Friday, July 29, 2005

Catalina Cruise, Part 6 (passage to San Pedro)

Part 6 (Passage to San Pedro)
Friday morning we showered and breakfasted. Pat then made a run to the Pavilions (Vons) store for ice. By this time, the Bahia Corinthian was coming to life again for the day; kids and instructors were beginning to swarm the piers and load Sabots into the water and some sort of dock officer barked out orders to clear the way for the arrival of a group of racers arriving later that day.

We got a chance to meet Susan Broderick, the club’s pleasant and knowledgeable administrator, and bought some souvenirs as a memory of our trip and in appreciation of the club’s hospitality. We even learned one of the club’s most closely-guarded secrets: the location of the ice machine. Although I’d just schlepped down with two blocks of ice, the icebox had room for more, so we topped enough with enough cubes to last for the rest of our (all too short) remaining voyage.

Desert Blue with Tim and Amy, Kacey and Kevin, left the better part of an hour before Hägar. Unlike the day before, when the harbor was swarming with sabots and every other manner of craft, the harbor was rather quiet on Friday morning, with a small but steady stream of boats heading out and a few heading into port.

We motored during the morning calm, then motor-sailed, then cut off the motor as the winds steadied and we approached Huntington Beach on our sail to weather. As we continued past Bolsa Chica beach and past a couple of oil rigs, the winds freshened, and by the time we were in sight of Long Beach we were in almost a small-boat sailor’s mini-gale, with the wind meter topping out at 28 knots and lots of whitecaps and some breaking waves overlaying the swell. About half of our sail was in winds of around 20 knots or more, so the life vests were broken out and worn. The main was reefed and the genoa rolled in according to the varying winds. Tacking became more of a chore under shortened sail.

With spray and sometimes more water coming aboard, we took advantage of an opportunity to tack into the Long Beach harbor entrance and work our way up through the outer harbor toward San Pedro. The advantage of this maneuver was the relatively calmer waters inside the breakwater; even though we still had whitecaps and some breaking waves, the swell was gone and the ride much easier. The disadvantage was that the waters were more crowded with jetties, moored ships, and moving vessels to be avoided, so we had to do much more tacking. Also, toward the end of our beat, the winds became more fickle, softening enough to tempt us to run out more genoa, and then renewing their fury and forcing us to reduce sail again.

Coincidentally, this was about the time that Aequanimity and Desert Angel arrived in the harbor from Avalon. Although their ocean passage was successful, their arrival in the harbor was not without incident. Jeff, sailing without a usable motor, found himself unable to cross the path of a big ship and had to tack toward shore … and all the way aground upon the shore, further banging up his unfortunate MacGregor. With some damage to the boat and a lack of maneuverability, Jeff had to call for a tow to the (fortunately nearby) county boat ramp and put his boat on the trailer and haul it out of the water after which Buzz and crew were able to continued on into the marina.

We found our way to the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, where dockmaster Dean had found the three remaining boats a corner of the marina where we could tie up close together. Stan and Capt. Al on Hägar cooked dinner to use up more of their abundant provisions, while most of the rest of us searched for a friendly restaurant. After finding a nearby seafood place oversubscribed with a long waiting list, we wound up on 6th street at San Pedro’s brewpub. The beer may not have been the most exciting sudsy stuff and the place only had two flavors on tap, but they had a varied menu and lots of good food. Sleep was then welcome, though some construction/industrial noises from across the harbor were a nuisance; there was a sort of a siren or “hooter” going off from time to time from about a half mile or more to the east.

The next day, we enjoyed the peaceful morning quiet of the harbor. The morning soon became warm, but we had a lot to do. Captain Al climbed the mast, using a special ladder that was hauled up the mainsail track, to retrieve an errant halyard. Much work had to be done to prepare Hägar for haul-out; lines and sheets needed to be coiled and stowed, the sails put down, the boom stowed below, and the dinghy taken apart, washed, and stowed. Then it was time to say farewell to our friends at Cabrillo Beach, motor to the boat ramp, and begin the haul-out process.

After backing the trailer into the water, nudging the boat onto the trailer, securing it snugly with quarter-lines, hauling Hägar and trailer out of the water and re-attaching the trailer to the truck, loose gear was cleared away, the spare tire was attached to the trailer, and the a-frame for lowering the mast was assembled and raised into position abaft the mast. By then it was eight bells; noon came and went and I had to leave to catch a 1:00 p.m. shuttle from the Catalina Express terminal to Los Angeles airport. Captain Al planned to take me, but the one glitch of our trip together rose up: a gear broke in the trailer jack and the truck couldn’t be disconnected from the trailer and (mast still up) boat.

So, in about one hour and a few minutes, I power-walked first to the yacht club, printed out my boarding pass from the computer in the member’s lounge, turned in the card-key for the marina, and power walked north up the harbor to the ferry terminal. Arriving at about 1:10, I found the parking lot thronged with a hundred or more Boy Scouts, parents, and leaders; a big contingent had just debarked from the ferry after spending a week in summer camp on the island. Relieved to find my shuttle still waiting for me, I introduced myself to the driver and settled in for the ride to the airport.

Quickly arriving at terminal one of LAX – Saturday traffic was light by L.A. standards and easily dealt with by the driver – I paid the driver, walked around the external luggage check-in area and into the security screening line. Well, sort of a line. There were four screeners and only a handful of people at the time, so I only had to wait a minute for the person ahead of me to be screened. Having left my duffle on the boat to accompany Al and Stan overland, I was traveling light and was strolling down the concourse by 1:47 with plenty of time to kill until my 3:20 flight. Strolling through a Brookstone and a cat-and-dog pet gift store killed some time, then a stop for an ice cream cone at one shop and then a soda at McDonald’s killed more time until it was time to board the direct flight to Albuquerque.

The rest of the trip was a welcome, efficient anticlimax to the hardships and delays of the outbound trip. Although the plane was about 10 minutes late leaving, it made up that time and the time sped while I conversed with my aisle neighbors, a lady on my right who grew up in Albuquerque and a retired former pipefitter on my left who lived in Mora County. With no luggage to claim, I rapidly went to the shuttle van area and found one waiting to take me to the parking lot; the driver was happy to take off with just one passenger, so I was in my car a few minutes later, chatting for a moment with the gate attendant, and on my way home.

Catalina Cruise, Part 5 (Newport)

Part 5: Newport Beach and Harbor

Entering the harbor, we soon found ourselves in the middle of a hundred miniature sailboats all darting about the harbor. Two of the local yacht clubs were conducting childrens' sailing classes; at least a few dozen of the little Sabots belonged to the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Instructors in Boston Whalers motored about the harbor to try to keep some order while passing on tips to the six- and seven-year-old mariners in the square-ended craft.

Above is pictured our destination, the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Harbor.

At right is Hagar in her overnight berth at the check-in dock.

Also very visible in the harbor were every manner of sail and power craft and even representatives of a squadron of electric “Duffy” boats. Some of them appeared to be privately owned or rented; others seemed to be operated by professional skippers, with customers relaxing around a table set with snack tidbits and drinks. More athletic folks enjoyed running up and down the walkways that bordered the harbor.

Check-in at the club was quite simple; we simply gave our club affiliation and boat information to one of the receptionists in the office. I believe one of our skippers was offered the option of signing in to use the restaurant and bar, but decided not to bother since we planned to have our dinners on board and still had a lot of food onboard.

Unfortunately, not having much time at the club (and arriving on a weekday) meant that we didn’t get to see much of the place or meet the members. I had particularly hoped to meet Rod Woods, the friendly and helpful Vice Commodore who arranged for our visit, and thank him for his club’s hospitality. Perhaps another time that will happen; certainly they have a beautiful and active facility and by far my biggest regret was not having time to explore the area further and meet folks.

One of the ladies in the office gave us the location of the nearest supermarket, about a third of a mile away, and I went off with Capt. Al on a steak run. Besides some nice steaks we returned with lots of other goodies for the galley and grog locker. Most of the treats were a big hit, although one crew member turned out not to be a big fan of grapes. I got the discount price by entering my phone number into the checkout machine even though I'd forgotten my Von's card.

That evening we had a bluegrass concert and humor-fest on the ship’s boom box and learned various “facts” about country, folk, and bluegrass music mixed in with some pickin’ and strummin’ and singin’, quotes from Shakespeare, and other odd bits. Unfortunately, the batteries faded just in the middle of the story about a horse just retired to a luxurious life in green pastures, rolling in and eating the grass. That one will just have To Be Continued.

Catalina Cruise, Part 4 (Passage to Newport)

Eventually it was time to drop the moorings and shove off. Tim and Amy, with Kacey and Kevin, were first to shove off in Desert Blue and made a fairly quick motorsail all the way to Newport Beach and the delights of mainland civilization.

Al, Stan, and Pat followed shortly behind in Hägar, passing by the huge motley crew aboard Your Mom.

Before long, Braxton and crew had caught up to us, did a photo run-by, and then started hauling up their spinnaker. Unfortunately, Your Mom is so fast that it had run a mile or two downwind by the time the big chute was in position, so we didn't get a good picture.

There's plenty of small boat traffic in the lanes between Avalon and the big mainland harbors such as Newport Beach and San Pedro, so other boats were very often in sight. We motored for about an hour until the breeze steadied, then cut off the motor and enjoyed a quiet, beautiful day on the water. The winds remained moderate during our sail, and we enjoyed a leisurely broad reach almost all the way to Newport Harbor.

A couple of high peaks to the southeast of Newport Beach provide a rough landmark from many miles away. At about six miles, the tall buildings that stand about a mile behind the harbor become visible. Boat traffic is also frequent enough to be usable as a landmark. As we approached Newport Beach more and more boats became visible; some folks were racing a few miles offshore, while others were fishing off the coast and jetties or ducking out for a quickie daysail.

Catalina Cruise, Part 3

Part 3
Thursday morning dawned bright and clear over Avalon Harbor. Folks took their time getting going, pausing often to run various errands and admire the scenery. Stan Hafenfeld was seen carting a large crate from "downtown" Avalon toward the dinghy dock north of the Tuna Club; it turned out that he had bought himself .... a mermaid! You never know what you'll see on a Catalina Cruise!

Right: Long Beach skyline.

