My name is Jam, I'm running this project, living here in Czech many years as a musician and seller of vintage stuff. Originally from Australia.
About the place. The place is located between Prague and Plzen. A direct train will take you to Prague in an hour, to Plzen in 45 minutes. Historic castle in Zbiroh, on a hill 3 km away, plenty of lakes around. Some really great places to walk and ride. We have bikes you can use.
How the volunteering works here.
-Arrive on the Tuesday evening. Stay is 12-14 days. Depending on the time of year, time we get up varies, yet i like to start early and volunteers don't work on Mondays and Tuesdays. Start and finish the volunteering with the same group, volunteering starts every second week. A minimum of two volunteers is needed for a group to start.
This year a non-profit organisation started within the station. The general mission statement of the organisation is. For the last 3 years volunteers have helped with the re-birth of the old railway station, that is a cultural monument. The non profit organisation is a means for more people to get involved, a foundation for the building and a way to bring events to the community.
About the station: The station was built in 1910,and taken off the tracks in 2012, I moved here in December 2014, have been living in Czech for more than years. Karez Station is the nearest working train station, it's about a 10-15 minute walk away from the station. A lot of varied jobs at the station, focusing on restoration & refitting the place and creating new uses and I still sell vintage things on ebay. The main income for the building is short term rental of the flats to tourists, and its going really well. So jobs revolve around these two businesses mostly and the gardens.
I have a lot of ideas on how to organize the station and what to set up here. A gallery, a stop over point for bike riders, a community workshop area with café, maybe even brew our own drink. What ideas stick with the place who can say, yet many things are possible, plenty of space to do things.
About the building.
The building has 6 flats. Area has its own water supply and land, so it also has the potential to grow things. We have made some pallets and planted strawberries. A lot has been achieved with the help of volunteers, anyone who saw the station in February 2015 can see that quite a lot has already been done.
Please start any message when applying to this project with. "Hi Jam"
Otherwise i will respond with "Please read my profile"
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
There are many rooms and places which need attention: stripping the old vinyl floor, getting rid of rubble, sanding and painting, cleaning, washing, electrical, plumbing, painting windows. I have an online business selling mostly furniture.The online rental business starts to build up and i often of groups now of 10-15 people staying in the short term rental flats.
Since i have started with workaway i have had around 250 volunteers here. So i have good experience with things. For me it's important that volunteers can put themselves aside, and focus on task the best they can work for 5 hours.
things to bring.
-Flip flops to protect your feet in the showers.
-the right cloths for the right season.
Instructions on how to get here for your arrival Sunday night.
Train leaves Prague main station "Hlavni Nadrazi" at 7:14 PM, arrives at Kařez 8:15 PM, a 5 minute bus ride will take you from station "Kařez" to station to "Zbiroh". Yet the actual place where the station is, is called "Borek", so ask for a bus ticket from the driver and say "Borek prosím". The bus will meet the train, and the bus stop "Borek" is directly outside the no-longer used station "Zbiroh". The entrance to the station is from the platform side. The ticket from Hlavni Nadrazi is 100CZ crowns, and the ticket from Kařez to Borek is 10CZ, a total cost of around 4 Euro's and 30 Euro cents. If you travel as a group, a group ticket is cheaper.
If the train is running more than 15 minutes late, text me, text me also when you are on the train, I'll send you my number. Don't expect many strangers to speak English, and also when asking for a ticket from the main station in Prague, called "Hlavni Nadrazi", be aware of the pronunciation/spelling of the station "Kařez".
What you can expect coming to the station:
- food vegetarian.
- a bed in a shared bedroom.
- washing machine.
- Internet connection.
- wood and electric stove in the kitchen.
Your experience depends a lot on your attitude, my attitude and what's happening at the time. Its important that you find somewhere in this project that fits for you, so ask for a link to my blog and feel free to discuss how you might help before you arrive, writing this reminds me that i have to improve the blog...
