It hasn't been too long since the last update but there have been a few things to chat about...just a reminder that you can scroll over the pics on a computer to see the caption and click on the pic to enlarge it.
Jakobe Casey William Tycholiz arrived at 10:09AM Friday, March 31st to proud parents Jason Tycholiz (Jeff's brother) and Tera Elliot. The little fella was 7lbs, 11ounces and 20" long. We're seeing lots of great pics of the little fella and look forward to seeing him this summer!
Paddy's Day in Bahrain
We went over to Bahrain for a dual-purpose party - to celebrate our friend Donna's belated birthday, and to celebrate Paddy's Day in style. We left at 6AM, stopped for a Tim Horton's road coffee to ensure everyone was ready for the escapades, then proceeded to the golf course for drinks and bacon butty's. They are a British thing similar to an egg mcmuffin...but with tons of back bacon. After a couple pints, we were off to the Sofitel report for pre-game drinks and brunch. Brunches in the Middle East are something special - people get dressed up for the noon to 4PM all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink fun! Since this was Paddy's Day, Guinness was included in the free drink menu so that spelled disaster. Also, Lisa got "bombayed" by quenching her gin thirst - passed out for the night by 4:30PM. It was a great resort and a fun time with our friends...until 4:30PM. Fawk!
Prague, Czech Republic
We just returned from 5 days in Prague. We stayed at the Grandior Hotel in Old Town - a great hotel that was walking distance to all the main areas of Prague.
Some fun facts about Prague:
- 1.2 million people live here & over 6 million tourists visit each year
- non-locals pronounce it "Prog", rhyming with "frog" or "blog", but some locals pronounce it "Prag", rhyming with "bag" or "brag". Most locals call it Praha.
- called the "City of a Hundred Spires" due to the many old gothic churches - almost 200 churches
- according to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest castle on earth, spanning over 18 acres and being built in the 9th century
- their locals drink more beer per capita than any place on earth - 150L per year (half a litre per person per day!) It is the birthplace of Pilsner beer. (Go Riders!) Beer is also cheaper than water on most menus, with a large pint costing about $1-2 US.
We have heard so many great things about Prague - beautiful architecture, very clean, very safe, tremendous history & culture, great food and beer, and wild partying and fun.
All of that is true! We loved it and would love to go back.
Here are some highlights...
Thursday, March 30
We flew overnight from Bahrain to London, and then on to Prague. We quickly checked into our hotel, showered up, and went out to check the place out! So many amazing old buildings and incredible architecture. There are markets everywhere, serving up cheap Czech beer, sausage, desserts, etc, and selling crafts. Lisa's new favorite beer was the cherry beer! We walked all over the area to check out some sights in Prague, then finished off the night sampling at the Prague Beer Museum.
Off to bed to get some much-needed rest! Big day tomorrow...
Friday, March 31
Our day was set to kick off with a noon appointment at the Beer Spa
On our way, we walked to Wenceslas Square, a massive square with shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as more markets! There are so many sausage stands. Smells so good after being away from pork in Saudi!
We fell in love with a new dessert/snack called Trdelnik - it is made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix. Trdelník is found in several Central European countries, most prominently Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. The word "trdelník" is of Czech or Slovak origin. They fill this snack with ice cream or chocolate/nutella with strawberries and whipped cream. Lisa is a fan!!!
Jeff thought we should start our day with a pint in a Mexican restaurant. Why wouldn't you do that in Prague??
The beer spa. This is exactly as you would think...first, you sit in a beer spa, a 1000 Litre oak tub with jets like a hot tub. It is filled with the natural extracts used to brew beer, with hops, brewer's yeast, and malt. The high hop oil content, vitamin B, and active enzymes are supposed to be good for the skin. Ya, ya...whatever. We just liked to soak in warm beer, all while drinking unlimited beer from the tap. There was a sauna, a cool shower, and a straw bed but we took advantage of the beer and warm tub for the entire hour! Simply awesome! This place was made for us!
Dancing House - very cool architecture, built after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - there is even a "Ginger and Fred" restaurant at the top. See the pics below.