Below: Sailboat near Long Beach harbor entrance.

Above: Avalon beach on Thursday morning, and one of many "painted eagles" that now decorate Avalon as part of a widespread art project that saw painted ponies in Albuquerque and painted porpoises in Port Isabel, Texas.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Catalina Cruise 2005, Part 2

Catalina Cruise, Part 2
Arriving at the island, I saw no familiar faces to greet me while trudging ashore with a heavy duffle bag. Nor were there any familiar faces visible on the restaurant patios or front rooms visible as I shouldered the ever-heavier burden. After walking for long enough to be weary and not seeing anyone familiar, the next step for me was a visit up some steep steps to the harbormaster’s office. This visit yielded the buoy locations of two of our boats – though I think Al Sharp would have been somewhat chagrined to have learned that his boat had been mis-recorded as “Hardbar” instead of “Hägar”! Waiting for 15 minutes at the shore boat dock, with the idea of leaving a message on Hägar if no one was on board, didn’t get me any closer to the Cruisers because the shore boat never showed up in all this time. Walking the shore got me close enough to a couple of our boats so that I could see that they were all closed up with everyone likely on shore having a fine dinner and good companionship. More walking around and peeking into restaurants, however, didn’t bring me the sight of any comfortingly familiar faces.

Worried, hungry, alone far from home, and with darkness approaching, I sought refuge from the specter of spending a night on a park bench by checking into a hotel room. “Any port in a storm.” The Atwater had something available for $90 plus tax, almost a bargain by Avalon standards, so I checked in, dropped the heavy bag in the room, washed my face, and got some ice cubes to cool a glass of water before heading back out in search of the elusive Cruisers. This time, though, the Catalina Cruisers weren’t so elusive; within ten or fifteen minutes I spotted a familiar face, and then another, and then more, and was able to join the Cruisers in time for the Official Portrait.

After making arrangements to join Hägar on the morrow and grabbing a quick “Big Olaf” ice cream cone, I followed Braxton to “Your Mom” for an evening cruise down and back up the coast. We had some merlot and Braxton trailed a couple of lines to scare any fish that might be nearby; I also got a pretty good look at Your Mom for the first time, including a peek under the hood to see the three-cylinder Volvo diesel. Somehow managing to tie back up to the fore-and-aft mooring, we then settled down for more stories and libations, until it was time for me to hop onto the shore boat and settle in for the night in my room.

Catalina Cruise 2005, Part 1

Catalina Cruise 2005

Getting there wasn’t half the fun, but a couple of good days on the water are far superior to a typical day at the office. Because of a shortage of vacation time and crew (Gerald was backpacking at the Philmont National Boy Scout Ranch), I chose to fly out to join the cruise in mid-progress on Wednesday, July 20. My plan was to fly to Los Angeles via Phoenix, take a van shuttle south to San Pedro, and get on the last Catalina Express ferry of the day from San Pedro to Avalon on Catalina Island to meet the Catalina Cruisers. On Tuesday, a message was left on my phone stating that the departure time for the ferry had been changed from 5:00 to 4:30 so the ferry could visit Two Harbors en route to Avalon. Since I’d allowed for a couple of hours of slack, this didn’t seem like it would be much of a problem.

Wednesday morning I put in a few hours at work, rushing to get some last-minute projects settled for the week. Leaving Babe at the shuttle lot, I was quickly through airport security, had plenty of time for lunch, and arrived in Phoenix several minutes earlier. Things began to unravel, though, in Sky Harbor, when Southwest announced that my connecting flight to LAX had mechanical problems and that plane was still on the ground in San Antonio, Texas. So much for my careful plans!

In Phoenix, I took the precaution of calling someone at Catalina Express. The response was that, yes, they’d left the message about the time change and my departure time was 5:00. Unfortunately, the person who answered was rather confused and didn’t have the right information, as it turned out. The flight wound up about an hour and thirty or forty minutes late; after catching my van shuttle and forcing our way through rush hour traffic, I was dropped off at the ferry terminal at 4:45 – and learned that the ferry had indeed left at 4:30 and was indeed the last one of the day. I faced missing out completely on sailing back to the mainland with the Cruisers.

Fortunately, there was a 5:45 ferry available from the Catalina Express terminal in Long Beach, so I bought a ticket for it and called a cab. A cab from the company I’d called showed up within a few minutes, so I hopped in and told them to take me to the Long Beach Catalina Express terminal near the Queen Mary. Before long (and about $18 later) I was there – only to find out I was at the wrong terminal. The Catalina Express terminal near the Queen Mary was called their “landing” terminal, but the ferry I needed to catch was at their “main” Long Beach terminal a mile or two across the harbor. Just as I learned these unpleasant facts, another Checker Cab pulled up to unload passengers, so I caught the cab. This driver was a maniac, who would have set the land speed record between the two terminals had he not been surprised by the installation of a median that required him to drive a few blocks further before making a u-turn to get to the terminal entrance.

Queuing up for the ferry among a crowd of mostly Avalon locals, I noticed that many of them had been doing lots of heavy shopping. Also noticeable was a small US Coast Guard patrol boat in the harbor. It was rigid-inflatable motorboat about twenty-four feet long with a small pilot’s cabin amidships. A skipper was at the helm in the cabin, and a second Coastie was strapped in the bow behind a heavy machine gun. That wasn’t all the security we got, either; a second patrol boat escorted the ferry all the way out of the harbor area and three pistol-packing Coast Guards-people (two guys and a gal) rode the ferry all the way to Avalon and back.

Reception was good on my brand-new cell phone as the ferry pulled out of its dock at 5:45, so it was time to make contact with my fellow Catalina Cruisers. First I tried calling the cruise leader’s cell phone (since I didn’t have the cell number for the skipper of the boat that I was to join). It was quite disappointing, therefore, to hear a recorded message that he was going to be out of the office during the week and that I could call someone else for help with my real estate needs. Not to worry, though – I had written down cell phone numbers for several of the Cruisers. So I made more calls – and got more answering messages; I called five people and was batting zero for five, with nary one real sailor to answer me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Prague, language - seafaring terms

sail - plachetní loď, plachta (lodní)
sail - dát se (rozhodně, slang.) embark
sail - plachetnice (plachetní loď)
sail - pustit se (dát se, slang.) plunge, embark
sail - řídit (loď) (navigate)
sail - spustit (lodičku) go off, unloose, drop anchor, launch
sail - plavit se
sail – plout

plout (s vlecenou kotvou) - kedge
plout (o lodi) - be bound
plout - bear down on, bowl along, steer, go, scud, float
plout (z mista na misto) - cruise
plout blizko pobrezi - hug the coast
plout clunem - boat
sail – plavba (navigation, crossing, passage)
plavba kolem sveta - circumnavigation
plavba po kanalech - canal navigation
plavba po mori - sea voyage

sail – plachtoví (canvas, rigging, sail, clothing, tarp)
sail - jet po vodě go by water
sail - křídlo (mlýna) (flank, wing)
sail - lodní plachta

lodni poddustojnik (namor.) - midshipman
lodni ponor - sea-gauge (sink)
lodni potreby - naval stores
lodni prid - prow
lodni propust - ship pass
lodni prostor (namor.) – hold, -space, stowage, gross tonnage
lodni prostor (tonaz) - tonnage
sail – odplout- come around (US), set sail
sail - plachtit se
sail (pl) - plavidlo

sailor – námořník, plavec, lodník
sailor hat - slamák
Sailor Takes a Wife - námořník se žení
sailors - námořnický
sailoring - námořničení
sailorman - námořník
midshipman - lodni praktikant -
naval architect - lodni projektant -

sailboat(s), sailing boat - plachetnice
sailer – plachetnice, plachetní loď (sailing vessel)
sailer - loď
clipper - plachetnice (rychla, drive) -

sailed - plavil se, pod plachtami
sailing – plachtění, plachetní
sailing - plavba
sailing - umění řídit loď (craft of sea navigation)
sailing - navigace
sailing – mořeplavba (sea voyaging)
sailing - plavební podmínky
sailing - plavební předpisy
sailing date, sailing day - den odplutí

sails - plachty
sail – peruť (wing, sail)
sail – plachtit (wing)
sails – plachty, plavba, plavidlo
sailcloth - látka na plachty
mainsail - hlavní plachta
spinnaker - spinakr (námoř.)
jib - kosatka (plachta) (foresail, jib)
Genoa – janov
mizzen - vratiplachta

plavit se – circumnavigate, navigate
plavit se (krizem krazem - cruise
plavit se – sail, - be under sail, punt
plavit se (dlouho nebo okruzni plav - voyage
plavit se (lodi) - ship
plavit se do - sail for

tack about - křižovat (s lodí, v chování)
tack about - lavírovat (křižovat s lodí,v chován

starboard - pravobok (lodi), pravý bok (lodi), pravý
starboard side - pravý bok (lodi)
right ..........vpravo
from the right - zprava

left vlevo
port side, port - levý bok lodi, levý bok (lodi)

prid – nose, bow, fore, foreship, prow
prid (lodi) – stem, bows (pl)
prid clunu - bow of a boat
forward – doslat forward
forward - dopředu (směřující) before, forth, ahead
forward - kupředu (směrující) ahead, onward
forward - směřující vpřed forward
forward - v popředí to the fore
forward - vpřed (směřující), přední
forward - v propustném směru

aft - na zádi, na záď
aft - u zádi
aft - k zádi
aft - u
stern - lodní záď, záď (lodní)
zad (stern, poop, afterbody)
stern – kormidlo (rudder, helm, tiller, stern)
stern - zadní část (heel, stern, tail)
zadni delo - stern-chaser
rudder – kormidlo, kormidlovat
rudder - směrovka
rudder - směrnice
rudder - zásada
rudderhead - hlava pně kormidla
rudderless - bez kormidla
rudderpost - peň kormidla
tiller - řídicí páka tiller, joystick, track arm
tiller - páka kormidla (námoř.), kormidelní páka
tiller rope - kormidelní lano
yokelines - kormidlova lana

kormidelni retez - tiller-chain
kormidlovani – steerage, steering
kormidlovat - handle the rudder, helm, steer, steer the steering wheel, con, cox
kormidlovat zavodni lod - coxswain
kormidlovani (pren.) - helm
řídicí steering, driving, directional

