Blogs from Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic, Europe


A wonderful weekend outing to a small town near St John of Nepomuk pilgrim church. We have this church in our Czech village at home and wanted to visit it first hand. It is situated in the Central Bohemian Highlands, bordered by lakes and dense forests where Czechs like to ski cross country in the winter. In the summer, the trails are great for hiking. We found a perfect natural cathedral in the middle of a densly forested areas for our Sunday morning worship...interesting complement to last Sunday when we worshiped in an ornate gothic baroque cathedral built in the 1700s. Based on our walking pace, we think we logged about 10 miles on Saturday and 15 or so on Sunday. Good backpacks and sturdy shoes are proving to be valuable assets during this training phase! ... read more
Hotel Talsky Mlyn provided a comfy bed after our long day walksplace to stay
Lower graveyard of the Cistercian monestary
Basicilica of the Cistersian Monestary

Our good friend and travel buddy, Karen (see previous travel blogs for Great Britain 2013 and China 2011), often talks about having a theme for a trip. While we didn't have one planned for this trip, a theme emerged early on in the form of depictions of St. John of Nepomuk. As you know from the first post, we learned about him during our first visit to Prague, where his statue dominates the Charles Bridge the site of his drowning in 1383 on the orders of King Vaclav (Wenceslas) IV. What we didn't realize until we got about the countryside on the bikes is that he is a very popular saint in Central Europe and, in an area where statues and pictures of saints are seen more frequently than anyplace else we've been, he one of ... read more
On the bridge at Telc
In the Bogen town square
On the road near Moson Magyarovar

Thursday 15th May 2014 Well, the day has arrived. We had our stuff at Okolo Bike Hire by 0900 as arranged. It took two trips to get it all there as our suitcases and the saddle panniers with what we need over the next fortnight were too awkward to carry together. It took a little longer than expected to get away, panniers and handlebar bags to fit, tools, spares and maps to pack, and generally to get used to the bikes. A wobbly start on the bike path alongside the river but we met Kev and Jan about 1030, 30 mins later than planned. The worst part of the day followed, winding our way through a bit of pedestrian traffic and following a map which didn't take new detours etc into account. We finally found ... read more
Who's that crossing my bridge?
Town square

Our morning began with the usual daily routine. I trudged down to breakfast with bleary eyes at 6.30am and headed straight for the caffeination station. After breakfast, we headed to the rink and our team physiotherapist Julee worked on my sore neck. The range of motion and pain levels have improved heaps, and I felt fantastic after Julee finished. I had my first pain-free practice in a few days and began to hear choruses of James Brown singing "Ï feel good" as the training session progressed. After training and warm-downs, we had lunch and a three hour rest. As I was checking my emails during the break, I noticed a sharp, throbbing pain in my left shoulder and went to see Julee again. She prodded me with her fingers and declared there were "gremlins" in my ... read more
locker room

The daily routine of training camp can wear one down. Fourteen-hour days leave one knackered out and begging for bed. The day begins with breakfast, off-ice warm-ups, a 1.5 hour training session, and off-ice warm-downs followed by lunch. After lunch, there is chalk talk with the coaches--where each line reviews in a group the "team system" we will be covering during the afternoon training session. So far, we have covered D-zone coverage, breakouts, and forecheck team systems. After chalk talk, we have a one or two hour break. Some of the girls go for a walk to the town plaza, while others nap or read during their down time. Then it's time for warm-ups, a 1.25 hour training session, and off-ice warm-downs followed by dinner. The warm-up and warm-down routines add a considerable amount of time ... read more

We boarded the plane in Auckland full of exhuberance and good cheer. The excitement was palpable as team mates from the Ice Fernz rallied together in the International Airport Terminal amidst hugs and chatter to snap photos of eachother in front of signs that read International Departures. By the time we disembarked in Dubai to switch planes, we were walking like zombies and decidedly less cheerful. Our team seating arrangement onboard the 14 hour flight had been thickly peppered by crying babies. I sat directly behind two women from the United Arab Emirates with their two young children who didn't have to decency to genuinely cry, but insisted on doing the fake-fussy cry nearly the entire journey--a piercing cry that managed to shatter even my sleeping-pill induced wonderland of dreams. By the end of that flight, ... read more
Cranky Kids
Arrived in Prague
Hockey Lions

Prague to Slovakia via Kutna Hora and Brno, 29 May 2013 Today we drove through showers of rain. On Kerrie’s advice we set our anti-divorce GPS to Kutna Hora which is east of Prague. Kerrie went and saw this amazing/weird/creepy Sedlec Ossuary (bone church). In this church there are the bones of 40,000 people of which 30,000 died from a plague. Someone arranged all the bones in an incredible way (see photos). We just walked around with our jaws dropped. There are some amazing things around the world to see and this has got to be one of them!! Thanks Kerrie. Kutna Hora is a town that grew as a result of silver mining. This mine supplied 1/3 of Europe’s silver and is now closed down. It was the 2nd most important city in ... read more
One of the many tunnels
In and around St Barbara Cathederal Kutna Hora Czech Republic (2)
In and around St Barbara Cathederal Kutna Hora Czech Republic (6)

On the way to Kuta Hora I delighted in field upon field of canola, brilliant yellow and in fill bloom. I had previously thought this to be mustard. My guide was a wonderful older woman who had a lovely way about her and was always able to convey her feelings, attitudes, opinions and values throughout her commentary. She was charming and the day was glorious, bright and sunny just after an early morning rain, the sky was clear and the vista vast. Kutna Hora The town began in 1142 when established as a settlement as a Cistercian Monastary, the first in Bohemia. By 1260 German miners began to mine for silver in the mountain region, which they named Kuttenberg, and which was part of the monastery property. Under Abbot Heinrich Heidenreich the territory greatly advanced due ... read more
Old Town
Kutna Hora
Cemetery at Ossuary

After doing most of the prescribed tourist sights of the Czech Republic - Kutna Hora, Plzen, Česky Krumlov, Karlstejn - during my first year here it's time to start looking away from the beaten track and finding more obscure places to visit. In this respect, the students that I teach are a goldmine. They can tell me if somewhere I find on google is an area of outstanding natural beauty or actually an industrial complex with low levels of gamma radiation and a cleverly-worded website. The last two weeks has seen two pretty warm weekends and two Bank Holidays so there's been plenty of time to get out and about. The first weekend, from a tip-off, we decided on the horrendously-named Telč (Telch - a place that sounds like you've just stood in something). Telč (I ... read more
Telc Square
Sternberk Castle
The Terrace of Beer

At the weekend I went walking In the Footsteps of Charles IV. Yes, the Charles IV of Holy Roman Emperor fame, Charlie-Boy. C-Bomb Number 4. No? Basically, I was apparently walking in the footsteps of a 14thcentury Czech king. In the Footsteps of Charles IV is an organised public walk outside of Prague to Karlstejn that’s put on every year for anyone who wants to do it. The full route is 50 kilometres but it’s possible to do 10, 15, 20 kilometres or whatever you can be bothered to do. As a group of occasional walkers and hardcore gulash eaters, we did 15 kilometres. By some miracle of human perseverance I pulled myself out of my comfortable, under-used bed at 8am and with my flatmate met a gaggle of similarly hungover looking people at ... read more
Karlstejn Castle -
The Grand Prize -

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