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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The health tourism to the area really took off in the 19th century so many of the buildings are from that era.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once I managed to get ahead and get the camera out fast enough to get a shot of them before they rushed by me.
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.