transom - příčný tram (transom, crossbeam)
transom – traverza (girder, spreader bar, transverse beam)
transom – nosník (console, stanchion)
transom – rozpěra (spreader, reacher, stay bar)
transom - vodorovná příčel, vodorovný příčel
vodorovna - horizontal

keel - lodní kýl, kýl (lodní)
keel - loď (bás.)
keel – obrátit (put about) kýlem (bottom) vzhůru (upward)
keel - padnout
keel – položit lay down, depose
keel-haul - ostře pokárat keel-haul, reprimand
keel-haul - dát co proto dress-down, flay
keel-haul - vzít na paškál, - sjet (koho)
kylova chodba - double bottom
kylova lopatice - centreboard

mainmast - hlavní stěžeň (námoř.), hlavní stožár
foremast - přední stěžeň (námoř.)
mizzen - plachta na zadním stožáru (námoř.)
mizzen mast - zadní stěžeň
mast – stěžeň mast
mast – stožár pole, mast, flagstaff
mast antenna - stožárová anténa
mast signal - stožárové návěstidlo
burgee - plamenec (námoř.) (pennant, flue)

boom – trám (boom, girder, strut, beam)
boom – bidlo (pole, shaft, spar)
boom - jít nahoru come aloft?
plachetni rozpera (zapora, namor.) - sprit
plachetni zapora - sprit

halyard - provaz na zvedání a spouštění (námo) (halyard, haulyard, halliard)
halyard - zdvíhací lano (zdvihadlo - hoisting gear)
halyard – zdviž (elevator, hoist, halyard)
mainsheet - hlavní otěž (main check-rein/bridle)
foresheet - otez predni plachty

forestay - přední stěh, čelní podpěra stěžně
shroud - stěžňové lano (výztužné, námor.)
boom guy - řídicí lano
topping lift fall - výložné lano
topping lift purchase - výložná kladka
cringle - vodící oko (námoř.) (~loop guide)
cringle - vodící kroužek (námoř.) (~ring guide)
reef point - kasací lanko
lanko guy, wire, string
lanko na zebriku - ratline
block - blok
companion hatch, hatchway companion - vstupni pristresek

compass – kompas
compass bearing - magneticky kurz
compass bowl - pouzdro kompasu
compass compensation - kompenzace kompasu
compass heading - kurz daný kompasem
compass needle - magnetka
compass north - magnetický sever

sextant sextant (uhlomer) – (sextant, protractor, angle gauge)
chart - mapa námořní
dividers (pl) - odpichovací kružítko
casomer – chronometer, time meter
casomeric - chronometer
south latitude - jižní zeměpisná šířka
longitude - délka (zejména zeměp.)
longitude - zeměpisná délka
longitude - dlouhý celočíselný typ

port – přístavní (port, harbor); pristavni doky – docks pristavni hraz – jetty or mole, pristavni kapitan - harbour-master)
port (SCO) - brána (městská) (pylon, port, portal)
port - okénko (v boku lodi) (window, wicket)
port – útočiště (haven, port, refuge, shelter, sanctuary)
port - otvor (v boku lodi) (inlet, hatch, loophole, slot)
port - přístav
port – dvířka hatch, port, little door

lodi, lodika - boats
lodivodska lod - pilot vessel; lodivodsky clun - pilot boat
lodivodska vlajka - pilot flag; lodivodsky zebrik - pilot ladder
lodka - dinghy
lod bitevni - battleship
lod cisternova - tanker
lod dalne plavby - foreign-going vessel
lod drzena v pristavu bouri - storm-bound ship
longship - válečná veslice (war oared boat)

Jachta, jachtarsky - yacht
jachta k plachteni na lede - ice-boat
jachtar - yachtsman; jachtarske - yachtsmen
jachtarsky klub - yacht club
jachtareni, jachting, jachtink - yachting
sailing club - plachetní klub
regatta - regata (veslařský závod), veslařské závody (rowing competition)
sailorly - elegantní
shipshape (hov.) - v poradku (pren.)

breeze - potyčka (hovor.) (passage, skirmish)breeze - ovád
breeze – vánek zephyr, breath
breeze – větřík air
breeze – škvára breeze, dross, clinker
breeze – střeček breeze, gadfly
breeze – vanout sweep, blow, breeze
breeze – foukat whiff, whiffle, fan, breeze
gale - splátka (nájemného, úroků)
gale - vichřice (námoř., 51 - 101 km/hod) storm, tempest, tornado, waterspout
gale - voskovník (bot.)
gale - bouře (veselí ap.) tempest, thunderstorm
gale - výbuch (smíchu ap.) outburst, gust, eruption
gale – poprask turmoil, uproar, disturbance
gale - vánek (vítr, bás.)
gale disaster - větrná kalamita wind calamity
gale-disaster area - kalamitní plocha
hurricane – uragán, vichřice, hurikán, vichřice, orkán, cyklon

north - severní
northeast – severovýchod, severovýchodní
northeast of - severovýchodně od
east by north - severovýchodně
east východní (v zeměpisných jménech)
east - na východ, Východ, východně
east by south - jihovýchodně
southeast - jihovýchodní
southeaster - jihovýchodní vítr
south – jih, jižní, jižně, k jihu, na jih, na jihu
west by south - jihozápadně
southwest – jihozápadní, na jihozápad, k jihozápadu
southwester - jihozápadní vítr (bouře ap.)
southwester - rybářský klobouk (nepromokavý)
west – západ, západní
west by north - severozápadně
northwest – severozápad, severozápadní

Adriatic – Jadran, jaderský, adriatický
Adriatic Sea - Jaderské moře
Atlantic Ocean - Atlantský oceán
Pacific Ocean - Tichý oceán
sea - moře
ocean - oceán
lake - jezero
lake - rybník (velký) pond (robust/expansive)
Gulf Stream - Golfský proud
river – řeka (river, stream, flume), proud (current) (řeky), tok
stream - tok (vodni)
river channel - řečiště
river crossing - přechod řeky
river dam – přehrada (dam, barrier, bulkhead)
the river pours itself into the sea - reka se vleva do more
navigable river – reka splavny
seagull – racek
mořský salt, marine, oceanic
namorni – salt, sea, seagoing, marine, maritime, nautical, naval, navy
plujici ostre proti vetru, plujici tesne u vetru - full and by
propustny - leaky
lavka – bridge, foot bridge, gangway

zachranna kotva – anchor (safety anchor)
zachranna letka - air rescue squadron
zachranna lod - life-craft
zachranna lod - salvage ship/vessel, wrecker
zachranna stanice - first-aid station, ambulance
zachranna vesta (plovaci) - cork jacket

anchor – kotevní anchor anchorage, guy
anchor – kotva anchor, deadman
kotva (viceramenna) - grapnel
anchor – zakotvit moor, cast anchor, drop anchor
anchor – kotvit to anchor, lie at anchor
anchor - ukotvit
anchor cable - kotevní lano
anchor capstan - kotevní vratidlo
anchor chain - kotevní řetěz
vratidlo – crab, capstan, windlass, star wheel; tackle

oar – veslo sweep, oar, row
oar boat - veslový člun
oarage – veslování
veslovani - vpred! - give way-all!
veslovat - pull together; veslovat! - down oars!
oared - veslový
oarless - bez vesel
oars (pl) – vesla, veslař

buoy – bóje, vzpružit, poplavek
buoy - označit bójí buoy out, buoy
buoy - záchranný pás life preserver, seat belt
buoy – nadnášet uphold, float
buoy – plovák cork, float
buoy - udržovat nad vodou (maintain over water)
buoyage - znakování (plavební) dráhy (beacons)
buoyage - bóje (hromad.)
buoyage - plavatky (hromad.)
buoyancy bujnost
lighthouse - maják
lighthouse keeper - strážce majáku

commodore - komodor (námoř., voj.)
commodore - starší kapitán (senior capitan)
commodore - předseda jachetního klubu (yacht club chief)
commodore - velitelská loď
vice commodore vice komodor (?)

capsize – převrhnout, převrhnout se unhorse, overthrow
capsize - převrátit se cant over, topple, upset
capsize - překotit se keel over, topple
capsize – zvrhnout, zvrhnout se throw back, dwindle

adrift - vydaný na pospas (živlům, osudu, ná
adrift – zmítaný, plující
adrift – nazdařbůh adrift, aimless, random
adrift - unášený proudem adrift, carried away
adrift – neuvázaný adrift, ill-advised, impetuous
adrift – nezakotvený adrift, under weigh
adrift - bez cíle adrift, aimless

figurehead – loutka doll, dummy, straw man
figurehead - galionová figura
galionova ozdoba - fiddle-head

outboard motor - přívěsný lodní motor
přívěsný outboard, appended, tie-on,
motorova lod - cruiser
motor petrol - motorový benzín
gasoline - benzín (USA)
oil - nafta (GB), petrolej (GB)
oil - olej
diesel - dieselový
diesel, diesel oil - motorová nafta
diesel - naftový
diesel fuel - nafta pro motory
Diesel engine - motor dieselový, naftový motor

mooring – kotviště (plural), kotvení
mooring - zakotvení
mooring - uvázání
mooring bitt - vyvazovací pachole
mooring rope - uvazovací lano
mooring-mast - kotevní stožár
moorings - zakotvení

splice - nastavit (provaz, desku) (splice together, adjust, regulate)
splice - spojovat (spletením ap.) (bond, join,knit)
splice - spojit splétáním
splice – spojit (yoke,hyphenate, unite)
splice - splétat
splice – přilepit (glue, attach, paste)
splice – nalepit (stick on, glue, attach, paste)
splice - spojení
splice - podélná vazba
splice - podélný spoj
splice – propojovat (wire up, splice, connect, tie in)
splice - sesazovat (dýhy)
splice - sešívat (papír)
splice - slepit pásku (splice, tape or bind together)

spletany spoj - spliced joint
spletat – twist, braid, knit, pleat, splice
spletat (cop) - plait
spletat se - twine
sesazovacka - splicer
sesazovani - splicing

