08/09/2010

Prague

Recently it occurred to me... I didn’t do a review of my Stag Do in Prague, so here it is.

Guests arrived at my house around 8.30AM, as predicted Cid (and Barri) arrived last, Maddy enjoyed the attention.

We had originally booked a mini bus via Roy’s Travel however a mini bus with “Mike’s” written on the side turned up, we all piled on and set off for Bristol, the ride was pretty uneventful, Dale was being a cock and had the one of the few seats next a window that opened and refused to open the window more than an inch which resulted in me feeling hot, I really wished I’d packed some beer for the trip down to Bristol, it would have been a cracking way to start the stag do, however my main concern was burn out, I know from other stag do’s that drinking so early on day one can be punishing... and I’m a bit of a wimp... old before my time.

I’d pre-printed everyone’s boarding passes so checking in was simple, Dale... being Dale had to buy something so he decided to buy some clear plastic bags... I’m not sure if he collects them (like Starbucks mugs) or if he actually had to buy them for his carry on luggage.

Doug being American was forced to take pretty much all his clothes off and bend over whilst British security forces searched him, I don’t know what it is about Doug but airport security really doesn’t like him.

We ambled through the newly designed duty free and eventually assembled upstairs at “Bar Zero” this is where we had our first meeting with “The other stag do!” A few of us ordered breakfast, I went for a regular breakfast at a pretty reasonable £5.99 and ordered a pint of Grolsch, lovely! My cutlery arrived and I have been to honest provided one of the first few laughs of the stag do (I’d almost forgotten about Barri’s rather “leather” looking shorts – for which he took some ridiculing for) it seems Bristol airport are rather worried about passengers having knives, and so provided me what can only be described as a metal spatula, the fork wasn’t much better, luckily most things on the breakfast menu can actually be shovelled into one’s mouth, another good thing about Bristol airport is that they don’t charge you for sauce and Mitchell did his best to make his money back on his breakfast by covering it with the most ketchup any of us have ever seen.



If you happen to go to Bristol airport I’d recommend upgrading you breakfast to one of the larger options as they seem like much better value for money. I’d also forewarn you that you can’t order anything apart from Breakfast until something like 11.20 (which Pete discovered when he ordered burger number one of the weekend) which came with a slight thawed wedge of cheddar cheese.
Dale, most likely remorseful for his reluctance to open the window fully on the mini bus, bought me a second pint! Now we are cooking! I can’t actually remember if I had a third pint or not? No I wasn’t wasted, just honestly can’t remember.

We boarded the plane and I managed to read a chapter of my book, before my mind wandered and I made a start on “The Times” Sudoku, we were tempted to try and put things in Dale’s mouth while he slept, but we resisted.

Prague airport is fairly pleasant; I had a flap because I couldn’t remember who I’d given the money to pay for taxis to. Luckily the airport staff decided not to steal anyone’s luggage so we could proceed to the hotel. The taxi ride took 30 minutes, we had prepaid (via the hotel) so the actual route and length didn’t bother us (Prague Taxi’s have a bit of a reputation for extending the route to bump the fair up)

Monica (who a number of the lads took a shine to) checked us all in, the hotel had arranged for all our rooms to be next to each other. The room was average in size and the toilet had been separated from the bathroom, perfect for stag do’s! The room also had a TV, mini bar, kettle (including tea and coffee) and a safe.

Everyone was given an hour to settle down, shower if they liked and get changed before we met in reception to head out into Prague town.

I didn’t need a lot of time so I headed down with my brother to the hotel bar, only to find Barri had been even quicker and was already well into his first pint of Krusovice (which is one of the better pints of beer we had in Prague) being a hotel the bar wasn’t that cheap, however a pint of beer was still only around £3, Mitchell and Elliot were last to arrive and ceased the opportunity to have a pint (we had actually almost finished ours) so this threw a spanner in Cid’s plan to leave, Doug got another round in much to everyone’s delight.











The hotel is only is only an 8 minute walk from the nearest Metro and the Metro is only a few stations away from most of Prague’s attractions, a 24 hour ticket on the Metro costs about £3 and its worth noting that we did get stopped twice to see our tickets, the Metro was clean and easy to use so I am quite happy to have paid £3, don’t forget that you need to validate your ticket before you travel.

