Prague, CZ

What a beautiful city! The historic Charles Bridge, St Vitus Cathedral and the Prague Castle create a beautiful backdrop to this bustling city.

With all its crazy little mazes of cobblestone streets and alleys, Prague has a lot to offer tourists from abroad.

Of course the summer season is particularly busy and many streets are just a sea of people! Great for people watching whilst drinking pivo! (Beer)

We started our few days with a full day guided tour of Prague. We caught a bus for part of it, walked miles for the most of it and finished with a boat cruise.

Old Prague and the castle grounds have been around since 1230 where it was rich with merchants houses from Romanesque times.

Prague clearly had a lot to offer for the likes of Mozart and other musicians and artists to come here.

Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge tower is one of the oldest pieces of gothic architecture. The bridge is the link between Old Town and Lesser Quarter.

Thirty statues serve as a gallery across the bridge. The originals are now being replaced with replicas and over the next few years will be exhibited inside the castle walls.

The bridge was named after Charles IV but he never saw it to completion having died 3 years earlier. The earlier Bridge had been destroyed during a flood in 1342. At 5.31am construction of the Charles Bridge took place on the 9th July 1357. It was done on completely odd numbers.(numerology significance) 971357531 as displayed above the gate.

Prague Castle

The castle, once home to the royal family of Schwarzenberg and other royal families, now serves as presidential suites for the Cžech President.

The flag is flying during our visit which means of course, the President is in the country.

This popular tourist destination features many castle rooms, small shops of handcrafts, museum, monuments, cafes and of course St Vitus Cathedral. Some areas are closed or heavily guarded due to the Presidential office.

We arrived at the castle in time for the changing of the guard at one of the 3? Main entrances. Guards perform their changing ceremony every 30minutes.

As you enter into the square there is a beautiful Baroque fountain and water well from the 17th century.

St Vitus Cathedral

This formidable piece of architecture was started in the 14th century with one section built in 1812-1929. Essentially 1004 years to build!

The beautiful big round window in one end of the cathedral was constructed in 1928 with 26,000 pieces of glass. I kid you not!

The stunning glass windows and other ornate features are truly stunning.

On the outside wall as you exit the cathedral is a massive mosaic made in 1371 of hundreds of thousands of Venetian glass and sandstone cubes.

It was the original entrance to the cathedral with the mosaic depicting heaven on the left and hell on the right.

What a fabulous visit into history, but wait, there's more!

Kat xo

Prague

Arrived in Prague today have had a nice lunch, checked into Old Prague Hotel and then made our way to parking.

Again streets are narrow and not much room for movement. Cobblestones and heaps of tourists.

The buildings are stunning, truly ornate works of art.

Walked across 'most legii' from the National Theatre to the hunger wall. Then back again and around looking for a place for dinner.

We ended up at Pivovar Národní Brewery. A great beer garden out back, so we found a spot to sit and had great steaks and salad.

Then a 15 minute meander back to the hotel. Checked out the strange moving sculpture and back to the 'couldn't swing a cat in it if you tried' room.

Thankfully this is only one night before we go in to a more suitable one tomorrow.

Tomorrow is rivercruise tour!

Na zdraví!

Kat xo

Kutná Hora

We arrived in Kutná Hora yesterday afternoon.

After a brief walk around we realized this was a larger town than expected and found familiar sounds of American accents. It now looked promising to find places and information centers where people would know some English besides their native Čeština.

A quick walk down more cobblestone streets to the main square we found the Hotel Medínek at the historical Centre of the old town.

We were also able to get a parking spot right outside the front doors!!??!!

Our room overlooked the square which was great for the spontaneous piano players as the sound carried and we could hear it clearly. Anything from chopsticks, classical to popular songs were being played by some very talented people.

There were many outdoor cafes as well which was great and many of the other historical sites are within walking distance.

Later that night however with the rowdy teens in the square from 11pm til about 3am was not so fun or sleep inducing.

Kutná Hora is about 70km's/40miles from Prague. Historically, it was the silver mining Centre and the location of the royal mint. (Today being Monday it is closed so we have missed out)

According to the brochure, It was one of the most influential cities of Bohemia being the second wealthiest city in the country after Prague. In respect to the architecture, Kutná Hora was a favored city to many rulers who came to royal residence known as the Vlašsky Dvur. The old town Centre has been preserved as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After dinner we walked the streets and went along past the Corpus Christi Chapel and around the St Barbara Church which was just spectacular with all its ornate sandstone fretwork, arches, spires and gargoyles.

There are little hidden restaurants and shops everywhere.

