as hopping on a plane.
Even when taking a flight, you can do good, by compensating your emissions with carbon offsets. Some flight operators offer the option to pay for your emissions during the ticket selling procedure. If not, you can still compensate through the following funds:
- Atmosfair in Germany (who have a particularly good calculator which rates airline efficiency and includes other greenhouses gases as well as CO2);
- MyClimate in Switzerland;
- Climate Care in the UK;
- Terrapass in the US.
After all, if you have followed these responsible travel tips, you cannot blame yourself for choosing the airways in the end. At least you thought about it and considered alternatives!
REACHING THE VENUE FROM PILSEN RAILWAY STATION
To reach the Nečtiny Castle from the Pilsen railway station, there are two options – either by bus to the Pilsen central bus station (CAN Plzeň) and then by bus to Nečtiny, or you can take a train to Plasy and then switch to bus straight to Nečtiny. From the bus to Nečtiny Castle it is just a little bit of walking.
REACHING THE VENUE FROM PILSEN CENTRAL BUS STATION (CAN Plzeň)
Reaching Nečtiny from CAN Plzeň is easier, as there is a an immediate connection to Nečtiny. If you miss that one, no problem! There is always the option to take a different bus and switch in the middle of the way, or wait for the next bus straight to Nečtiny.
REACHING THE VENUE FROM THE AIRPORT
After you land in Prague, the closest airport, you need to get a bus number 100 with direction Zličín in front of the terminal. There you will need to change to bus to Pilsen. We recommend you use Regiojet or Flixbus to reach CAN Plzeň. You can buy bus tickets on their website. For the way from CAN Plzeň to Nečtiny, do check out the previous paragraph.
BUYING TICKETS FOR PILSEN/PRAGUE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
All public transport vehicles in Pilsen support buying tickets with your credit cards directly in vehicles. You can buy 30, 60 or 180 minute tickets.
We recommend downloading app Lítačka, which allows you to buy a ticket directly with your phone and pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay. There is also a possibility to buy bus tickets in machines at the bus station.