Smoke cigarettes outside of the station on the platform, no drugs or alcohol at the station. The place is vegetarian. There are some restaurants close for meat-eaters and drinkers. If you do drink locally though, drink moderately, in bed by 11PM and keep physical contact with the other volunteers to a minimum. Don't use smart phone during meal times and breaks, think about putting your smart phone in your bag during work time. The space is more of a retreat than a hostel, use your common sense and respect the rules. Or leave.
With online apartment rental. Don't plan activities with the guests at the station or outside the station. The station is for them, and they are paying, what they pay supports the project. Be friendly, communicate and tell them your story though.
Interesting castles that are close to the station: Zbiroh, Tocnik, Karlštejn & Křivoklát. You can ride a bike from the station to castles Zbiroh & Tocnik, or catch a train to Karlštejn & Křivoklát, use the website to find the times of trains. Cut and paste into this website IDOS is "Kařez,,Borek". That's US. All castles have their own websites.
Use the bus stop directly outside the station and goto off beat small towns near the station. Get off the bus, go for a walk, have a beer and then get back on the bus. Be aware though that the buses don't run so often, so be a couple of minutes early always & make sure you're on the correct side of the road, for the ride back. Bus drivers around here are not so tolerant of foreigners, don't take offense though, they are not so nice to anyone. Its a good idea to have your small change ready though, maybe even a note pad with your destination.
An interesting abandoned brewery is near the station. Once the police caught me at the brewery with volunteers and explained that it's private property, so if you visit this destination, don't mention me or the station. I've sent 100's of people to this space with no fuss. Ask me for the exact location, it's on the way to Zbiroh castle. The brewery is huge and could be mistaken for the castle..
Two lakes are directly next to the station, if you need to clear your mind and relax, go for a walk around these lakes or take a bike.
Trip to Prague after volunteering. Its possible to catch the train that leaves from the station after working as a volunteer at 3:35PM Karez, and a train leaves from Prague back at 11:22 PM, arriving at Karez 12:22PM, a path connects the Karez station with the old Zbiroh station (where I am). Your able to do this trip, yet if you miss the train back. The next one does not leave till 4:32AM in the morning, so don't miss it. This train does not run on Saturday nights.
Often i find that groups stick together, so if one person does not ride a bike the others want. It works well, to pick at least one day of the 5 day week, to do an activity with just you.
A Trip to Plzen from Karez, it's about 40 minutes. Be aware that the last direct train back is at about 8:40, Plzen does not have any hostels.
Things to visit in Plzen.
-Pilsner Urquell Brewery was the first brewery in the world to produce a light ale, they run regular tours all day.
-Visit the depo2015, interesting gallery/cafe/makers space and shared work space.
-The Jewish Synagogue often has exhibitions.
-Plzen also has a two nice tea houses near the centre, Perlová čajovna & Cajovna u Pekla. Tea culture is popular in the Czech republic, most major towns and cities have a tea houses.
Will continue to update here with more trips & things to do.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Most travelers that come here benefit from being able to take some time out from the regular travel life, making new connections while working together. I do my best to make sure that you have things to do and places to see in your free time. There are plenty of things to do and interesting things to see that are close to the station, and the station is close to a new train station (Kařez), a bus stop is at the station (Borek). Look up the location of the station on google maps & ask me for a link to the blog. Also I have a bunch of bikes, so you can ride them around.
Tasks include. Sanding and varnishing of floors, building pallet gardens, sanding and painting windows, working with vintage interiors in rental flats, cleaning, packing, photographing and listing of vintage things, bee keeping, seeding and moving soil for new gardens, helping with cooking.
For the weekend i ask that people goto Prague and stay at a hostel for the Friday & Saturday night. I have a discount code for staying at a good hostel in Prague 7. Its 10-20 percent less, depending on the time of year. So ask me for that code and consider staying at this hostel, before, after and during your stay. I don't demand that people stay in Prague for the weekends, yet if you want to stay at the station for your whole time. Let me know this before you arrive.
This profile was updated 20th of October 2017.
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