View Larger Map

We got off the Metro at Muzeum (which is only 1 stop away)

View Larger Map

It took us several minutes to find the Beer Factory despite being incredibly close the Metro station.
I’d recommend checking out the Beer Factory, it’s certainly different to anything any of us had seen before; the novelty of pouring your own beer right at your table wore off pretty quickly once we’d tasted the beer. If I’m being honest I could have stayed at the Beer Factory for several pints, the beer was actually starting to grow on me but I guarantee several pints of that stuff would give you a serious hang over. The food was also pretty special, our steaks where pretty much raw... tasted lovely... just pretty raw, Pete had his second burger of the trip. The stag do we encountered in Bristol airport arrived and was pretty rowdy. We settled the bill and decided to move on. From here the stag do (or at least the Friday night) went a little downhill, we crawled to the Irish bar and then some sports bar (where the beer was quite decent and cheap) we all watched in awe as Doug necked 3 Irish Car Bombs in a row (he didn’t even get charged for them) At some point the group got separated and we wasted a lot of time wandering up and down Prague’s streets getting hassled by black pimps, people got frustrated and hacked off, some headed to a night club (that at the time may or may not have existed) the rest decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel.

Breakfast in a hotel, for me is a wonderful thing. Sadly the breakfast at the Ametyst was far from great, I don’t have any major gripes with it, just it was rather basic. I tend to have a larger breakfast when travelling, maybe something light for lunch (if that) and then have a decent evening meal.

Despite my size (weight wise) I really enjoy walking, especially when exploring a foreign city, Prague much like Berlin is a very walk able city, I had campaigned with my best man long before we’d gotten to Prague that we should really try and walk as much as possible, a number of people in the group agreed with my idea and it was a group decision that we could and should walk from the hotel to the castle. The walk is about 3miles in length, I’ve attached an approximate Google map

View Larger Map
The walk hit most of Prague’s major sites including The Museum, Charles Street Bridge, Astrological Clock and Prague Castle. You have to climb a big pile of steps (seems like thousands) to get to Prague castle, but once you get to the top the view is pretty special!

On the way to the castle Cid managed to get separated from the group, no one knows where he went, but there are rumours he went for a Thai massage.
I also can’t remember if Pete had his 3rd burger and possibly 4th burger during the walk, I know Dale managed to buy his Starbucks mug (a souvenir much like the plastics bags he bought at Bristol airport)

Just before we crossed Charles Bridge we stopped and went into the torture museum (it received mixed reviews from the group) but looking back at it now it was quite an enjoyable experience. During the crossing of bridge Cid had managed to ring Barri and the group was finally whole again. By this point it was approaching lunch time, we couldn’t agree on where to eat so all decided to go our separate ways, I went with Pete, Mitch and Elliot and had a fantastic Pizza and Mojito! Doug, Andy, Cid and Barri went to some other restaurant and the rest of the guys went to Subway.

Including in the price of the Mojito was a free game of “Wheel of Fortune”, we all took a turn to spin the wheel and apart from Elliot all lost. Elliot’s prize? Another Mojito! “Cash back!”

Quite full from lunch we climbed the 6000 steps to Prague castle, the view was fantastic, we wandered around Prague castle and then decided we’d done enough site seeing for one day and once again split up. Cid wanted to go back to Hard Rock cafe, some of the guys wanted to walk back and some others wanted to get the Metro.

I decided to stick with Doug and my brother and catch the metro back. We arrived back before anyone and decided to stop off at one of the local cafe / bars just around the corner from the hotel. My word was this place enjoyable, cold beer for about £1, it was cheaper than Coca Cola! After 2 pints or so, the walkers (Gavin, Hutchence and Dale [I think]) arrived so we all stayed for yet another pint. I wish we’d visited this place earlier, I could have spent most of the day sat outside putting pints away it really was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

We arranged a time to meet and headed back to the hotel. With the problems of the previous night fresh in memory we formulated a water tight plan of places to visit that evening. First port of call, the hotel bar followed by that cafe bar we’d spent the late afternoon at, then onwards for food (Pete had another burger) We’d decided earlier on that we’re going to TGI, simply because it saves arguments and saves wandering aimless around Prague looking for somewhere to eat, settling the bill caused some arguments but I got over it pretty quickly (the 2 huge Tequila sunrises helped)

Next? Coyote Bar followed by Hard Rock Cafe, I found great difficulty in letting myself “go” so much hype had been made over the stag do that I wanted to enjoy it, every second! So it was difficult truly enjoy myself as people kept planning my down fall (with ridiculous drinks – thanks all the same guys)
From here we decided to check out a strip joint, if I’m completely honest strip joints aren’t really my thing women taking their clothes off can be great fun but Atlas wasn’t partially cheap. The few of us that did go enjoyed ourselves with the provided entertainment.