This morning, since we found out the Silver Mine was closed, we went to Sedlec Ossuary and the Sedlec Cathedral of the Assumption of our Lady and St John the Baptist.

Brochure states 'These are parts of the former oldest Cistercian Monastery in Bohemia founded in 1142 – the gate to the history of the royal city of Kutná Hora.

Thousands of people found their last place of rest here at the times of plague epidemics and religious Hussite wars in the Middle Ages. In 15th century the major part of the cemetery was abolished and relics from the graves (remains of 40,000 people) were brought to the church into its underground chapel.

In 1511 a half-blind monk piled them into pyramids. The Seslec Monastery was abolished by Joseph II. The present form of the bone decoration is a result of Baroque modifications carries out in early 18th century by J B Sabrina Aichel, completed by a wood carver František Rint in 1870.'

This is Memento Mori or remember the death associated with the Christian hope of resurrection, not a celebration of death but symbolizing the equality of people in front of the throne of god.

Hats removed, courtesy silence, photography allowed (no flash), heaps of tourists. A very interesting visit.

Kat xo

THE Day of Truth

'Days of Truth 2017' has come to an end with a long day of 9 stages yesterday to complete the match.

We enjoyed the match with great stages, targets and distance, good mix of movement as well. Colbert and the AWS team put on a great match.

Last night we changed and headed back to the range for the dinner, awards and costume contest.

Speaking of the latter, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people really dressing up and while standing there waiting for my turn, listened to them talk about their costumes and how the military guys were very well informed.

Best Dressed Man, Lady, Couple, Military and Junior cogratulations to all contestants and winners.

 

Ladies – Cruzan Confusion 1st, Kathouse Kelli 2nd, Edentate Oppitorá 3rd

 

Mens – Catweasle (aka UK Dane) 1st, Lommy 2nd, Tiff 3rd

 

Military – Wreckhouse Paul 1st, Sherman McMasters 2nd, Had 3rd

And I didn't get a photo of the couples or juniors! Congratulations though to Cherry Poppins & Captain Woodbury Kane 1st, Harry Long & Crazy Lady 2nd, Jarka & Mgrda Kredoíboví 3rd in the couples. For the juniors, Little Sure Shot 1st, Black River Belle 2nd and little brother and sister Jan & Ludmila 3rd.

The Ladies Of Cowboy Action Shooting, Cowgirl of Honor Award was also presented and it was with congratulations to Crazy Lady from Cžech Republic 3rd Place, Jessie Belle from Germany 2nd Place and Wonder Bibi from Italy in 1st Place.

 

It was well after midnight when we got back I know.

The results, as I'm sure you want to know, so the 10 in the rifle and the shotgun mishaps cost me dearly but am pleased to say 5th lady overall and still managed 2nd behind the lovely Mad Cat With Gun finishing first for the Lady Wranglers! Congratulations to my other Lady Wrangler competitors, Misty Moonshine 3rd, Black Velvet 4th and Katie Scarlett O'Hara 5th.

 

Jackaroo finished very well overall at 19th and 2nd in Silver Senior category. Congratulations to the other Silver Senior's, Captain Wildbeard finishing 1st, Lash LaRue 3rd and Ace Heart 4th.

 

This year's SASS European Championship, Days of Truth, overall Man and Lady – Hell Hound and Mad Cat With Gun! Congratulations to you both.

 

This morning we got sort of a sleep in, packed everything and headed out for Prague via Kutná Hora. Well…….that was the plan…..we made it as far as Kutná Hora and checked into a Hotel. The boss has had a sleep and we feel kinda normal again – if there is such a thing for us.

Time to head out into the street for dinner and have a quick look around.

Na zdraví!

Kat xo

 

Days of Truth – Part 1

Monday arrived in Oparany for Days of Truth. All checked in, caught up with others then made our way to Apartmany Lhota following Colbert. We would never have found the apartments on our own and believe me we did try.

Very neat accommodation sharing apartments with Americans and French. There is a common kitchen, dining and tv room with a billiard table. (Jack and I are 5 games even as of last night) A pool – pity we decided that we wouldn't need our swimmers – sauna and hot tub. We are really only there to sleep after shooting anyway.

 

The campground is reminiscent of Chisholm Trail, heaps of campers and nightly parties! Just different flags, and many many different accents!

The range is set for a great match. Target sizes and distances are great and some fun stages. We did a quick walk through them all yesterday after registration and now this morning, have organised gun cart, picked up ammo and ready for warm up.