We saw a sign that said "Cat Cafe" - either peelers or something else? Yep, it's a cafe where you pay by the minute to have juice or coffee and have many cats come to you for attention. Friendly cats but not what we were looking for - off to the real "Cat Cafe"...
Every convenience store is loaded with mini bottles of alcohol...why is that?
Went to the hotel about 6pm for a nap and then to head out for some Friday Fun in Prague!
Saturday, April 1
We started the morning with some coffee & tea with Baileys, just as a kickstarter.
Then we were off to the Prague Castle, which was built in the 9th century. It is massive - many buildings and churches, with one huge cathedral (St.Vitus Cathedral - built in 1344) in it. It is amazing to even try to imagine how they built these impressive buildings over 1000 years ago. Incredible! Watch the video on the changing of the guards a bit later. Jeff may have got a little too close.
You can see an 'Eiffel Tower' (Petrin Lookout Tower) in one pic - it was built as a replica, 2 years after the original in Paris.
We took a boat ride along the Vltava River, took a city tour, and decided to get in a quick hotel nap before dinner and some Saturday shenanigans! When in Prague....
Sunday, April 2
We woke up a bit groggy and got up to walk to Old Town Square - saw a 7 foot tall Sigmund Freud statue called "Man Hanging Out". Very cool statue hanging from a building.
Also found many shops selling 'babushkas' - wooden carvings with 4-5 mini-dolls inside. They were painted with many different sports teams, including famous athletes. Bought 3 kick ass hats from one guy who really knew his hockey. He had Sidney Crosby in his store at the 2015 World Hockey Championships - he bought Penguins dolls and asked for a discount. Cheap sumbitch! Jaromir Jagr has been in there too. Great stories.
We strolled into the Mala Strana district on the other side of the Charles Bridge to find the Lennon Wall. Since John Lennon's death in 1980, many Czech's, Lennon fans, and Beatles fans were inspired to put 'peace' graffiti and Beatles lyrics onto this wall. It served as a symbol of freedom & rebellion against the communism regime. Funny enough, Lennon never even visited Prague. Pics are below - very colorful!
There is a "Piss" statue right outside the Franz Kafka Museum. Pretty strange statue with two guys peeing in a pool shaped like the Czech Republic. You can text a message to them (or your name) and they will pee the message. The video is attached below. Fantastic!
Charles Bridge had some very cool street buskers, including a kick ass band called Electroshock - check out the video below. Also, there are some dark gold plaques on the bridge statues - they are believed to bring good luck if you rub the gold part. Interesting!
We took a stroll along the river to see the castle and Charles Bridge lit up at night - fantastic! Check the pics down below.
We dined on a Czech delicacy - Koleno, also known as pork knee or pork knuckle. (Not a moose knuckle for you jokers out there!) They put these pork knuckles on a rotisserie and serve them up after soaking them in a dark Czech beer. Very tasty. Lots of meat!
Getting cold and dark. Tired. 3AM wake up call to go home comes early. Off to bed!
We love you Prague!!!
Coming Soon - Tribfest Bahrain
We have tickets to visit Tribfest in Bahrain on Friday, April 28th. Bahrain has been getting a lot of concerts recently - Bryan Adams, UB40, Tom Jones, Enrique Iglesias, and now their famous Tribfest show that they have in spring & fall. They get tribute bands from all over the world to attend. It is held at the Rugby Club - live music, food, beer gardens, and a pool to cool off in. Sounds like a killer day. Here's the lineup and a promotional video.
Thanks for taking the time to go through this edition of the blog. Hope you enjoyed the stories and pics.
We're really looking forward to our trip back home in June. 5 days in Amsterdam, then seeing friends & family all over Western Canada, then the Montana cottage for a week. Lisa is also excited to spend a few days with her mom back at home to celebrate her 60th birthday in July.
Preparation is also underway for our African safari - studying the itinerary, getting the required vaccine shots, plus Jeff ordered a big digital SLR camera with a good zoom lens to capture some pics. Should be fun!
Also, we hope to finalize the 2018 T&A trip with Mark & Gayle over the upcoming weeks - stay tuned.
We'll leave you with a few random pics...Cheers! J&L
All posts are updated by Jeff & Lisa