Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Feb 9th 2008 7:43AM Hooray for the saving of the Klobasa (for now). The idea to get rid of them was one of the stupidest i've heard in ages. Did they really think people were going to find homes, stop being or frequenting prostitutes and confine their drunkeness to indoors because they could no longer buy Klobasa?
Now that's fairytale thinking.
Jan 29th 2008 6:24AM The Czech Republic is another place with it's own distinct way of celebrating Carneval. They call it Masopust, which like Carne Vale, loosely means letting go of (pustit) meat (maso).
The country;s most colourful parade is at a place in the highlands called Vortova. The main parade takes place on the morning of Saturday 2nd Feb, and the official website is http://www.vortova.cz/index.php?nid=774&lid=CZ&oid=39471 but it's only in Czech. There's a description in English and a short video at http://captainoddsocks.blogspot.com/2008/01/masopust-carneval-parade-bohemia.html
Jan 25th 2008 7:07AM A lot of good advice in there. The big map on the wall is a great tip!
Despite the airport being a bit of a nightmare, I think London's a good place for an English speaker to begin a European trip. Defer the language barrier for a few days until you get used to being away from home...
Jan 23rd 2008 9:07PM What clues?
The water, the sand, the sky, the vegetation that could be anywhere from the Americas to Africa to Australia?
Jan 9th 2008 8:25AM Looks a bit like Prague-Holesovice, but if it is, there must be some new benches since I was there last...Not confident about this one.
Jan 4th 2008 7:36AM 8 Euros for a sausage? No, a piece of sausage!
Do you think the cat ate it or sold it at the pub for 5?
Jan 1st 2008 1:24PM And thanks for the mention by the way, Mr Glow. We had a good Christmas and New year's, with lots of good guests in the hostel, including quite a few people who have been here before and came back especially to spend the holidays in Olomouc, but January, February and March can be really tough.
There's good skiing nearby and, as you know, loads of good little cafes and bars to hang out in, but travellers just seem to be a bit timid about getting out of the capital cities in the cold weather, which is a pity for them as well as for us...
Thanks again and Happy New Year!!
Jan 1st 2008 1:09PM Yeah Wow! I was really surprised that it was solved so quickly too, because it's such a specific angle. I didn't tell, honest!
Maybe you shouldn't have mentioned me by name Justin? If you look back through my old Gadling comments and then Google "Oddsocks Czech Republic", you end up with Olomouc pretty quickly.
Did you recognise the view Rick, or was it good Old-fashioned detective work?
Jan 1st 2008 12:57PM I picked up one of my least pleasant travel memories about ten years ago in South Africa.
My plan was to leave Johannesburg for Pretoria, nip into the Australian embassy to vote in the federal election and then continue on into Zimbabwe.
It started to go wrong when the guy who was giving me a lift to the train station was scratching around and wasting time. Missed the express and had to take the local train. Less than sixty seconds after pulling out of the station, five guys came in from the next carriage, said a few words to the other passengers, and then I felt myself being ripped up over the back of my seat by my neck and noticed a knife being held to my stomach.
One of those big ones for hunting with the jagged back and the groove in the blade for the blood to spurt out.
While I was trying to work out who knew that I would be on this train and was organised enough to pull such an elaborate prank, my pockets were rifled, my belt undone and shoes taken off in the search for hidden money and then "it's in the bag, take the bag".
So walletless, passportless and bagless, I couldn't think of anything better than to stay on the train and go to the embassy anyway. Trouble with that was, I had to change trains and my ticket was gone too, wasn't it?
Luckily one of the other passengers was good enough to come along and help me find and report to the railway police (who patrol in groups of six with pump-action shotguns). They in turn passed me onto the real police, who made a report and offered to drive me to the social-help office.
Only problem was that the police car wouldn't start. No problem-get the white guy to push. The police wear their bullet-proof vests the whole time there, and I found myself wondering if I didn't deserve one as well, for getting the car started and all. The social help office turned out not to be very helpful, but they did let me use their phone to call the hostel I’d stayed at. The hostel manager said "get in a taxi and come here; we'll pay for it and look after you until you get yourself sorted out". Saved.
The whole thing happened amazingly quickly and it didn't really hit me until I had to explain to my Mum what had happened. I was philosophical about the loss until I found out that the expenses on my visa card were $250 worth of takeaway food and $600 for alcohol. "Need it more than I do" like hell! The money wasn't too bad though, the worst things I lost were a volume of my journal and all my rolls of film to date (almost three months' worth).
I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, but if you can avoid being robbed, then do, because your Mother will still be upset, even if you begin your call with, "Don't be worried, I'm not hurt, but...."