Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Week of Boredom 25/2/09 Day 223

Day 225 (Slide show)

After returning from Austria the weather was cold and miserable. Not much has happened over the past few days. There are a few small highlights I will note.

On 2/17 Tuesday I received an email from friends in Dresden, Germany who are asking me to come and join them for a music festival there. Sounds like fun and I could ride back. It would be a long way but by then I will be in good enough condition I hope.

The past week was a boring time for me. I went to a few small gatherings with some Couchsurfing friends here in Prague but it just isn’t that much fun for me. I seem to always leave early.

Another interesting thing happened though.

Remember my wallet was picked in Kathmandu and all the trouble I had getting a new CC from those bloodsuckers at Citibank? Well I also lost my driver’s license and I decided I would never get that replaced without going to the CA DMV. Well I got lucky again and it turns out that the DMV sent me a renewal notice because my DL was going to expire. What Luck! I’m able to get another one by just paying the renewal fee.

My log book has run out of pages so I had to find another one. I found a store here that sells Moleskine. This is the log book that many authors use. Not that I deserve it but it’s kind of cool. I will miss my old brown log book, it has been everywhere with me.

I had an interesting experience on night when a lady I had meet a week ago sends me an email asking me if I wanted to go with her to a Jan Saudek Gallery and dinner. I said sure of course, she was attractive and Jan Saudek is a provocative artist I would like to see. The whole night she was as cold as a cod what a bust. At dinner I decided to only put out enough money for mine. She paid for hers which I think she wanted to do anyway. We split up early and I still can’t figure out what was going on that night I swear I used my deodorant. Aren’t there any women left out there? All I seem to meet are girls.

Today is a nice day with lots of sun. I’m going riding. I’ve decided to ride north down the river Vltava. Yes this river flows north. I want to see how far I can go on the river path. If I’m going to come back from Dresden on this path I would like to do a scouting mission. It’s a bit cold and I need to fight the old bags at the super market so a good ride for a few hours then the battle royal in the deli isle to finish off a good day.

Monday, February 16, 2009

“Ski Amadé, Austria – Bad Gastein” I Survived 16/2/09 Day 214

Day 211 (Slide show)

Day 212 (Slide show) (Video 1) (Video 2)

Day 213 (Slide show)

For the past few weeks I’ve had a hard time. The winter here in Prague is really dragging me down. I’ve planned several short trips to various places in the area only to later decide I didn’t want to go to that spot. I’ve been very bored.

A couple of days ago something happened that really surprised me. I received this email from a friend I had met in Couchsurfing here in Prague. In the email I was asked if I wanted to go skiing for a few days. There was no plan set up and I was asked if I knew of a place to go. I decided that we needed to get together with our computers and see what we could come up with. We spent a full day together working on the plan and everything seemed fine. I felt good that we would have a great four day trip.

As it turned out I figured that going to Austria would the best choice. It is relatively close, about 6 hours by car and it is in the Alps. After looking at all the options that were within the range of 6 hr by car we decided on the Ski Amadé area just south of Salzburg, Austria. The place is called Amadé for Amadeus Mozart of course. This ski area is so large that I found it overwhelming. It encompasses 24 ski resorts the size of most of the resorts in the states. There are a total of 254 lifts with kilometers of piste’s to ski. Once I saw how big this area is I figured I could find some part that would have good snow and a fun village. I wasn’t too worried about the reservations but was there enough snow that was the question.

We didn’t get to leave Prague until around 8:00PM on Thursday so the plan was to drive as far as possible then find a place to crash. I was hoping to reach some part of the area mid Friday. But right from the start things started going bad. I really don’t want to get into the details because it was one of those crazy trips where you really want everything to go right but it never does.

I spent two days skiing in Austria at Bad Gastein which is a resort in the Ski Amadé Group. This place has the highest evaluation and the village is pretty nice. The snow was marginal though. The upper part was too windy to ski on and the lower part was ice in the morning and water skiing in the afternoon.

My friend and I didn’t get along very well which put a strain on things. The trip was put together too quickly I guess. I don’t have much to say other then that. I’m going to put in a few pictures so you can see the place. I’m really trying to forget about it. I didn’t write much at all in the log book, it’s all quite a blur.

If I was to give a grade on this adventure I would have to say a C. I would go for a D except I made it back with getting in a car wreck or an injury on the mountain. The whole trip went from bad to worse, one of those where you’re happy to get back in one piece.

I will not a few highlights like the Red Bull Freestyle Skiing Championships which were held on Saturday night right in the middle of the village.

Also the village itself was quite nice and there were spas everywhere. I’m told that is what the translation of Bad is in German, hence Bad Gustein.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The First Good Bike Ride in Prague 7/2/09 Day 205

Day 205 (Slide show)

I finally got out for my first good ride in Prague. It wasn’t very long, just a few hours but felt good. I rode down to the river and then headed towards the city. The temperature is only 6C but as long as I keep moving I’m alright. As I rode farther up river it got colder. I was on Betsy and both of us were glad that there was no ice. The river had some ice though which was strange. I’m not in very good shape though and I’ll have to work on this. There is a big hill from the river to my flat. It will make for a good workout. Riding around the area where my flat is will be difficult. The area is called Polmovka and you have to dodge the trams, the dogs and a lot of cobblestones. It’s very bumpy. It's been a good day to get out and ride on old Betsy.