 

Five warm up stages on Tuesday to iron out the rubbish! Wednesday was a great sleep in day, do a workout, relax, write postcards, do washing and then out to the range for speed events and then dinner and

16 countries were represented at the opening ceremonies which included Australia.

 

Thursday was first day of main match which resulted with ammo not going off in the rifle so 10 misses for me. The shotgun does not seem to be liking one lot of the lighter ammo here so we have both had some false starts with shotgun also. Very frustrating indeed but it is what it is.

Friday, rain is forecast. We were up at 6am and it's starting to rain. As we get to the range there is already thunder, lightning, heaps of rain and wondering how this match is going to be.

They decide a delay is in order due to the weather, thankfully, and we will sport for another start at 11am. This too does not occur with a delay now until 2pm and approval to shoot late.

Come 2pm it is still bucketing down with thunder and lightning and a foot of water to be wading through on range. Decision comes through that it is cancelled for the day. Others have been consulted and a decision has been made that the previous day's stages have been scrapped and that now we will start fresh tomorrow with 7 stages.

Posses will now be formed into 14 instead of the original 15 (which means we will be shifted into a new posse because we were in 15). Two posse's will be together, 1 shooting, 1 working so we all get through in a timely fashion and can be finished ready for awards and dinner.

Looking forward to a better day tomorrow, let's just say a second chance for me.

……..a few hours later…no, it now appears they have changed their minds again and we will now shoot 9 stages tomorrow and complete the match!

Kat xo

 

SASS European Championship Update

Okay seeing as I've been enjoying the time here and not blogging. I'll just give you a quick update between blogs.

So we did warm up the day before and started main match of the European Championships yesterday (Thursday). We did 6 stages, storm was supposed to come and didn't.

5 more were schedule for today…..note I said scheduled! It's been raining since 6am – two delays – but continued thunderstorms and inches of rain has put paid to any shooting for the day.

Yesterday's stages have been scrapped (lucky for me) and tomorrow will see a brand new set up of two posse's working together, 7 stages that everyone will shoot to produce an overall result.

With thunder, lightning and 20cm/10" deep of rain on the ranges (even though they were trying to pump it off) nothing is happening, was mission impossible for today.

So to everyone shooting the European Championships!

Good luck tomorrow!!!

Kat xo

Cžeski Krumlov

Česky Krumlov – a beautiful old Czech city filled with ornate buildings, fresco', and of course a 14th century castle.

We were lucky enough to have exceptional weather when we arrived there Saturday afternoon.

Once checked in to our 2nd floor room which ended up being 3 flights of stone stairs we were free to wander the cobblestone streets.

My eyes just kept moving from one building to the next trying to take in all the architecture, painting and signs.

The centre of the town is almost on an island, the river flows around in a horseshoe shape and today there are plenty of people rafting down it.

We found an outdoor seat at a restaurant, enjoyed a few beers before dinner and watched as they went past.

We took a stroll through the castle grounds later and got a sensational sunset backdrop to the castle tower.

A late coffee and ice cream in the thoroughfare before we turned in for the night, it was still hot but a thunderstorm in the early hours of the morning fixed that mostly.

Sunday morning and it's grey skies and then rain on and off. That was okay though as we were going inside the castle today.

There is no photography allowed to be taken inside the main castle buildings 😦 the Rosenberg family held title over the castle in 1302.
Later it went back to the Eggenberg family and then to The House of Schwarzenberg from 1719 to 1945.

Most of the town and castle dates in 14th to 17th centuries. First stop on the tour was the chapel with its baroque organ, this is an extremely ornate room. Like other areas and other countries, painted techniques were used to make timber fabrications look like marble or exotic wood.
There are a lot of carvings and beautiful paintings. Back then, during the renaissance period, the artificial marble was more expensive than actual marble.
Even the ceilings are painted with decorative surrounds and faux finials.

The property was originally divided between the 5 sons. One was an illegitimate son and only the 4 were given titles and therefore ties in with the four roses in the painting of the forming of these entities, the fifth however was not included in one of these works despite being displayed as a colour later in other works, coat of arms etc.

Most of the rooms were covered in wall carpets that are about 2" thick and woven in beautiful scenes. They were hung against the stone walls and to keep the rooms warm.

The dining room was used for entertaining and often had musicians play there for them as well.

The next room is virtually covered in frescos from floor to ceiling. They are stories from the Bible. It was used as a games room.

I could go on and on about the next few rooms but would probably bore most without a vivid imagination! I will however add the photos that are displayed on the tour price board.

In any case I could visit this city every time if I had a choice to come here I would keep coming back because there is so much to see and take in.

Na zdravi!
Kat xo