blinking - mžouravý
flashing beacon - mžikový maják

hromovy hlas – foghorn (thunder voice)
foghorn - mlhová siréna (fog siren)
foghorn - mlhový roh (fog horn/edge)
foghorn - hlas jako hrom (voice like thunder)
foghorn - hromový hlas (thundering voice)
zmitany bouri - storm-beaten, tempest-tossed

cloud - zachmuřit (přen.)
cloud - zatemnit (přen.)
cloud - mrak
cloud - zahalit
cloud - mračno
cloud - chmura
cloud - zastřít
cloud - oblak
cloud - kouř
cloud - opocení
cloud - vrhnout stín
cloud - zachmuřit
cloud - zakrýt mrakem
cloud - zamlžit
cloud - zastínit
cloud - zákal (tekutiny)
cloud - zkalit
cloud height - výška mraků
cloud in - obestřít
cloud layer - vrstva mraků
cloud-burst - průtrž mračen
cloudbank - hradba (nízkých) mraků

cumulus - kumulus (meteor.)
cumulus - kupovitý oblak
cumulonimbus - kumulonimbus (meteor.)
cumulostratus - kumulostratus (meteor.)
cirrus - úponek
cirrus cloud - beránkový mrak
nimbus – svatozář (aureole, halo)
nimbus - nimbus
nimbus - dešťový oblak
nimbus - nimbostratus

thundercloud - zamračený
thunderer - hromovládce
thundering – hromový (thunder, thundering)
thundering - hřímání
thundering - ohromný
thundering - senzační
thundering - hřímavý
thunderstorm - bouřka
thunderstorm - hromobití
thunderstorm - bouře

lightning - blesk
lightning - blýskat se
lightning conductor – bleskosvod (lightning rod)
lightning storm - bouře
lightning strike - neohlášená stávka
lightning strikes - hrom bije

rain - déšť
rain - pršet
rain - řinout se
rain - téct
rain - padat
rain - dešťový
rain cats and dogs - lít jako z konve
lit (tez silne prset) - pour
lit (silne prset) - shower
destovy – pluvial, pluvious, rain, rainy
rain gauge - dešťoměr
rain glass - barometr
rain squall - poryv deště
rain storm - bouře doprovázená lijákem

tornado - smršť (též i přen.)
tornado - vichřice
tornado - tornádo (smršť)
tornado - smršť (též přen.)
tornado - orkán (bouře, přen.)
tornado - bouře (přen.)
tornado - větrná smršť

sleet - pršet s kroupami (být plískanice)
sleet - pršet se sněhem (být plískanice)
sleet - plískanice
sleet - zmrzlý déšť
sleet - déšť se sněhem
sleet - sníh s deštěm
sleet - sněhová kaše

snow - sníh (též i přen.)
snow - sníh (též přen.)
snow - sněžit
snow - sněžení
snow - sněhový
snow - sněžný
snow - padat sníh
snow - chumelit
snow - zima
snow - chumelenice
snow - koks
snow - zbělet
snow - zbělet jako sníh

blizzard - vánice
blizzard - blizard
blizzard - fukýř
blizzard - sněhová bouře
blizzard - metelice
blizzard - sněhová vichřice

Non-Beaufort winds etc.:
vánek = bríza - breeze
húlava - squall
smršť - (inf.) squall; whirlwind
uragán - hurricane (Caribbean)
hurikán - hurricane (N. Atlantic)
bouře - storm
bouřka - thunderstorm
bouře tropická - tropical storm
bouře sněhová - snowstorm

The Beaufort Scale:
0 - bezvětří calm
1 - vánek light air
2 - slabý vítr light breeze
3 - mírný vítr gentle breeze
4 - dosti čerstvý vítr moderate breeze
5 - čerstvý vítr fresh breeze
6 -

7 - prudký vítr near gale
8 - bouřlivý vítr (fresh) gale (gale force 8)
9 - vichřice strong gale (gale force 9)
10 - silná vichřice storm (storm force 10)
11 - mohutná vichřice violent storm (force 11)
12 - orkán hurricane

anchor - záchranná kotva (safety anchor)
anchor – spása (boon, redemption, saving)
anchor – upínat (bind, set)

boom – vzestup (increase, jump, ascent)
boom - vzestup (též i cen)
boom - vzestupná část hospodářského cyklu ($)
boom – reklama (boost, advertising)
boom – úspěch (pass, hit, speed)
boom – hučet (hum, drone, roar)
boom – rozmach (upswing, sway)
boom – vzkvétat (thrive, prosper)
boom - rozvíjet se (thrive, advance)
boom – hukot (whistle, roar, buzz)
boom – konjunktura (boost, conjecture, upswing)
boom - konjunkturní
boom - dělat kampaň (good crusade/offensive)
boom - dělat reklamu
boom – dunění (crash, bellow, rumble)
boom – dunět (roar, plonk, thud)
boom – houkat (toot, whoop, hoot)

mast – bukvice (forage, nuts)
mast – žaludy (acorns)
mast - krmivo (z bukvic, žaludů) (browse)
mast - opatřit stěžněm
mast - úroda bukvic (crop)

bow - uvést (s poklonami)
bow – úklona (to duck or to bow)
bow – luk (archery)
bow – sklonit (bend, crouch, decline)
bow - motýlek (kravata) (bow tie)
bow - ohnout se (hunch, buckle)
bow – ohýbat (turn back, curve)
bow - duha (bás.)
duha (sudu) - stave
bow - klonit se (descend, stoop)
bow – mašle (ribbon, topknot)
bow – oblouk (arch, arc)
bow – ohnout (hook, flex, fold down)
bow – ohyb (bend, crease)
bow - ohýbat se (hang over, bend before, diffract)

bow - smeknout (na pozdrav, jen o mužích) (whip off, pull off, doff)
bow – smyčka (hook, ear, crinkle)
bow – smyk (slip, skid, chute)

stern - zadek (zadní část, též i hovor.) (butt, bum)
stern – krutý (unkind)
stern – vážný (grave, heavy, profound)
stern – strohý (austere, astringent)
stern – striktní (hard, stern, strict)
stern – přísný (severe, exacting)
stern - ocas (liščí) (tail of fox)

forte - silná stránka (koho) strong point, strong suit
forte – přednost forte, distinction, virtue, advantage
forte - přednost koho distinction, preeminence, mastery

lake - mořidlové barvivo (dye drench?)
lake - karmínová barva (crimson color?)

transom – příčka (septum)
transom window - dveřní světlík (fanlight, transom window)

forward – arogantní cocky, smug
forward – čilý lively, jaunty
forward – podporovat (foment, support)
forward – poslat (pass along, transmit)
forward – urychlit (set forward, hasten, speed up)
forward – vpředu (afore, ahead, before, in front)
forward – dopravit (transport, ferry, fetch)
forward – doručit (carry, hand over)
forward – drzý (cheeky, bold)
forward – horlivý (keen, industrious, spirited)
forward – odeslat (send away, dispatch)
forward - posunout dopředu (4. p.) (move, shift forward [mail])
forward - útočník (v kopané) strike forward
forward – předat transfer, commit, hand over
forward – pokrokový progressive, up-to-date
forward – časný precocious, early
forward – napomáhat abet, aid
forward – neostýchavý pert, unabashed
forward – perspektivní advanced, perspective
forward – pokročilý advanced
forward – progresivní progressive
forward – předsunutý foremost
forward – přepravit transfer, airlift
forward – připravený fit, prepared, disposed
forward – radikální sweeping, extreme, radical
forward – raný early, early ripening
forward - strkat se elbow, hustle
forward – vyspělý mature, state of the art
forward – zaslat despatch

port - brána (městská, skotsky) (portal, pylon)
port - vínová červeň (wine)
port - držení těla deportment
port – dveře entrance, gate
port - levá strana left side
port - postoj (držení těla) (stance, bearing)
port - vstupní otvor (orifice, discharge port)

tiller – rolník farmer
tiller – odnož offshoot
tiller - výhonek (odnož) sprig, sprout, sprit
tiller – kypřič aerator, cultivator
tiller – pokrývač roofer, tiler

Prague, language -- musical terms

Please correct or add to these:

music - hudba
music – noty (music, sheet of music)
music - part (hud.) music part
music – skladba -- structure, composition
music – kompozice -- music, arrangement, anti-friction
music – harmonie -- harmony, symphony, chime
music – hřmot -- jangle, din, hubhub, racket
music – hudebniny
music – muzika -- dance, band, music, hop
music – notový

notovy papir - music paper
notovy pult na klaviru - music rest
musical ear - hudební sluch
musical interval - hudební interval
ton - note
music - skládat hudbu -- compose the music
music - smysl pro hudbu -- sense or interpretation of music
music – zhudebnit (set to music, tune, compose)

music for pleasure - hudba pro potěšení
music group - hudební skupina
music hall - kabaret
music hall - varieté
music hall - koncertní sál

musician – hudebník (player, musician, busker, harmonist)
musician – hráč (player, sportsman)
musician - muzikant

musicianship - muzikantství
musicianship - hudební mistrovství (musical mastery)
musicianship - hudební profesionalita
musicological - muzikologický
musicologist - hudební vědec
musicology - hudební věda

hudebnina - sheet of music
hudebniny - music
hudebnost - musical appreciation
hudec - fiddler

cellist - cellista
cellists (pl) – čelisté
string bass - kontrabas

rosin – kalafuna (resin, yellow rosin)
rosin - přírodní pryskyřice (natural rosin/pitch)
rosin - nakalafunovat
rosin - kalafunovat
rosin – pryskyřice (rosin/pitch)
rosin – smola (rosin, natural resin)

bow – smyčec
(smycec (houslovy) - fiddlestick)
smyk dolu v hudbe - down-bow
tah perem nahoru - upstroke
bow - tah (smyčcem)
taf (forward thrust or coup)
dolu (sleva) - off
dolu (smerem) - down
dolu (smerujici) - down
bow - hrát smyčcem
hrat v dzezove kapele - jazz
from the top - z vrchu

smyccova kapela - string band
smyccove nastroje - stringed instruments
smyccove nastroje - strings (pl)
smyccovy kvartet - string quartet
smyccovy nastroj - stringed instrument
smyccovy orchestr - string orchestra
smyccovy sberac - bow collector
smycec (houslovy) - fiddlestick

string instrument - strunný nástroj
string instruments - strunné nástroje

prelude – preludium prelude
prelude - preludovat (hrát předehru) prelude
prelude – předehra overture, descant, curtain lifter
prelude – úvod opening, preamble
prelude – začátek beginning, commencement
prelude - být předehrou
prelude - hrát předehru perform or play the prelude?
prelude of/to - předehra k

forte - silně (hud.)

housle - violin
housle - catgut
housle (hovor. nebo hanl.) - fiddle
houslicky - kit
houslista - violinist
houslista (podradny) - fiddler
houslove pouzdro - fiddle-case
houslovity tvar - fiddle-pattern
houslovy klic - violin clef
houslovy klic - G clef
houslovy smycec - fiddle-bow
houslovy smycec - fiddlestick
Kvintet Es dur op quintet, E flat major opus

Prague, language thoughts

Some attempts at creating useful phrases:

Muzete mi pomoci? Could you help me?

