Hradec Kralove

Visiting Hradec Kralove

Well let’s see.  We got to Prague about three weeks ago, and for some reason, on January 11th, 2013, I decided to get on a train and spend one night in Hradec.  Great idea, and I had no idea how beautiful and interesting the city would turn out to be.  First of all, it was super cold there, and I’m guessing it never was above freezing.  And actually, not a really big deal.  As long as you keep yourself walking, you’ll be just fine in this type of weather.  Of course, you don’t want to be leaving the indoors without a full on antartica jacket on, and a scarf and gloves if you have them, but there’s plenty of warm stuff to drink in the kavarnas and if you’re a beer drinker, of course they are serving up the famous Czech beers all over the place as well.

Old Town Hradec Kralove

Hradec Kralove Old Town Square

The old town of Hradec Kralove at night time

I found a pension on Uzka Street, which is pretty much right in the heart of the old town.  There was a nice girl named I believe Sharka who works there and her father does as well.  Both of them speak some pretty good English, so that made my stay even better since I’m still trying to learn Czech.  On the old town square, you can get some pretty amazing pictures.

Sunny Hradec Kralove

Sunny Hradec Kralove Old town

The afternoon/evening when I arrived, it was a bit overcast and snowing just a tiny bit.  The snow actually made the place even more interesting, and gave it this super cold feel.  When you are walking around Hradec Kralove, you can tell who has been walking outside for a while, because we all have this look on our faces of near death, some people with runny noses, others with bloodshot eyes.  All from the cold.

Czech Street Cleaner

Hradec Street Cleaner Man!
Good Job Buddy!

The day I left Hradec, I decided to go on a massive walk.  Basically this included walking almost every possible street from the pension I stayed at to the Hlanvi Nadrazi or train station in English.  There was a couple of pictures that I thought were noteworthy.  First was this one of a street worker who was walking around (in the freezing cold) with a mobile giant vacuum.  He was sucking up pretty much everything from leaves to trash to cigarette butts and just about anything else that was left on the walkways from the weeks or nights before.  Just have to give him some credit for probably making close to nothing an hour and doing it all in the freezing cold.

Tomas Masaryk Statue Hradec Kralove

Tomas Masaryk, Hradec Kralove

Tomas Masaryk, well, I’m sure to have jacked up the spelling of this guys first and fore sure last name, but there was a pretty nice Namesti or square in this guy’s honor, and that’s another picture I took.  I found a great Cafe-kavarna called “Cafe Viennese” which was right next to this square.  And, I ordered some ginger caj, which came with lemon and honey (thank god), and I also ordered a “grilled klobasa” with mustard.  Crazy thing is, the grilled basa came with three pieces of toasted Czech chelba, and I ate all three of them.  Geez, that is going on, I’ve been eating more bread over the past week than I have over the past 4 years…. HOping that things go well with the stomach after all these broken rules, but so far so good.

Train from Hradec Kralove to Prague Hlavni Nadrazi

Hradec to Praha trainride

Nice little house I snapped going back from Hradec Kralove to Praha

Training it back from Hradec is about an hour and fourty-five minutes if you can catch the Express train.  And it comes in at a cost of exactly 100 korun so its real cheap.  And, I thought the scenery was great as well.  You make about 5 different stops, maybe a few more, but they are no big deal, and then before you know it, you are back in Praha.  I think its pretty much the second or third best thing in the world to be able to look outside the window of a train and just pass on through the countryside and mix it up with little towns every once in a while.  That’s what training in eastern Europe is all about for me anyways.

Check out that one car tiny Red Czech Train

Check out that one car tiny Red Czech Train

Czech caboose

Czech Caboose anyone?

 

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Bike Riding In Berkeley, CA The New Homestead

Michaela and I recently moved to Berkeley, CA since she is now going to school here.  Pretty cool city in my opinion, much more action compared to Menlo Park, CA which is where we lived the previous 3 years.  Actually there is almost too much stuff going on over here.  Besides the daily student protests, and the action that is happening lately over in Oakland, you have your choice of what activism you want to get involved with.

But on the super bright side, bike riding is happening all around Berkeley.  Since we moved here, I actually am doing even more walking than anything.  I try to only use my car when Michaela and I go to the other side of the Bay.  There is just no need to use car anymore around here.  With grocery stores and shops and restaurants just a quick walk away, its just too easy to walk and ride everywhere.

We currently have our bikes sitting underneath the apartment complex in the laundry room.  There are several other student bikes locked up in there too, and it looks like ours are some of the bikes that actually get used.  So many people go out and buy nice looking bikes, but after a few months of sitting in just one place, they start collecting all sorts of dust and then what?  Leave them in some storage spot for other people to look at I guess.  Anyways, we love Berkeley!

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Bike Riding in Slovenia

Leaving Buzet Croatia

Buzet was the last town in Croatia that I spent the night.  From there, I headed on bike through the border crossing, which actually took about 10 minutes compared to the usual two or three.  I think they were also just puzzled at me coming through on my bike with touring gear and saddle bags etc… But, once I made it through, I realized really quickly that there was going to be some nasty hills all day long.  I got tired of the hills after a few hours, as they seemed like they would go on forever, so at this point, I finally broke down and boarded a train for the capital of Slovenia called Llublijana.

Llublijana Slovenia

I will for sure get back to this city sometime someday.  This place was all kinds of fun.  Such an incredible mix of things going on there, and awesome looking sites to see.  The people were all very friendly, almost everyone speaks perfect or near perfect english.  What more could you ask for?  Well, I asked the person at the hotel where to get a haircut, and soon enough I was getting a Slovenian haircut by a young Slovenian girl.  It worked out great, and I was super happy.

Biking Out of Llublijana on the Sava River

When it came time to make my way back to Zagreb, I had looked at the map and saw the Sava River as a great path to follow to the Croatian capital city.  So, after about a half hour, I was outside of Slovenia’s capital and back on country roads.  This was also a great day of bike riding.  I managed to make my way all the way to the town of Sevnica, Slovenia.  Along the way I stopped at a few places, one place I remember quite well as it was a small restaurant and coffee bar.  There were some young folks working there who were out of school for the summer and they were very helpful in telling me where to go and what to do etc… They were also wondering why I was on such a long bike ride all by myself.  That always seems to be the common question.

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