Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Travel Notes

Here are my musings from my recent trip to the Czech Republic.
  • Security Screening – yeah more than your average PIA (Pain in the Afterworks). I was patted down twice and let me tell you when a German gives you the frisk; they know everything on your person. Plus my Laptop back was of particular attraction for security officers. Three times it was give a "secondary" screening, once they empted it out completely and twice they did the nitrate swabs on it. Lines were not too long, the most we waited to go into the X-rays was maybe 10 minutes.
  • Long Flights – we did the 7 hours from Philly to Frankfurt, waited 3-hours for an hour flight to Prague then caught a commuter flight to Brno in the South east. We then rented a car and drove 30 minutes to the plant we were going to work and went right into a meeting. We had been traveling for more than 20 hours. We had only had airline food since we were in Frankfurt too early for airport food and we had no time anywhere else. I had beef jerky and granola with me so I was in pretty good shape.
  • I did not see much of the Brno area (we actually worked in a little village called Slavikovice) since we were up on the road early while it was dark and worked until it was dark again. In the twilight of the mornings I did see many acres of grape orchards and was told that wine is a big deal in the region. I'll have to bring some back the next time I am there. I also saw a bunch of Reindeer which interestingly enough was on the menu in one place we went. I had some.
  • Food – WOW! I loved everything I had to eat there. From the Goulash to the schnitzel to the venison it was all so good it is hard to describe except to pour some drool on the page. I even had this stuff I cannot remember its name, but it was kind of like Mac-n-cheeze but instead of macaroni there was this "stuff" that was kind of like potatoes or even a bread, no one knew what it was but it was really good. They sprinkled cubed bacon on it and I wolfed it down so fast you would have thought I had gone without food for a week. We even had the Czech version of pizza and it was really good too, made with a very thin crust. I had one with their version of sausage which is a specialty food in Czech and it was to die for. Can't wait for more.
  • We ate one night in the basement of an old monastery. I am not sure how old the place was but I am sure it goes way back. The dining room was made completely of brick with a curved ceiling, maybe 20 feet tall in the center. I could easily see in my mind's eye, the place being used as one of them mid-evil dudgeons or torture chamber. We ate in another place that was a simple family restaurant, the ground floor living room used as the dining room with only 4-tables. We were hip to hip with the other diners and I was impressed at their friendliness, once they found out we were Americans.
  • The People – two thoughts here, warm and friendly towards us as Americans and absolutely beautiful women. Several times I was asked simply "English" and thought they were referring to my language. In each occurrence when it was revealed we were from America the mood and temperament towards us changed. They really do like Americans over the British which I guess travel there a lot. Speaking with one old timer who spoke really good English he told me their ambivalence to British is that they have never come to the Czech to help them whereas the United States was always there to help them. Chatting with a bunch of young women in Prague they were in love with our "culture", the TV and Pop Stars. They all want to come over here and live.
  • Prague – what a lovely city. I hope to be able to visit again in the daylight. We did the walking tour in the big square and over and across the St. Georges Bridge, but it was all at night. Lots of shops with crystal, jewelry (Garnet and Amber are big there) and wood figurines. Lot's more of them Beautiful Women too, Can't wait to go back.
  • The biggest problem was the return. After getting up at 4:30 am for the cab ride to the airport we find out our connection to the US was cancelled. The airport in Philly was closed so we got stuck in Frankfurt for another day and night. We lost the whole weekend to the travel back.

In the end, what a great place, I will take a better camera with me next time I go and I will bring a huge suitcase to bring back a bunch of souvenirs or maybe one of the many beautiful girls!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

I spent a week in Prague during the Great Divorce Tour of 1999 and can vouch for everything you say, Jimmy. I had never been to the former East Bloc before due to duty and travel restrictions in the way-back and Prague was high on my list. I was NOT disappointed.

JimmyT said...

Buck, I go back in late March for a 10 days or so and I should be able to get a full day in Prague, can't wait. And I fell in love with a beer, Radler it was called!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Bag Blog said...

Even with the travel problems, it sounds wonderful. Prague is on my list of places to visit someday.