Prague – Czech Republic

The flight into Prague from Santorini via Athens was uneventful. Unless you count the other Americans who were anxious and obnoxious about the transfer in Athens. Ha!

We arrived at our beautiful flat and loved the terrace and the view of the leaves changing. As usual, the initial arrival at a new place is a little nerve racking. Almost every place feels a little unwelcoming. But that usually changes once I get around a bit. New and different is scary to me at first. But soon it feels comfortable like home.

 

Taking the tram to go shopping was a bit of a challenge. First, realizing I need to buy a ticket before getting on board. Then the machine only takes coins. And I don’t have any.  Then it only takes exact change which I don’t have. So I end up buying a 24 hour pass even though I know I don’t need it. Because that is the one I have exact change for. Ha.

Shopping is always an experience. I wander the store taking mental inventory to figure what is there that I can make into a meal. Then I wander around picking up stuff. Forgetting some. Ending up with 4 times as much stuff as anyone else.  Ha. Most times people are looking at me suspiciously like I’m going to steal stuff. Ha. I just try to smile and not act anymore suspicious than necessary.

 

Home. Cook dinner. Drink too much wine. Ha. Chill. sleep!!

 

Next day is a chill day. I spend a lot of time researching South America. And updating the blog itinerary and uploading pictures for the blog.  Cook dinner.

 

The next day we are scheduled for the bobsleigh Trip. It is delayed slightly due to rain. Which kind of messes up our afternoon plans to see the bone chapel an hour outside of Prague.  Next time I guess

 

The bobsleigh/tobogganing was really fun. It looked like nothing when we got there. No cars around and just a snow/ski shop up front. You would never know it was there! Just a nondescript set of steps leading back to it.

 

As usual in Europe vs the USA there is minimal safety enforced. We are told if we go too fast around turns we might flip or be tossed out. And if we are tossed, to get back on again before the person behind us catches up and hits us. Ha. I work up speed over the 5 runs we take. We have a single lever. Push it forward and it’s no brake – full speed. Let it go and it’s in the upright position with some braking. Pull it back for maximum braking but Still this doesn’t stop you too fast. As Laney knows because at one point I hit her. Ha. I guess if you stop TOO FAST you will go flying. Ha.  We have the place pretty much to ourselves. It’s very quiet almost no one else is there probably because the weather isn’t great. It was really fun though.

 

 

 

 

Pizza and beers are included but they frown on drinking before you ride. Ha

 

Our guide Tina is really friendly and we talk about places we have been and things we would like to do. She and her boyfriend are into sports similar to us. Snowboarding. Wakeboarding. . Though water isn’t Tina’s favorite thing. We connect on Facebook and I hope I hear from her when she comes to the US.

 

After we’re done our rides and pizza and a beer for me, Tina drops us in the old town area.

She points out a bar where the drinks are delivered by train. Very cute!! The tables are marked with a number and the same number is on the track. The train stops for a certain period of time I think. I take time to get a picture and almost don’t have enough time to grab my drink before it shoots away!  Our table is by the window on the far side of the restaurant so we have to lift up part of the track to get to our table and back out again. Just have to be sure there’s no train coming! Ha! It opens ‘up’ like opening a counter to get behind a bar.

 

 

 

We wander a bit in the old town. Wenceslas Square.  Buy a pastry of unknown name and taste but it’s very good.

I’m feeling a bit punky so I treat myself to some hot mulled wine. Hit the spot. Love That I can buy that on the street from a food cart. Ha.

We do some shopping and wandering around then have an early dinner. Asian. Ha.

Then catch the tram home even though it’s early because we are both tired. On the way to the tram we pass a cool candy store. I took a couple pics before Laney told me that pics are not allowed. Very cool place.

 

On the way to our place I had seen this bar a few times. I’m not sure what the Idea was with this name and sign but I  personally don’t find it too welcoming.

Home for chill and bed.

 

The next day is Friday. Our last day in Prague. Now is when I really regret that chill day. But sometimes you just have to do it!!

We are scheduled for a shooting experience the next morning. Steve picks us up in his car and we drive about an hour. It’s great talking with Steve because he has traveled to a place I am currently planning.  Borneo. This is an island of Malaysia and Indonesia and one other small country called Brunei. He promises to send me some suggestions for when we are there. Places to stay (City/towns) and things to do. Seems we are somewhat like minded in what we like to do.

 

We arrive at a place in the middle of nowhere. It’s amazing how much Laney has changed since we started this trip. In the first few weeks she would have been eyeballing me during the drive like “where is he taking us?” And “this is the middle of nowhere.!!” “How do you know he’s not an axe murderer???”  Now she’s just chill. Ha.

 

It IS the middle of nowhere. But I guess that’s the best place to shoot guns right? Where no one can be hurt?