We met the other guys back in the Irish bar and decided to check out the Karlovy Lazne night club that some of them had been to the previous night. This is located right next to Charles Bridge and is the other side of the building to where the torture museum is. My word... they don’t do night clubs like that in Cardiff! 5 floors of sheer sweaty madness! Beer was about £1 the sauna was free. If there had been a fire in this joint we’d probably have died, seriously! Highlight of the night had to be some random people dancing like “The Sims” to “We no speak Americano”, hilarious stuff, after dancing like a loon for a couple of hours we decided that we were all far to sweaty and needed sleep, problem was we’d lost Mitch...

Following morning we found Mitch, who’d managed to get back to the hotel, £40 lighter after being stung by a taxi driver. Mitch claims he paid him £40 not to bum him, the rest of us think otherwise.
Sunday was pretty uneventful, Pete had some more burgers, some of us had more beer then we headed back to the airport to have an uneventful flight home.

Blogging... don't hold back now!


A few months ago, while signed into Blogger I was viewing my blog, I don’t remember the specific reason, perhaps I remembered I’d blogged about something “coding” related anyway at the top of the page you get some sort of settings panel that lets you know who you’ve signed in as and provides you with various links to edit settings and search your blog e.t.c it also provides you with a link entitled “Next Blog>>”

Clicking things link takes you to another random (I think) blog (every time I’ve clicked on it I get a different blog) Personally I’ve found this fascinating and I’ve spent a lot of time skipping through these blogs looking at what people are actually blogging about, the wealth of authors out there is amazing. I’ve recently read the thoughts of a communist, Interesting to know what’s going on in the communist party, I saw some very interesting art work, by an amateur painter but the thing that struck me MOST was the number of blogs about Cricket and about peoples bloody kids.

I don’t claim to be an author of any sort; I don’t even claim to have a good grasp of the English language (despite being my primary language) I have a clear objective with my blog, which primary focus is to provide me with a sort of “scrap book” of code, solutions, articles and links that I come across online, recently I’ve expanded a little to product reviews and I do have my random mumblings about American Football and amateur five-a-side (Provided for the benefit of my close friends)

What I fail to understand (or appreciate) is why the fuck anyone would want to know what Connor, Brady or even Martin did today. Oh no Connor fell over and hurt his knee today, Brady helped bake some cookies... seriously? Apart from your parents (who if they are anything like mine, mash the keyboard when sending an email and don’t know what a blog is) would read or what to read what a young child has done today. Is this what paedophilia has boiled down to?  I reckon of a sample 10 random blogs that 3 would be about someone’s kids or family, 3 would be about Cricket, 2 would be about religion and maybe 2 might be of some interest. Seriously annoying when you’re looking to waste some quality time!

So Fuck you, Connor, fuck you Brady, fuck you Martin and just because I dislike the name... fuck you TOD!

"Ravens Night II" - Planning - Part 3




With the season kicking off this weekend and the Ravens featuring in the first ‘Monday Night Football’ match it seems only fitting that we host a ‘Ravens Night’. Peter has decided to take up the reins on this Ravens Night.
I’ve only booked the morning off on Tuesday so I’m undecided on going ‘gung-ho’ regards to drinking, but I’ve definitely decided to get some foot long (or as close as can be) hotdogs (something Dave Watt started at the Super bowl night) ketchup PLUS mustard on mine please sir.
I believe Dale is planning to make an appearance, but I personally have him as an outside bet, he can come, so long as he doesn’t bring shitty spar brand kettle chips.
If Pete’s cats come even remotely close to snagging my Ravens shirt then they better learn to fly... and quickly, because they’ll lose most of their nine lives when I deliver a Riv special (toe punt) to them!
I’ve already been told Maddy isn’t invited, this hasn’t sat very well with her so far and she is currently suffering from bouts of depression. I’m sure Maddy would have helped with ‘pest’ control on Monday night.
The game (and the Ravens) for that matter is shaping up to be a real belter, with two solid defences colliding and the Ravens new and improved offense it could really set the tone for our season.

06/09/2010

TTFE-L Review







From the highs of last day season promotion to the lows of 2 losses on the trot TTFE battle on. Our season in division 4 has yet get on track and TTFE are suffering from a lack of able body players. This Sunday saw a heavy defeat, losing 7-1 to Shipmen AFC, a team who I believe TTFE have beaten on all previous meetings. Despite losing 2 on the bounce I have personally found the games enjoyable. It’s difficult to see where our wins are going to come from this season, especially when we seem to have only 5 players. It’s difficult to explain the mood with the team at the moment. We held our own for so long in Division 3, but from memory every game was pretty much a real battle; our personal has also changed since those days, with me become more regular and us generally having less than a ‘regular’ turnout from others. Perhaps we will survive in division 4, after only 2 games it’s difficult to call; I don’t think any of us are worried about making another trip to division 5.