Prosím, kde můjv mozek? Excuse me, where is my brain?

Nabízíme Vám můjv hloupost. I offer you my stupidity.

(We won't get into "vlajici sukne", especially for Gerald's sake.)

Dobry jakýkoliv,
I've been trying to learn some very basic turistický Czestina/česky, but the going isn't easy.
For example, you'd think that saying the word for "ticket" wouldn't be all that hard, and would be a useful word for dealing with transport, museums, et. cetera. Ah -- but what kind of ticket?

When I fly into Praha, it'll be with a "letanka" or air ticket. But to use the tramway, autobus, or metro I'll need to purchase a pass or "jízdenka" (ticket, passage, travel permit). But that won't get me into a museum or theater. No, for those I'll need something like a "vstupenka" (entrance ticket) or lístek (ticket, coupon), not to be confused with the jídelní lístek (menu) in the restaurace (restaurant).

More slovniki vzrušující zábava :

ticket - jízdenka (ticket, travel permit, passage; jizdenka na vlak railway ticket)
ticket - letenka (plane ticket, air ticket, flight ticket)
ticket - lístek (scrip, ticket, coupon, card, leaflet)
ticket - vstupenka (entrance card, entrance ticket, admission card; vstupne – door-money, entrance fee, entrance, gate)
ticket - lístkový (ticket, card; listky – tickets, seats)
ticket - cedulka (tag, sticker, sign, ticket, slip)
ticket - oznámení (na cedulce) (ticket, bill, notice, announcmeent)
ticket - cedule (notice, poster, slip, ticket)
ticket - cenovka (tag, price tag, ticket)
ticket - opatřit si lístek (ticket)
ticket - přivěsit lístek (ticket, tag-card)
ticket - stvrzenka (ústřižek) (voucher, receipt, certificate, chit (clipping, coupon))
ticket - vydávat lístky (ticket, seat-issue)
ticket - kandidátka (volební, USA) (political ticket, slate)
ticket - označit (lístkem) (brand, sign, indication)
ticket - program strany (USA) (ticket, political platform)
ticket - los (papírový) (paper ballot)

So there's a huge mass of vocabulary. But wait -- there's more -- because Czech nouns and words in general are highly inflected, the endings keep changing, so one has to try to learn to recoznize many different forms of the word. As a poor dumb cizinka, my mind is adequately boggled.

A trivia question about names -- I understand that "-ova" is the feminine name particle that in some senses means roughly "daughter of" but which also is the name-ending a Czech woman traditionally takes upon her wedding. Hence Carol Anne would be "Byrnesova" if she were a Czech chick. I understand, if I read correctly, that in the vocative case a name ending in "a" changes its ending to "o". So, if this is more or less right, would I greet Marianna, "Ahoj, Marianno!" It sounds strange to my ear but maybe it is something I just need to get used to.

Here's something I found on the Internet at the "Local Lingo" site that gives just a tiny bit of some flavor of Czech grammar:

Czech has 7 grammatical cases:
1. nominative
2. genitive
3. dative
4. accusative
5. vocative
6. locative
7. instrumental

The case expresses the "attitude" of the speaker towards the subject he or she is talking about. Cases are often expressed by using a preposition - e.g. the genitive is often used with the preposition "z/ze" (from), the dative can be used with "k/ke" (to/towards), "do" (to/into), etc. No preposition is used with the nominative and vocative....

Examples (using the word "hrad" - "castle"):

Nominative: "hrad" Hrad je starý. - The castle is old.
Genitive: "hradu" Z hradu vycházejí lidé. - People are coming out of the castle.
Dative: "hradu" Cesta vede ke hradu. - The road leads to the castle.
Accusative: "hrad" Vidím hrad. - I see a castle.
Vocative: "hrade" The vocative is used only for calling/addressing someone or something.
Locative: "hradu" Mluvím o hradu. - I am talking about a castle.
Instrumental: "hradem" Za hradem je les. - There is a forest behind the castle.

Prague, some phrases and a menu

Some Czech sayings, from the internet:

Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.You are as many times a person as many languages you speak.

Bez práce nejsou koláce. ~ Without work, there is no cake.

Práce neutece, nemá nohy. ~ Work won't go away. It ain't got no legs.

Chytrému napovez, hloupého kopni. ~ Hint to the smart, kick the stupid one.

Nikdo ucený z nebe nespadl. ~ No learned person falls from the sky.

Mluviti stríbro, mlceti zlato. ~ To speak is silver, to be silent is gold.

Kdo nekrade, okrádá rodinu. ~ He, who doesn't steal, steals from his family.

Cistota pul zdraví. ~ Cleanliness is half your health.

Je lepší dvakrát vyhoret, než se jednou stehovat. ~ It is better to have your house burn down twice rather than move once.

A Czech menu:
Ji’delni’ listek Menu

Pol’vky Soups
Slepičí polévka....... .......... Chicken Soup
Hovězí vývar....................... Beef broth
Bramborová polévka............ Potato Soup

Hotova’ ji’dla Main courses

Kuře, brambor, salát..... Chicken, potatoes, salad
Vepřové maso, zelí, knedlík.... Pork, sour kraut,dumplings
Rybí filé, hranolky, obloha.. Fish filet, french fries, garnish
Hovězí guláš, rýže......... Beef goulash, rice

Bezmasa’ ji’dla ‘Meatless dishes’

Smažený sýr, tatarská omáčka... Fried cheese, tartar sauce
Palačinka se šlehačkou. Pancake with whipped cream
Špagety se sýrem.......... Spagetti with cheese

Na’poje Drinks

Káva........................................ Coffee
Džus.................................. Juice
Víno....................................... Wine
Pivo.................................. . Beer
Minerálka................... Mineral water

Prague trip report, part 14, more photos

View toward Prague Castle and catheral in distance.

View of park and side of basilica within Vysehrad.

Prague, part 13: more photos

View from Vysehrad of Czech Yacht club.

View down to the Vltava from Vysehrad fort, showing part of tunnel entrance.

View toward Vltava in the area of as “Libüše’s baths” named after the princess who was the granddaughter of an early king and founded the old Přemsylid dynasty near the dawn of Czech history.

Gerald practicing with cello rented in Prague.

Prague, part 12: more photos

Right: View from Vysehrad fortress to southwest, showing river Vltava.

View of basilica in Vysehrad.

Marianna and Laura Leigh after the wedding.

Prague Trip Report, Part 11: Traveler info

Information for travelers

Photo: Tramcars passing archeology/ construction site to north of Vysehrad.

People get around downtown Prague on electric tram cars and on the Metro, which has three lines. A no-transfer ticket costs the local equivalent of about 40 cents; 60 cents with transfer; multi-day passes are also available.

About twenty dollars will get you to or from the airport in a "Čedaz" van (buy tickets in the airport terminal) or if you get a reputable taxi. (Not all taxis in Prague are reputable but odds are good if you get one called by your hotel; we relied on a taxi company, AAA, recommended and called by Philee & Marianna.) The airport is roughly the size of Albuquerque's and not hard to navigate; a "C" wing is being constructed which should give it more capacity. Outside the city center, buses take the place of trams.

I did bring my International Driver's Permit but didn't drive and would not likely recommend driving in the city to a first-time visitor; the drivers are a bit wild, the signs are a bit unfamiliar, trams have an absolute right of way, and parking in the central city is frustratingly hard to obtain.

The city core from the Prague Castle through the Old Town and Wenceslas Square (Prasky Hrad od Stare Me'sto a Vaclav Namesti') is thronged with tourists but they are uncommon elsewhere even in other scenic parts of the city. Learning some words of Czech got us lots of appreciation from the people we met and helped us in exploring the less touristy areas.

Western/American style food is readily available in the touristy areas; more authentic Czech food is more available off the beaten path. If you search hard enough, you can also find other ethnic foods such as Japanese, Chinese, etc. We had heavy-duty continental breakfasts with Czech ham, cheese, cereal, toast, and a variety of breads and rolls, some of them quite rich. Small sweet pancakes are also popular for either breakfast or dessert, and there were all sorts of nifty desserts. Steak, pork, and chicken are common; seafood is not since the Czech republic is landlocked though we did see oysters and other maritime delicacies being served from the buffet on a dinner cruise boat as it passed by. Goulash of course is a popular dish; so too are various forms of dumplings.

Sauces are different, often interesting and quite good, such as plum or apricot sauces on meats and a savory Czech-style barbecue sauce we had on a grilled steak.

The local equivalent of a dollar will get you a half liter of good beer in all but the most touristy places. Describing Czech beer and how it's served and related customs would be a whole article/essay/chapter in and of itself. Water and soft drinks can be more expensive than beer. (Beer was a complimentary selection on Czech Airlines, but somehow Carol Anne managed to pass up free beer for once – 8 a.m. seemed like a strange time of day to be drinking beer, though some of our fellow passengers did imbibe. Perhaps if we’d been in Česko longer, the whole notion of beer for breakfast would have seemed quite natural.)

Food prices were generally reasonable, though certainly not parallel to the USA – some things were more expensive than expected and others much cheaper; for example, a bottle of Perrier water for Gerald cost more than my steak at our first dinner; both were about the equivalent of six dollars. (This place was somewhat off the beaten path.)

