Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cesky Raj

I’m trying to catch up on writing about all of the trips from this summer before I forget everything. I guess a big part of why I do this is for my own selfish reasons so that some years down the road I can look back at this blog and not have to struggle to remember. Of course for now it’s all about the people back home and others I’ve met along the journey!

I did a trip to Cesky Raj or Czech Paradise, a region in the north, back in the beginning of August with a huge group of friends from Prague. We were all looking for an excuse to leave the city and for a weekend pretend like we’re nature folk (you all know what I mean… I don’t deny that I’m a city girl). So about 20 of us met at the train station and headed off to Semily, a little town in northern Czech Republic. It took 3 hours and 3 different trains to get there but I was impressed we managed considering our big group. Somehow the wine bottles were open before I even sat down on the first train.

The hotel we stayed at was a completely communist looking building that reminded me a little bit of the dorms in Slovakia, but it was dirt cheap and fairly clean. The people at the hotel were nice enough to find us a restaurant that can seat 20 people at 10 o’clock at night, 20 non-Czech speakers at that. I realized how inflated the prices are in Prague compared to the rest of the country. We had beer at several places for 18czk a pint (that’s less than a dollar Canadian), the average in Prague is 30 at least and I’ve seen places in the Old Town Square that charge 90 even. Such a crime really.

Our first day there we went on a hike to Mala Scala which is this region with rock formations that literally rise out of the ground like trees. Getting going was tough for all of us. Everyone was huffing and puffing and removing items of clothing after less than half an hour of hiking. Once we got our heart rate going though, we were ok. All the trails are really well marked and there were a few great lookout points. But keeping all of us together was a bit of a challenge and we kept having to stop and wait for others to catch up. Patience is not my greatest virtue I’m afraid. The area was different than anywhere I’ve ever been before because there were these huge boulders in the middle of the forest and they would come out of nowhere.

After lunch, we headed off for another hike to get to this little church on the mountain but unfortunately we got lost in the forest and didn’t make it. I started thinking something was off when we had to climb over fallen trees and other debris. Not a huge loss though. Instead we went for a couple more drinks as everyone was so excited about the prices!

That night the plan was to go out and party, but being that it was a small city, the club is only open on Friday nights. Should have figured. Some people went back to the center while I stayed back at the hotel with several of the boys to play Texas hold em poker. It was my first time actually playing through the whole game and to add to that I WON!! Everybody in the rooms below mine knew it too because they heard me jumping around doing my happy dance at 3 in the morning!

Half of us left for Prague Sunday afternoon while the rest of them stayed back and did some more hiking. I was so exhausted when I came home and that when I realized that I had the flat all to myself I decided to take a nap which actually turned into a 3 hour break from reality. It was a great end to a an exceptionally great weekend!


Post a Comment

<< Home