Wednesday, 13 June 2012

So go and pack your bags for the long haul

Another long weekend spent in mountains. Low Tatras in Slovakia were awesome as was my company. I was there with two very good friends of mine and my dad. All of them trained in hiking (although never all together, but that worked out perfect I'd say) so we were able to cover quite good distances each day. Basically what we did is:
Day 1:Lucky - Sedlo Javorie - Krakova Hola - Demanovska Svobody - Lucky
At Krakova Hola

Kinga and Marta at Sedlo Javorie

On the way from Sedlo Javorie to Krakova Hola

Pure happiness

Follow yellow and blue marks

Day 2: Lucky - Krupova Hola - Dumbier - Krupova Hola - Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika
Way to Krupova Hola. Yes we had to climb up there, to the hill on the horizon

Way to Krupova Hola
Way to Krupova Hola

Complete crew at Dumbier (Dziumbier). As you can see it was rather shaky up there.

We were staying in the Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika. After some rest we did a small before dinner walk...

... where we've met mountain goat.

Three Musketeers
Day 3: Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika - Krupova Hola - Chopok - Polana - Krizske Sedlo - Prislop - Kosodrevina - Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika
Morning view from Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika. Unfortunately those clouds started to rise up and in the end of the day we were walking in the clouds.

Morning view from Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika

Way to Krupova Hola with my dad

Just walk

Dog that we met at Chopok. Anybody knows what breed is is?

I've met the whole herd of goats on the way. This is one of them. Cute.

June? Snow?

In the clouds again

Day 4: Chata Generala M. R. Stefanika - Krupova Hola - Lucky.
This day brought us all different kinds of weather conditions. Starting from sun in the morning through the heavy rain couple of hours later and strong sun about 11 a.m. In the mean time there were some showers and rain stops (like someone would be playing with the shower turning it on and off) and very heavy rain on the way back from Gliwice to Warsaw on the A2 road (opened only for the 3 weeks of the European Football Championship).

On the way back from Lucky we've went through Ruzomberok like two years ago and of course on the way we had some bryndzove halusky and zincica in Salas Krajinka. We've bought some sheep cheese too. I think that my hiking trip would not be complete if we did not do that.

Friday, 1 June 2012

La mala education

It was one of those days when I felt like a world belongs to me. Even though I had to get up at 5 a.m. to catch a plane at 6.15. And actually I woke up half an hour earlier. Such travel fever did not happen to me for ages now. Anyways, five hours of sleep put me in that "friendly with everyone" mode. Usually it's other way round though.
We met with Marta at the airport, sweetly chatted to the lady at the counter and got an upgrade to business. We were flying to Prague. Already on the plane we've been chatting to some people. Later it was only better. We were even able to handle in a friendly manner and good moods the fact that our reservation in Marriott was not confirmed and that possibly we would have no place to sleep...
In the end we got a room and after doing necessary work we hit the city. Maybe not in the way everyone imagines when they hear that term. Nevertheless we've wondered around, met with a colleague who handed us over the relay goodies bags and bibs. We had a cup of coffee together and of course we were speaking English. Who could be bothered to try to understand each others mother language when all of us are fluent in English?
And as we were chatting like that, a guy from the table on my left disturbed me. He wanted to give me an advice. OK, keep going. What he meant is that my English is really good, but there was one tiny mistake. I should say "last night" and not "yesterday night". Except that everything was perfect.
Apparently he's an English teacher form S.F. and took his mission very seriously. Anyways that was nice. I took the compliment. And the lesson of course ;-) I was laughing my head off when he and his friend joined our conversation. Mental.
The other two days that we were in the city we did some sight seeing and shopping and eating and whole bunch of other stuff. Chillaxing.
Zizkov TV Tower.  It is 216 meters tall and besides providing Prague with a TV and radio signal, it offers a panoramic view of the city. Built in 1985 - 1992. In the year 2000, baby sculptures created by artist David Černý were attached to the tower and give the impression of babies crawling up and down the tower.

Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord (Kostel nejsvětějšího srdce Páně) at the Jiřího z Poděbrad Square. Vinohrady.

Vinohrady Market Hall (Vinohradská tržnice)

Vltava River. View towards Smichov


Prague Astronomical Clock. The Prague Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square

Getting ready

View from Hradcany

Toy Museum in Hradcany

Toy Museum

Yes. This figure sits here, just in front of an entrance to toy museum. I just wonder who polished it like this...

Golden Lane. In front of Franz Kafka house.

Old movie posters in one of the houses in the Golden Lane

Old movie posters in one of the houses in the Golden Lane

Library in the Old Royal Palace in the Prague Castle (Prazky Hrad)

Leadlight in the Basilica of St.George (Bazilika sv.Jiri)

Water level measurement device at Vltava river

Prasna Brana (Powrde Tower). Our meeting point for tomorrow.

National Museum and portable toilets for the runners ;-)
Sunday was a relay and marathon day. All together. I must admit that from my point of view the race was very well organised, big screens displaying numbers of relay members who should get ready, long water stations, bananas, oranges, sponges etc. And it was not a small event. No idea how many runners were taking part in it, but loads.
Our team did 3:43:42 which makes it a decent time. I was also glad about my part. 10k in 51:33. Maybe it's nothing special but bearing in mind all the recent events and antibiotics I was really proud.

Peacemakers at the Prasna Brana

Accenture Marathon Relay team


After the run, on the way to the last changing point
Runners, just after the half way
Finished with time 3.46.42. If I could achieve this time on the whols distance just on my own...

Everyone is a winner


The adverts of the run were everywhere throughout the city, even in the security baskets at the airport.