Prague Trip Report, Part 10: Boating info

Yacht Club Alfa south of Vysehrad
Boater’s info:

The Czech Yacht Club does have a piece of its web page in English but they didn't answer an e-mail and the one time I was by their gate it was very early in the morning and no one was around. Language barriers might affect "approachability" but they don't look too snooty -- a large, rambling, but not at all fancy clubhouse and a quite small population of boats; quite a few vacant slips were on the side of the harbor away from the club. Perhaps about 20 or so cabin sailboats were in the harbor (pristavni) or on land, including one large catamaran plus several sailing dinghies or small keelboats. The boats looked rather modest by and large. No evidence of any significant liveaboards, except there was also an "Alfa Yacht Club" whose clubhouse was a floating barge that looked like it might have had some sort of living accommodation.

Sailing was discouraged strongly during the communist years as a "bourgeois" sport. (For example, during the communist years, Czechoslovakia was the only Iron Curtain country in which golf was even legal.)

If I had had more time, I likely would have caught up with folks at the Česky Jacht Klub. I took a picture of the club and marina from the castle ruins above and hope to download and print it soon.

The Vltava in Prague has weirs with locks to the side for boats; we watched some river cruise boats enter the lock, which rises and falls about 8 feet. Bridge clearances in Prague max out at about 20 to 25 feet, so masts would have to be down for all but the smallest boats, since there are many more bridges than locks. Some of the larger river cruise boats have folding smokestacks so they can manage the bridges.

The Vlatava is about 900' wide, 10' deep in mid-channel, and flows quite swiftly, though not as swiftly as it used to when there weren't any dams upstream, such as the one that created Lake Lipno, a place where Czechs go to sail. Nonetheless, in the winter of early 2002 many places near the river were seriously damaged by flooding.

Shortly downstream from Prague the Vltava flows into the Elbe, which flows all the way to the Baltic Sea, so a mast-down boat could come up from the ocean. There is also a Rhine-Main-Danube interconnection further west/southwest in Europe and lots of other places where rivers and canals connect. You can take a whole vacation as a passenger on a river boat, or just take a one-hour scenic cruise or longer dinner cruise. Rowboats and paddle boats can be rented in a couple of spots; some other rentals might be available but I didn't have time to check.

Prague Trip Report, Part 9

View up at Cathedral inside Prague Castle.

Sunday, May 8, Last Day –
After loading our luggage into the cab we left Prague (Mala Strana, Vlašska Ulice no. 14, apt. 2, just a block above the US embassy) at 5:22 in the morning for 7:15 flight. Our taxi driver, Martin, got us to the airport in something like record time; about 10 miles there in 17 minutes including passing a police car on a narrow, curving, cobblestone street.

We survived a grueling nasty ordeal of a 28-hour journey with more than five hours of delay because of violent weather in Houston. The journey started out quite smoothly at Prague’s Ruzyne airport, which is about the size of the Albuquerque Sunport. We checked in, then passed through passport control to enter the departure area. (Security is at each gate at Prague’s Ruzyne airport.)

Things were somewhat at loose ends in Charles de Gaulle airport, where lots of planes had to park out on the concrete to load and unload passengers. (DeGaulle’s terminal 2, where we were, was where one of the pavilions had spectacularly collapsed a couple of years back.) Pat cut and split a fingernail badly shortly after arrival. Signage to direct us to our next terminal was somewhere between bad and non-existent; even Carol Anne’s past studies of French were no help here. No signs were immediately present to tell us how to get around when we got off the lift bus into an upper level “door from nowhere”.

On our terminal transfer shuttle we had to cringe as an obnoxious American and his buddy nagged the driver into going to his terminal out of order and delaying us getting to our terminal until after he and his friend had been disposed of. If I’d been asked at that point if I spoke English, I would have been tempted then to follow Jerry Seeger’s lead and said, “Pardon, non parle zjerk” (Sorry, I don’t speak jerk). Seats at the gates are hard and designed with a slight tilt to spit you on the floor, but some couches were available nearby, though near a smoking area. I glimpsed at duty-free shops but didn’t buy anything.

Our flight from Paris to Houston included two lunches, the second served as we passed south of the Canadian maritime provinces before flying over the Gulf of Maine. Thick clouds kept Carol Anne, at the window seat, from seeing Cape Cod or the Cape Cod Canal or much of New Jersey beyond a dirty brown cloud; she did eventually manage to see parts of Delaware and Chesapeake bays. Our approach to Houston including flying circles in the air and then an unscheduled stop for jet fuel in New Orleans. The plane had to wait for paperwork in New Orleans before it could be fueled and then wait on the ground for permission to fly to Houston. Leftover turbulence in wake of storm was still pretty rough.

We experienced just about every way of getting on and off a plane except by parachute; nice airport in Prague; but lift-bus to get off plane, shuttle bus to transfer terminals, and regular sort of bus to go out to airplane out on the concrete in Charles de Gaulle; double jetway in Houston. We really had to rush once we finally got to Houston; got off the plane, walked a quarter mile to the international arrivals building, went through Immigration (very quick), security (yet again), Customs (incredibly quick), one line where we found out nothing about our connecting flight (but it only took about 7 minutes) and another line where we did get gate info (but it took 25 minutes), rushed to monorail station, got to C terminal, got to gate and on our plane with 10 minutes to spare before the cabin door was shut. Pat got two little bags of peanuts as his first meal in 9-1/2 hours but Carol Anne and Gerald were too conked to enjoy this fine dinner.

Carol Anne’s report on the joys of de Gaulle:
Coming back to the US, our scheduled flights gave us only 50 minutes in Houston to get off the international flight, clear customs, get to another terminal, and get on our flight to Albuquerque. We figured there was a good chance we'd miss the connection, but it was no big deal, since we would be nearly home and there were lots of later flights to Albuquerque that we could get on.

The plane from Paris was actually ahead of schedule, but then Houston was socked in under some nasty weather so planes couldn't fly in or out. We flew around in circles for a while, until we ran low on fuel, and then we landed in New Orleans (but we couldn't get off the plane since we hadn't cleared Customs yet), and after some paperwork having to do with the airport there not really being prepared to refuel a plane that big, got fuel, and then sat around a while more for the weather and backlogged flights to clear before we took off, once again, for Houston.

We got into Houston 4 1/2 hours late, but we still made our connection -- that plane was running 5 hours late!Carol Anne

Meanwhile, if you want the absolute worst nightmare of a connecting flight on the way to Hell, Atlanta pales in comparison to Charles de Gaulle.

You may have seen in the news a year or so ago about how the roof caved in on the sparkling, modern, state-of-the-art Terminal E. With that terminal out (or at least mostly out) of commission, the airport just can't handle the volume of traffic it's supposed to. Our flight from Prague arrived "at" Terminal B. Actually, it arrived on the tarmac a couple of hundred metres from Terminal B, and a peoplemover of the sort that was all the rage during the 1970s (a sort of jumbo-bus with the passenger compartment mounted on a giant scissors jack) came out to the plane, picked up the passengers, and conveyed them to the terminal building.

We made use of the toilettes -- about the only area of an airport in which older technology is superior, since these wait until the user wants them to flush, instead of making random, automatic flushes -- and then figured out we needed to transfer to Terminal A to make our connecting flight. There is supposed to be a monorail that goes from terminal to terminal, but since that monorail goes through the heart of Terminal E, it wasn't working. Instead, we had to get on a bus.

So we got onto the bus at Terminal B. The next stop was Terminal D, where some really obnoxious Americans got on; they were transferring to Terminal B. As the bus continued on its rounds, through terminals F, E (yes, while it's mostly out of commission, it does have a few flights), and C, the obnoxious Americans got louder and louder, and the poor Lebanese bus driver, whose French was OK but whose English was short on vocabulary, was trying without success to explain that the bus would get to Terminal B soon enough. In exasperation, he blew past Terminal A so he could get rid of them. So we had to go around again before we could get to Terminal A.

When we finally got off the bus and entered Terminal A, I felt like I had entered a post-nuclear-holocaust movie set. The building was quite literally crumbling. What I am sure were originally lovely marble floors were pitted and dull; tiles were falling from the ceiling; windows were cracked; and everything had a pervasive mildew odor. The check-in desk we were at was shared by Continental and El Al; besides us, there was an elderly couple who had been on the plane with us from Prague and who were flying stand-by to Tel Aviv; they knew Czech and Hebrew; the counter attendants knew French and English. They had been visibly disconcerted when the bus didn't stop the first time around, and they were still a bit rattled. Fortunately, they and the counter agent both had enough English to communicate, and she did a great job of reassuring them.

But the nightmare of our transfer adventure continues. The seats in the gate areas of Charles de Gaulle are definitely designed for torment. They are hard, slick plastic, and they are tilted forward, so one cannot remain seated in them; one just slides forward out of them to land unceremoniously on the floor. If you ever have to spend time in Charles de Gaulle, be sure to take a non-skid mat, such as people in California use to keep dishes from vibrating off shelves during earthquakes. Even if you do use such a mat, however, I suspect these seats are horribly uncomfortable because of their hardness and tilt (I can't say for sure since I wasn't successful in sitting in one for more than about 30 seconds).
Carol Anne

But the story still isn't over. When, finally, our flight to Houston began boarding, we had still more adventures ahead. This time, the plane was a half-mile away, and we had to take a regular bus rather than the elevating people-mover to get to it, and because of security concerns (we had never officially entered France), the passengers couldn't all just pile off the bus and onto the plane, but had to be controlled. And getting onto the plane involved going up an old-timey set of stairs mounted on the back of a truck. As far as I could tell, there was no provision for passengers who used wheelchairs or who for some other reason couldn't climb stairs.

All in all, if you have to change planes in Atlanta, you're probably only going to Purgatory. You get to Hell by way of Charles de Gaulle.
Carol Anne

Oh, one other thing about Charles de Gaulle (the airport, not the person) ... yes, there are some more comfortable seats; they're in the smoking lounges. Next to the smoking lounges are non-smoking lounges, but all of the air circulates among all of the lounges, so for all practical purposes, all of the lounges are smoking lounges.
Carol Anne

Prague Trip Report, Part 8

View from near Prague Castle.

