Czech it out

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Well, Tony and I are just waiting in the Prague airport to board the plane to Dublin, so I’ve got time to write down what’s happened over the last few days. When we arrived in Prague, Maggie and her mom’s boyfriend Carl were waiting for us. It was so great to see her again…and she was really happy to see us as well. For anyone who doesn’t know Maggie, she loves to talk…and Tony and I were pretty tired, so she was talking a lot on the way from Prague to Brno. Tony and I didn’t mind very much…it was good to hear what was going on in her life. The next day, we did a little sightseeing in the city to a cathedral and then we drove into the countryside to see some caves. The caves were pretty amazing…I really enjoyed it. I got a few good pictures and a movie clip from the boat portion of the tour through the caves. I guess the name of the cave system is translated as Stepmother because there is a fairy tale that a young boys stepmom tried to throw him off a cliff and into the cave, but he grabbed onto some roots hanging down and survived (she didn’t know he survived). The next day when some hunters found the young boy and rescued him, he told them the story and the villagers through the stepmom over the cliff instead. Ever since then the caves have been called Stepmom.

Here’s a link to the boat tour.

After the caves, we went to Maggie’s grandma’s house in the countryside for a traditional Czech meal. It was really great. The house she lived in was over 100 years old (she’s 80 and is still living on her own). Later that night we met with some of Maggie’s friends at a pub and had some drinks. They were pretty nice guys and both were good at English…Michal was a bit more talkative though. We slept in a bit the next day and then went to downtown Brno to see a few cool things that Maggie wanted to show us. A lot of the downtown monuments were under repair, so we didn’t get to see them as they should be. But, then we went shopping and Tony (in his usual fashion) bought 2 pairs of shoes within the first hour. The first pair are a sweet pair of leather yellow/black Dockers that I wouldn’t mind wearing, and the second pair is a pretty amazing pair of blue and white Adidas volleyball shoes that make you feel like you’re a star player. I bought a really nice blue Lowe Alpine jacket that has a lifetime warrantee on the zippers and integrity of the fabric. I paid the equivalent of $70 for the jacket and I’m pretty sure it would have cost me about $130 in Canada at Coast Mountain. We went to lunch at Maggie’s aunt’s fitness center/restaurant and got to play some squash after lunch as well, so Tony got a chance to try out his new court shoes. Maggie’s aunt thought we were pretty good for beginners. After lunch we went shopping again in a big mall that was downtown, but Tony and I didn’t really find anything really exciting there.

We had a really great supper at Maggie’s house that night and got to meet her notorious brother who really does talk more than she does. He has also studied English and was very articulate. He told us that if we come back he’d love to arrange a hike in to see some other caves that his friend knows about….I thought that would be really cool because it would be more remote and less of a “tourist trap.”

Today we went to Prague for the day before we caught a flight to Dublin. It’s a very beautiful city with lots to see downtown. There are tons of historical attractions and several places to see some breathtaking views of the city. I was pretty happy with what we accomplished for the day…we probably walked about 10 km’s during the day. Below are some pictures.