31.12.2015 / 01.01.2016 THE NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PRAGE

.

WE GOT UP LATE, AT ABOUT 10 AM AFTER A BAD, UNCOMFORTABLE NIGHT, PROBABLY BECAUSE WE SQUEEZED OURSELVES IN ONE SMALL BED, INSTEAD OF TO LYING IN SEPARATE BEDS. WE BOTH ALSO HAD DIFFICULTIES IN FALLING ASLEEP, WHICH DOES NOT USUALLY HAPPEN. ANYWAY, AFTER BREAKFAST, RESTED JUST ENOUGH (AS FAR AS REFRESHED) WE WENT SIGHTSEEING.

UNFORTUNATELY THE TWO MOST INTERESTING BUILDINGS, A MUSEUM AND A CHURCH WITH A STEEPLE WERE SHUT. AT TOURIST INFORMATION WE WERE TOLD THE CASTLE WAS OPENED TODAY AND TOMORROW, BUT THE UNDERGROUND CHAMBERS ONLY TODAY. SO WE WENT TO CHECK THE CASTLE, BECAUSE A HUGE NUMBER OF TOURISTS  COMES FROM PRAGUE TO VISIT MIELNIK, AND THERE COULD BE PROBLEM WITH GETTING IN. THE PLACE IS IN A PRIVATE OWN AND VERY WIDELY PROMOTED.

FORTUNATELY THE TWO OF US DID NOT QUALIFY AS A GROUP, SO WE MANAGED TO GET IN AFTER ONLY A 10 MINUTE WAIT WITH TICKETS FOR SENIORS. WE DID NOT TAKE A GUIDE, WHICH MADE THE WHOLE VISIT MUCH EASIER AS WE DID NOT HAVE TO ADJUST TO HIS SPEED AND THE TOURING WENT AS WE LIKED IT. THE SURPRISE FOR ME WAS THAT I COULD TAKE PHOTOS WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS, EVEN THOUGH A HAVE SPOTTED “NO PHOTOS” SIGN BY THE TICKET BOOTH.

ANOTHER, RARELY SEEN IN MUSEUMS FACT WAS THE COMPLETE LACK OF HARASSMENT OF THE VISITORS BY MUSEUMS STAFF.

IT TOOK US ABOUT 90 MINUTES TO SEE IT ALL, EXCEPT OF THE WINE CELLARS AND BAKERY FAMOUS FOR ITS FABULOUS TORTES. INSTEAD WE POPPED IN A RESTAURANT FOR A QUICK MULLED WINE, AS IT GOT A BIT FROSTY OUTSIDE. SOON AFTER DOWNING WE RAN BACK TO THE INFORMATION DESK TO SEE SOME INTERESTING UNDERGROUND CHAMBERS, LOCATED UNDER THE CENTRE AND A VERY OLD WATER WELL, WHICH SUPPLIED THE WHOLE VILLAGE WITH WATER NOT SO LONG AGO. THAT PART OF SIGHTSEEING TOOK US AT THE MOST 30 MINUTES. (more…)


30.12.2015 – MELNIK – CZECH RAVELLO

.

THIS TIME WE ARE GOING TO CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR IN PRAGUE! BY SOME MIRACLE WE HAVE MANAGED TO GRAB TICKETS FOR THE „NEW YEAR EVE IN OPERA” (SILVESTR V OPEŘE) IN PRAGUE. THE PROGRAMME FITS 100% IN OUR REQUIREMENTS – IT INCLUDES AN OPERETTA DIE FLEDERMAUS BY JOHANN STRAUSS; FOOD AND DRINKS – “ALL INCLUSIVE”; OFFICIAL WELCOME OF NEW YEAR WITH A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE, MIX AND MINGLE WITH ACTORS AND SINGERS AND DANCING ON THE STAGE ACCOMPAGNED BY A SWING ORCHESTRA.

WE HAD TO BOOK OUR ACCOMMODATION IN MELNIK – A VILLAGE SITUATED AT ABOUT 40 KM FROM PRAGUE, AS THE PRICES OF HOTELS IN PRAGUE – THE CAPITAL CITY OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC – HAVE GONE THROUGH THE ROOF IN THIS PERIOD (3 WEEKS BEFORE NEW YEAR). WE WERE NOT ABLE TO FIND ANYTHING BELOW 160 € PER NIGHT, BUT IN MENTIONED ABOVE SMALL TOWN WE HAVE BOOKED A REASONABLE ROOM WITH AN EN SUITE IN AN INN FOR 32 € FOR A DAY.

WE LEFT OUR HOME ON 30.12.2015 AT AROUND 9 AM HOPING TO REACH MELNIK AT ABOUT 2 PM CHOOSING THE UNTYPICAL ROUTE. INSTEAD OF RAMBLING THROUGH THE MOTORWAYS I SELECTED SLOWER, SHORTER BY ABOUT 100 KM ROAD. IN THIS WAY I AVOIDED THE SYSTEM OF VIGNETTES PAYMENTS BYPASSING SPEEDWAYS, WHICH SAVED US ABOUT 100 PLN OF PETROL AND OF LIMITED-ACCESS HIGHWAY FEES COSTS.

(more…)