Saturday, May 7 –
Changed from hotel to an apartment near the American Embassy in Malastrana (the “lesser side”) on the west side of the Vltava and near Prague Castle. En route, on a tram headed north, Carol Anne was amused to hear the chatter of a French couple; the lady commented on how nice it was that in Prague the natives would carry a cello on the tram. So, at least a couple of tourists thought Gerald was a Praguer. Got a bite of pizza while waiting to hear about plans. Our apartment, Vlašska 14 byt no. 2 was really nice, though we felt out of communication without a phone or cell phone. The apartment had a Bosch washer-drier so Gerald and Phil got to use their German to help decipher controls. The place was very nicely furnished and set up with full kitchen, elegant hardwood floors, bookshelves, and full facilities. Lots of tourist facilities and pizza places in this area, plus glass (sklo) shops and souvenir places; lots of beautiful stuff for the tourists and some of the souvenirs available are actually very classy.

Phil tried hard but couldn’t find a pay phone that would take coins as we anxiously awaited contact with Philee; our vague impression was that the phones seemed to want to read special phone cards or at best charge very big bucks for accepting a credit card. On a longer trip, we would very much want to be able to rent a cell phone so we could get in touch as needed and not feel cut off. (We are told that it might be possible to buy and later sell a European cell phone in Prague and temporarily activate it, so we might try that one a future, longer trip, though we don’t know now where or how to do that.)

We strolled more on Charles Bridge, and visited with shop keeper near west end of bridge where there was a good deal on money exchange and some pretty painted ceramic egg thingies. As often happened when I attempted to use Česky words and phrases, I would say something in Česky to a Czech that was more or less intelligible, and the Czech person would often try to talk back to me in Czech – which I would almost invariably not understand. Then I would explain in Czech that I understood very little Czech, at which point my Czech conversationalist would typically suggest we switch to English. Sometimes I encountered Czechs who spoke little or no English, but that usually worked out okay.

Checked back in at the apartment. (We didn’t learn until later on how to use the buzzer so Phil & Barbara left a back window open so we could holler from the back street when we returned.) Encountered convoy of WWII re-enactors on motorbikes with sidecars en route to castle. Visited Prague Castle but the great cathedral was closed to prepare for a big symphony concert and we didn’t want to pay 220 crowns for tour rights that included the closed cathedral, so we didn't do much indoors. Gerald got pictures of gargoyles and stuff. We also got some cards and books as souvenirs before walking back from the castle in the rain. Interesting view of a “grotto” in the distance from above the castle gardens and many other sights from the ramparts. The castle isn’t the dreary, fortified sort of strong place that word “castle” usually connotes, because it has been remodeled over the centuries so as to impress visitors with its size and luxury.

Took river cruise, dodged rain which did have virtue of reducing tourist density. (Actually tourists were probably about as dense or bright as before but there weren't so many of them around).

We learned more about Prague and Vltava during river cruise, passed under a couple of Prague’s 17 bridges, saw the Metronome (which replaced the monumental Stalin statue) and many buildings from the water, saw marks from the year (roce) 2002 and other historic floods. River cruise was on a relatively small boat, about 35’ long (from hidden mooring almost right under the Karlovy most), so we could go behind part of Kampa ostrov and see the mill race, water wheel, and water marks from floods. Also saw underside of remaining portion of the ancient bridge that preceded the Karlovy most. Ado, skipper Jaroslav, and guide Barbara, of the cruise boat company, also seemed amused by my little bits of Czech.

We strolled on the bridge, visited Jan Nepomuk and friends again making sure to touch the statue properly this time, bought a little painted picture of a cat on glass for our cat sitter. Took long walk around Kampa ostrov (island) and watched 5 river cruise boats squeeze into the locks, which rise and lower about 8 feet. Passed by the “hunger wall” (built on Petrin hill as a sort of a baroque Civilian Conservation Corps project to provide jobs to starving peasants hundreds of years ago) and the national music museum, which was closed at this hour of the evening. Dinner at restaurant in embassy neighborhood with generous pizza and pizza bread portions. Phil & Barbara had dinner with Marianna’s dad. Gerald showed cello off to some fellow wedding guests who were staying in apt. 7. Returned cello to Philee for return to music school as he collected Phil and Barbara for a dinner. Enjoyed spectacular view from top-level apartment 7, where the loft has a window with a spectacular view of Praske Hrad (castle).

Prague Trip Report, Part 7

At left: Gerald B., Laura Leigh, Phil S.

Friday, May 6, 2005 –
Late wakeup. Gerald had his final lesson with Christina at 11 a.m., learned he wouldn’t be in the “family concert” at Liechtenstein Palac (the one of that name that’s a few blocks west of the Karlovy most) after all. We walked up a long steep hill to the A. Dvořak Museum in a former aristocratic “Villa America” in Albertov between Vysehrad and Novem’esto. Nice talk with desk attendant, who has children who play viola and cello, and make cellos. Beautiful painted trompe l’oieul ceiling in main room upstairs with some mischievous cherubs, one of which reminded Carol Anne of cousin Andrew in his younger years. Bought some CDs and cards as souvenirs. Returned in the rain.

Dinner with about 100 friends and family and "cast members" (celebrating completion of movie filming) was held in a pub reserved for the group, the Kavarna nus reci pub in Bezrucovy sady park away from tourist areas. We took a couple of trams out, then walked a couple of blocks and downhill to the pub. Most of us held back on going inside at first, because the new couple and brother Jerry hadn’t arrived and because it was smoky inside. Carol Anne went in, so she could rest her aching feet and try to soothe her parched throat, but had an embarrassing moment when her lack of Czech vocabulary left her unable to prove that she belonged there and nearly got her tossed out of the joint and was in need of rescue. Fortunately, Jerry Seeger and other guests arrived before long and we were able to unload goodies from cars and get started on the party.

Jiři made sure to bring lots of Moravian wine in addition to the Czech beer (special unpasteurized brew) that was already there in great abundance. (One gate crasher had to be escorted out.) A lot of folks had worked hard to prepare a potluck buffet to add to our experience of the Czech foods that we'd enjoyed the previous days. We had a nice visit with Jaroslav "Jerry" formerly of Canada whose son had once worked in Albuquerque, Andrew, and lots of other folks. Gerald got out on the dance floor with his new New York model friend, Laura Lee, as the Peruvian band played its melodies. We made last-minute “plans” to transfer the following morning to the “crash pad” apartment and meet with Philee the next day. Some of us had not survived the onslaught of jet lag, cobblestones, steep hills, rich cuisine, pivo (beer), and vino completely intact, so we edged out the door to return to our hotel.

Partying was still going very strong when we left with lots of cast members from the movie shoot joining in and a group of folks outside the pub who wanted to reassure us that they loved us Americans, Bush and all, so I told them “Libi se mi Cesky”; roughly “I like Czech” or as close as I could come. Some of us helped the less steady members of our group down the hill to the tram stop. We talked with several young adult guys on the tram who were quite curious about us Americans; this was our first encounter with unreserved Czechs in such a public setting. (Previously we’d noticed that Czechs don’t greet each other when out on the sidewalks, but do exchange greetings when going into a store, restaurant, etc. Not much sleep.

Wedding site: “It is a fifth day of week, but not Day off unfortunately, most of us will have a work day. According that we decided for a late Wedding party, so join us from 5pm and 5 minutes in Kafarna na kus reci in Prague 2, Bezrucovy sady 1. There will be a special unpasteurized beer Bernard (11), which you can to enjoy next to a long table full of yummy dishes as snacks.”

Prague Trip Report, Part 6 (more Big 5th Day)

May 5th (piet kveten) was also the 60th anniversary of the uprising in Prague against the Nazi occupation troops, who had held the country since 1938 and were desperately trying to hold on to their conquests as allied forces approached in early May 1945. At noon, ferociously loud sirens/air raid horns were sounded throughout the city to remind Praguers and visitors of the anniversary. Re-enactments and ceremonies were held during the day and the following weekend.

We saw plaques throughout town that honored martyrs who died fighting the Nazis and noted that small golden wreaths had been placed adjacent to the plaques. Josef Kuník was the name of the Czech who died fighting the Germans near the tram stop, Albertov, for our hotel. Interestingly, perhaps at least a few of the resistance fighters appear to have had German-sounding surnames. Before the war, Czechoslovakia, which before nationhood in 1918 had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had a large population of ethnic Germans. Many of them were initially enthusiastic about the Nazi takeover in 1938, and some of them had collaborated to sabotage Czechoslovakia and abet the Nazi takeover, but as the war and occupation dragged on many of these German-Czechs became less and less enthusiastic about the Führer and his minions.

US forces under General Patton did liberate a small part of western Czechoslovakia from the Germans, but later had to withdraw as Czechoslovakia fell under the Soviet zone of post-war occupation. It was a few days after the uprising before Soviet troops entered Prague, so Praguers endured some days of bitter fighting.

Fortunately, damage to Prague was very limited during World War II and the city came out of the conflict relatively unscathed. In February of 1945 (after a less serious bombing some time before), an allied bombing mission to Dresden went astray and bombed Prague, damaging or destroying some churches and other buildings. I think the allied bombers also managed to knock out a plant that was churning out light bulbs vital to the Third Reich. I think the Nazis also blew up a token building or few on their way out of Prague in defeat in 1945. More seriously, many thousands of Czechs were killed by the Nazis during the war and Prague’s Jews were among the many victims of Nazi genocide. Whole villages, such as Lidice after the assassination of Hitler’s henchman Heydrich, were wiped out by Nazi reprisals and the Terezin (Theresienstadt, familiar to viewers of “War and Remembrance” based on Herman Wouk’s novel of the same name) transit camp was the site of the “golden ghetto” designed to fool outsiders before its residents were shipped off to the Auschwitz extermination camp (Oswiecim) in southern Poland.

Prague Trip Report, Part 5 (more Big 5th Day)

More May 5...

A very short walk east led us to dinner at the restaurace nove m'esto, whose operation seems to be connected with the town hall, and; Marianna's dear Yugoslav friend Amelie and her aunt (Ivanna/Evonna?) joined her and Philee and the folks and Marianna's mom Jessi and step-dad Jiři at the main table, where many toasts were drunk and songs were sung. We sat just behind Marianna & Philee at a table with Andrew and were in a good place to hear everything going on at the main table and elsewhere in the room. I get the vague feeling that maybe somehow Jiři would perhaps like more folks to visit Moravia and enjoy its glories; we’ll have to let him and the Knights of Znomo that we’ll arrive one of these days.