 

There are several shooting areas. We go to the furthest and our driver says we can get out. I ask if he is staying. He says yes. Ok. I was just a tad concerned about whether the shooting range folks would speak English and know about our experience/package etc. No reason to worry, though, as Andrew – our gun guide- is very friendly and speaks great English just like Steve. He walks us through a safety briefing. Which I listen to intently (because I can only understand about 60% of what he says HA!). Then they show us some guns and we start shooting!

 

Included in our package are:
AK47
M16
Magnum .357 (Ruger GP100)
CZ Scorpion EVO 3submachine gun
Dragunov Sniper rifle
Beretta 92 9mm
Kris Vector .45 ACP (semi automatic)
Desert Eagle .50 AE
Fabarm STF 12 (12 Gauge pump action shotgun)

 

Below: AK 47

Below: M16

 

Below: CZ Scorpion EVO 3


Below: Magnum 357 Ruger GP100

 

Below: Fabarm STF 12gauge Pump Action Shotgun

Below: Desert Eagle

Below: Dragunov Sniper

 

Below: Beretta

 

Below: Kris Vector

I go first shooting the 4 guns on the table. Handgun, then 3 rifle type guns. I am slow to aim, but do pretty well in hitting the primary target areas! I score a 35 out of 50 on most of them.

 

Laney is next. Her shooting is similarly good!

 

After we finish the first 4 they give us options on adding more to our experience. They show and explain about 12 different guns. Between the accent and not knowing ANYTHING about guns, I glaze over after the first few. Most of these words mean nothing to me. One I understand – Desert Eagle. Looks bada$$. Laney chooses a Beretta and a Kris Vector semi automatic. I chose the Desert Eagle of course. WHOO HOO! This one costs as much to shoot one round as the others do for  5 shots. YIKES! And they tell us we will go to a different range for the shotgun and the sniper shooting.

 

 

As I’m getting ready to shoot the Desert Eagle everyone is watching (there were 3 other guys there besides Andrew) and they are all smirking. I’m like “what are you all smiling at? What am I getting into here?”  “Just a big kickback” they say. Ha. Yeah!!!  Like it popped right out of my left hand!!! the right hand held firm though. I had no idea it would pop UP. I would have held on more tightly. Ha. But I hit the target. That was one hell of a handgun. Heavy. And with 50 caliber bullets it made a big hole!!

 

 

 

Next was the pump action shot gun. This was on a different range too. With metal targets. We both hit 5/5!!!! There is something so cool about the pump action. You definitely feel like a bad ass when you shoot and pump. Ha.

The sniper rifle was last. With a scope and all – so the target was 100M away. I mean you can’t even really SEE the target from where you stand. But we both hit it. All 5 times!!

Afterwards we went to the clubhouse for sandwiches and a beer. Fanta for Laney. We had an interesting discussion about hunting in Czech Republic and about homeschooling. This is interesting. I’m not sure how it is in the USA  but Hunters in Czech belong to clubs. Each club is responsible for a specific geographic area. Not just for hunting, but for overall health of the animals. Feeding them if needed. Killing sick or injured animals. Keeping the population at the right levels for health, etc.  On homeschooling, well, like in Germany, it’s illegal in the Czech Republic. Andrew wishes it wasn’t because he has a 4 year old he would like to homeschool.

 

After that we head back to the apartment for a bit to touch base with friends at home and then we head back out on the tram for some more sightseeing and dinner. Laney goes somewhat reluctantly. Ha.

 

In walking to Charles Bridge we come across the Ice Bar and decide to give it a shot. They give you warm cape-like coats and gloves and the whole place is made of ice including the Bar, the walls, the tables and the cups they serve the drinks in. It’s very cool – literally it’s quite cold!! We leave early as our fingers are going numb. Ha.

BTW in Prague,Tina tells us, I can take Laney anywhere and everywhere.  Even a disco/dance club. “This is how it should be, no?” Says Tina. “She is your daughter!” I wholeheartedly agree!!  Not that I’m going to any dance clubs. But it’s good to know we don’t have to worry about it. It was annoying in some places that we couldn’t have dinner in a pub because Laney wasn’t old enough.

This was a funny public restroom sign.

 

Charles Bridge is beautiful and busy. The best part was this quartet. Laney and I confirm that girl fiddlers are adorable. This is 3 out of 3. Ha.

 

 

 

 

We head across another bridge to a park where I saw some statues. I was curious about them from seeing them from the tram. The figures are broken in varying degrees and ways. And are walking down a set of steps. They represent the damage that communism did to the people   Pretty moving.

 

 

 

We stop at a small traditional Czech restaurant for dinner and it’s lovely. Warm inside with great service and food. I had duck and cabbage and gnocchi. Laney had steak with gravy   We shared some grilled veggies which were awesome. Laney again had a berry flavored soda. It had real raspberries in the bottom. Quite sweet but very good.

 

We headed home on the tram and chilled the rest of the evening.  Next day we are off to Switzerland.

 

 

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