Mushrooms, sushi and vikings

Leigh negotiating with the weather gods

The title refers to the activities in my last weekend 🙂 Don’t say I’m not trying to diversifying. But more on that later, first let me catch up.

Since I got back from Denmark I’ve been quite busy with work but have also had time for some other activities.

Mikkel and Prague

First Mikkel, one of my thesis buddies from Aalborg, came to visit. It was a long time since I had had time to catch up with Mikkel so it was great to have him in Prague. Mikkel is an avid cook and took over the kitchen a number of times to great delight for me and some friends.

While Mikkel was here I finally got around to go on a city tour of Prague with Helge who I have know for most of my time here. I should have done it a long time ago because the tour covers a lot of Prague history and the central areas and buildings. I’d recommend it for any Dane going to Prague and for English speaking people they do private tours.

In front of the Prague castle

After Mikkel left I took it easy for a weekend and only got out to go to Bohemian Jazz Festival on Old Town Square. To my surprise the first band playing was Magnus fra Gaarden, a danish band dressed in cow and 80s costumes playing jazz mixed with electric guitar. Interesting combination. The next act, Josefine Lindstrand was also really cool.

Josefine Lindstrand in Prague

on to the last weekend which started out Friday night at a friends place. He had just gotten back from a visit to his native Hungary and had brought some homemade wine and grappa, which kept us entertained for the night.

Saturday I went to another friends place were we had a sushi party spending all night rolling and eating sushi till we were rolling ourselves.

Ready to try our creations

Sunday I tried to combat the overeating from the night before by watching other people sweet it out as they were engaged in real combat.


An hours drive south of Prague a 9th century festival called Rogar – Blood of the North was taking place. They had set up camp and was living in tents making food over open fire and creating weapons and jewelery in the styles and methods of the era.

Face off

The highlight of the festival was the battle. Around 40 guys were suited out in body armor, helmets and weaponry and went at it in full force for about an hour. They fought until everyone was “killed”, then got up again and started over. (here’s a short video)

Spear vs sword

After the battling we went on a hike by the nearby Slapy Reservoir. The picture at the top of this post is Leigh holding up some of the mushrooms we found. Simona is Czech and she knew what was edible and here is some of the stuff we found.

Simona and Leigh with mushrooms

I have never seen mushrooms as big as a plate before and I would have never dared to touch them if it hadn’t been for Simona. It seems to be a national sport in Czech Republic to go mushroom hunting. Yesterday Simona cooked they ones we found and I must say it was very delicious and I see why its fun collecting mushrooms.

That was sort of a brief overview of what I’ve been up to.

I haven’t mentioned it on my blog before but I will be leaving Prague in mid-September to move to London. And last week Ann and I signed the contract for a place near Willesden Green where we are going to live 😀 So with less than two months to go I will enjoy Prague and surroundings as much as I can.

Outdoor weekends in Czech Republic

The canoes on shore for a break

The weather has been great the last couple of weeks which worked out perfect for the things I ended up doing.

Three weeks ago some friends had organized a canoe trip. So we were 10 people who took the train to a small village where you could rent canoes and set out for a relaxed day on the river. Glee had a diving case for a camera so we could take some pictures and video while we were on the water.

Cruising down the stream

Along the route there was a couple of small cabins where you could get cold beer and a sausage. Here we are at our first stop.

First pit stop

This is one of the cool things about doing outdoor stuff in Czech Republic you come across these small beer and grill places in many of the areas where people go to do outdoor stuff. The next place we stopped for a beer Dominic ended up behind the counter selling t-shirts along with a pretty drunk Czech guy. Good fun 🙂

Selling your VIP tshirts of course!

A few times we had to cross some tricky passages and we tipped over and had to get the water out of the canoes but most of the time it was pretty easy sailing.


The next weekend I went with Cyril and Patricia to Karlovy Vary a famous Czech spa town 2 hours from Prague. The legend tells that the hot springs in the area was discovered when Charles IV was hunting in the area and one of his dogs fell into a hole with the hot water and started howling. From then on the city became a place were people went to get healed by the mineral-rich water.

Well number 11

Today the 13 main hot springs have fountains scattered over the city. The water varies a bit in temperature, but I’m not really sure the mineral content is that different from the different springs. There were quite a lot of people in the town and many of them were walking around with these silly porcelain pots that looked like a nose bidet sipping from the hot water.

Well number 11

The health tourism to the area really took off in the 19th century so many of the buildings are from that era.

Art Deco house
Market Colonnade

In James Bond’s Casino Royal the hotel used in the film for the casino scene was the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary so we of course had to go down and check it out.

Grandhotel Pupp

After having walked around the city for half the day we decided to treat ourselves and spend some time in the outdoor pool with the best view I have seen. The water is 1/3 hot spring water and 2/3 regular sweet water. Here we are in front of the pool. (See it without us or as a panoramic view.)

Us in Karlovy Vary

Last weekend the good weather continued so Saturday I went on a bike trip on my own up along the the Vltava river that runs through Prague. There is a bike route right along the river. Sometimes a bit too close for comfort but I managed to stay on the path.

My bike

Here there also was little refreshment stalls for every few kilometer so no need to go hungry or thirsty. I went up the river about 20km and then took a boat across with my bike and rode back on the other side.

Taking the boat bus

Sunday I went on a bike ride again, this time with two friends. We took a train two hours south east of Prague and biked on some small trail along a creek.

Marcus on one of the bridges across the creek

Here is one of the stretches in the open where I got my camera out. You can spot Aurel and Marcus as two tiny dots along the edge of the forest.


And of course there was a place in the middle of nowhere where we could get a beer and relax before heading off.

Beer break

Once I managed to get ahead and get the camera out fast enough to get a shot of them before they rushed by me.

Over the fields

Around lunch time we came across some kind of sporting event that we first thought was a game of football. It turned out to be some sort of firemen competition where a team of 8 people would rush to a pump and set up tubes and try to hit some targets with water. Very good entertainment before we headed back to Prague.

I’m looking forward to spending the summer in and around Prague. Still so much to see and do. This weekend a couple from Cambridge and I’m a tour guide in Prague.