After a trip to the hotel to change into more comfortable clothes, we proceeded to the party in a nearby pub, Pivovarsky Dum, descending a narrow stair into the basement. I was explaining some basic Czech words for ordering beer to a fellow American while also talking to the bartender about getting us some beer; the result was that the bartender explained (in Czech, so we had to get a translation!) that a half liter, or “pulliter”, wasn’t a big beer (velke pivo) at his bar – and that five beers are too little beer, which apparently is some sort of Czech drinking proverb. So, Carol Anne wound up with a one-liter beer mug for the evening.

We consumed many Giraffes (4 liters of beer in a tube with a tap) and visited with Jerry, Philee, Mariana, Andrew, Marianna’s brother Miki, Laura Leigh now a model in New York formerly of Arkansas, her Czech friend and possible agent for Jerry, Mikolaš; the Česka-Anglie dual citizen Klara formerly from England and her friend John who works on videos but hopes to learn enough Česky to work more in film; Ken Hardekopf, and his brother, who I hadn’t realized had been living in the Czech Republic (researching acidification of Alpine Lakes); Nick Bongiani and his camera; and more folks. I continued to inflict my hrozne Česky – horrible Czech – on folks. I was one of the few short-term American visitors who ordered the goulash, which was very rich and savory, but it seems that most of the Czechs and long-term western residents made a point of ordering some.

Wedding page: “New Town Hall (Novomestska radnice) is located at Karlovo namesti 1 (the same named metro stop, trams 3,10,16,22,23). The ceremony begins at 1:30pm. Afterwards, we would like to get a group picture in front of the New Town Hall (if the weather permits), and then there are two different schedules for have a Lunch brake: Novomestska Restaurace, Prague 1, Reznicka 4, one block from New Town Hall[bad link] Pivovarsky Dum, Prague 2, on the corner of Jecna/Lipova streets, tram 4,10,16,22 lunch for the Family is reserved in Novomestska Restaurace. This restaurant is run the New Town Hall, unfortunately we have to separate our group because of the dinning room of the restaurant can for only about 35 persons. The second reserved space is in Pivovarsky Dum, this Brewery restaurant is pretty close to the Town Hall and is one of our favorite beer places. Is located just a few blocks from the square with New Town Hall at Karlovo namesti towards I.P.Pavlova. Those of us who will have the family lunch at the Newtown restaurant will join the rest at the brewery (6ish). Hopefully, we will save place for the freshly brewed beer in our tummy. As the bride and groom we will have to disappear at midnight, but not once and for all...”

Prague Trip Report, Part 4

Above - Marianna's bridesmaid, Misha.

Thursday – “Big Fifth day” “Cinco de Mayo”
This was the wedding day for Carol Anne's brother, "Philee" and Marianna Křenova in New Town Hall. We crowded into a ground-floor room before being led up the stairs and arranged into a procession; wound up sitting on the groom’s (left) side just behind Phil & Barbara. The marriage was in old vaulted council chamber. The mayor read (in Czech; his remarks were periodically translated) that Philee and Marianna would keep their last names but any children would have the last name Seeger (Carol Anne has a different memory of the translation of the mayor’s remarks). Many cameras were present; I think most viewing angles were well covered; I think some people who didn’t have still or video cameras covered the wedding by shooting fotos from cell phones.

Wedding details:
Dorothy Seeger writes:
Dear Pat,

Thank you for this colorful rendition of your visit to Prague. I get the impression that it was mostly wining and dining, or beering and dining. It sounds like one continuous party.

You didn't tell me important details about the wedding! What did Marianna wear? Philee? Did she have a bouquet? What? Were there any bridesmaids? Did they have a cake or do they not do that in Cesky? How about flowers? Decorations? Come on! It is a wedding!

They wore clothes at the wedding -- c'mon, I'm a guy. Okay, Marianna wore something with a dark open-back dress and a sort of a plum/purple vest/coat sort of thing and a white scarf thingy and Philee and Jerry had beigeish tuxedo sorts of things and the mayor was in a nice business suit and most of the ladies were in dresses and most of the guys were in suits and a picture of Marianna & Philee at the wedding is on their website (Feugo's place). I think everybody also wore shoes. Mine were slightly scuffed cordovan leather with brown shoelaces.

Misha, the red-headed girl whose name I was embarrassed to not remember was Marianna's bridesmaid and Jerry Seeger was the best man and about twenty people were taking pictures.

The cake was cut and part of it was consumed at the family wedding dinner right after the wedding and nearby at the Novemesto Restaurace (new town restaurant); what was left over was brought to the party at the Pivovarsky Dum that evening. Czech specialty foods were served at the wedding dinner; I probably don't qualify as enough of a "foodie" to describe them. "They put food in front of me and I ate it." -- at that rate I don't qualify as even a crude gourmand, much less gourmet.

I was one of the few short-term American (Spolynich Statu) visitors who enjoyed the goulash at the Pivovarsky Dum. Of course, some folks were still quite sated from the lunch/dinner at the Novemesto restaurace.

The day after the wedding, Marianna cut her hair short again.

Carol Anne's report...
Dorothy –

OK, in society-page terminology:

The bride wore a floor-length black velvet skirt and a burgundy camisole of metallic fabric, topped with a black blazer and an ivory chiffon scarf. She carried a large lozenge-shaped bouquet of mixed burgundy and ivory roses. The groom and best man wore beige tuxedos with black ties and burgundy waistcoats. The maid of honor (if I remember correctly, her name was Misha) wore a black chiffon cocktail-length dress, which she accented with burgundy-hued spiky hair to match the accents of the rest of the wedding party. She carried a smaller bouquet of burgundy and ivory roses.

The cake was small by American standards, but it was very rich. It consisted of many different layers of cake and frosting, with a variety of flavors -- chocolate, vanilla, espresso, amaretto, buttercream, and something very much like a Mexican "tres leches" cake. It was decorated with loads of frosting, whipped cream, and chocolate wafers. I never did find out whether that's a typical Czech wedding cake, or a special concoction for this particular occasion.

Oh, one other note: while Bohemia is well known as a beer-producing and -drinking region, Moravia -- the other part of the Czech Republic -- is very much wine country. Marianna's stepfather's family has a winery there, and he brought vast quantities to the day-after-the-wedding party. So we had a whole lot of both beverages.

Carol Anne

Prague Trip Report, Part 3

Wednesday, May 4;
one day before the “”Big 5th Day” –

Visited Bedřich Smetana Museum in former waterworks building right on the Vltava near the east end of the Charles Bridge (Karlovy most). Had fun trying my limited Czech on the attendant downstairs. Passed tickets to the attendant upstairs and borrowed English-language folders. Interesting life led by composer who was a leader of the national renaissance in Czech arts and culture during the last half of the 19th century. In his younger life, Smetana wrote and composed in German and left the country for Sweden for several years in the early 1860s. Something happened to the Austro-Hungarian empire around the mid-1860s that allowed Czechs to speak and write in Czech again; around 1867 the imperial crown was divided into the dual crowns of Austria and Hungary as separate national feelings seemed to be ascendant throughout the empire. We saw Smetana’s piano, which had swiveling lamp stands, and Gerald enjoyed using the laser “conductor’s baton” to activate music at podiums representing different types of compositions. Got souvenirs downstairs; CDs, postcards, poster.

Gerald had a 3 p.m. afternoon cello lesson; Carol Anne enjoyed view from the Vysehrad ramparts to city, river, Podoli and beyond. We enjoyed Vysehrad very much; it's off the beaten path for foreign tourists and is a special place to us as well as to the Czech people. There's also something special about a nation that highly honors its composers, musicians, and poets.

If I remember right, this may be the day that we made a run via tram 18 to Narodni trida to do some shopping at Tesco. This is a large store by downtown Prague standards, with several floors for shopping, in contrast to many Prague stores that are the size of an apartment. However, there is a particular peculiarity; it appears that a shopper has to pay for his or her purchases prior to proceeding to another floor. After selecting various supplies such as bath beads and such on the ground floor, we lined up at one of the many registers to pay. Our cashier said something in Czech when we gave him a large Czech bill, but he was getting ready to go off-shift and realized I was a foreigner (Čzinec), shrugged his shoulders, and gave us change. On the next floor up, we found women’s clothing, but Carol Anne was unsuccessful in her urgent quest to find cushioned non-cotton socks.

After a quick return to the hotel, it was time to prepare for dinner with families and friends of bride and groom in a New Town pub. We met Marianna's father (Křen) and stepmother and family including brother Miki and Miki's girlfriend/fiancé Lucy and Marianna's half-brother and sister, Jakob (James) and Tereza; plus maid of honor Misha; also attending were Marianna's step-mom, Ron & Corinne Christman, Ellen & Paul Tallerico, Jerry Seeger & Philee & Marianna of course!, Phil & Barbara Seeger, along with Carol Anne, Gerald, and me and a couple of others. Pub was Ztraty y nalezy; my original best attempt at translating the name in a dictionary (slovnick) came out as "worthless discovery" but it really means "lost and found". We later learned that it’s right across from a home lived in by Dvořak. (New Town is only 600 some years old, some 100 years newer than old town, so it’s regarded as the young upstart neighborhood.)

From the wedding web page: “Family dinner near New Town Hall, in Ztraty & nalezy II restaurant, 1, Zitna 15. We would like be there at 7pm, and we will do our best to be there on time. There are very tasty Classic Czech dishes and the most famous Czech beers as Gambrinus (10 degree) or Pilsner Urquell (12 degree). The place is located right between New Town Hall & Pivovarsky Dum. This rehearsal dinner will help you with your topography for the Big Fifth Day.”

Beer in the Czech republic is rated by its “degree”, which refers to the concentration of ingredients used, and isn’t really quite the same as proof or alcohol concentration. Beer is usually served in large (velke) ½ liter or small (malé) .3 liter mugs or glasses. Pitchers are not generally available. Also very popular is the liqueur “Becerovka”; it is quite adequately heartwarming. The Czechs believe and enjoy saying that it has beneficial medicinal properties; so all the Czechs in the room had a good laugh when I held up my glass and told them I had ordered from the “lekarna” (pharmacy or chemist’s).