Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

A few weeks ago I tried cross country skiing for the first time. It is offered at school by a fellow teacher. The school also thankfully has skis, boots and poles that we can borrow.

So we all met up in the gym and then headed out into the forest. We hiked up to the top of the hill and put our skis on. What I was not expecting is to be able to basically walk with them on.

Once you start walking you then begin to glide and push with the back toe. It was tough getting my hands and feet working together but one thing I realized is that I needed to not bring my poles so far up. There was too much coordination required for that part!

I did fall twice once when I stepped onto one of the paths that was very icy and once when I crossed my skis!

The biggest issue I had was the whole parts of your body being super hot and sweaty and parts being frozen aspect! Didn’t enjoy that at all!

I am looking forward to giving it another go very soon!

Prague – Wrap Up

Prague – Wrap Up

Well this is definitely a city and country I will be back to visit! I have had a great time enjoying summer sunshine, beautiful buildings and a new culture.

Beautiful door handles inside the church which is my favorite Prague building!

These benches were all over the place and the stands on them were so cool and interesting.

These appeared in 2000 crawling up the TV tower.

My favorite building!

Again but at night!

The view from our hotel, if you stand on the bed!

The metronome

Prague from the Metronome


A church near our hotel.

Prague Day 3 – Karlovy Vary 

Prague Day 3 – Karlovy Vary 

Well actually not Prague! Karlovy Vary, in English and German known as Carlsbad, is about 2 hours West of Prague. It is a spa town. With a beautiful centre.

The first of the thermal waters. There are 12 different spots where the thermal water comes to the surface. The spots all have pipes and fountain like structures so that you can collect water for drinking from the springs if you want. The first one we tasted was the coldest and was very salty. After that they were like drinking warm slightly salty water.

This fountain looking one is actually not a fountain but the opening of one of the springs. It pumps itself up every couple of seconds and pools in the fountain.

These are the pillars for drinking from on the first colonnade, there are 5 colonnades along the town, each has at least one spring in or near it.

Your supposed to drink the waters slowly from the bottom. So they have special cups for this!

Us with our special cups!

This is an example of the liberty style and it was just beautiful. The owner liked the style and had the building designed for it and named after him.

This is Pasteur’s house. The image is of the Greeks using natural spa water as healing water.

Just a view of the way the buildings look.

This is the Russian Orthodox church, which is stunning. And mother nature decided to give us a show by having the sun shine on it right was we walked up to it.

One of the beautiful buildings which is also the Savoy Hotel!

I think this is the priest’s house at the Russian Orthodox church.

Me taking the waters!

Karlovy Vary from the Diana tower!

It has been a great day and thanks to bus wifi I am posting this on the ride back!

Prague Day 2 – 24,580 steps!

Prague Day 2 – 24,580 steps!

Big walking day today but most of our checklist is done!

Me mainlining tea from tiny cups for breakfast!

Cool building with chariots on top.

The St Vitus’s Cathedral in the Prazsky Hrad. This was our first close up view of the Prague Castle. We had gone up the hill that the castle is on, on a funicular to the top which would have amazing gardens if you visited in the spring or summer. Then we walked just below the ridge line around to the castle. This was our first clear view.

Inside the cathedral. The stained glass inside the cathedral is amazing. Since Prague was only bombed once during the war, many of the old buildings and churches remain. This is an amazing example of what can be done with stained glass.

I love flying buttresses and the back of the Cathedral did not disappoint!

Our potatoes on a stick snack! These tasted like fries and would definitely be a fun party food to make!

The start of the Charles Bridge, which is a very cool walking bridge over the river with statues about every 30 ft or so.

Me, Josie and Geoff on the Charles Bridge with the Prague Castle in the background.

The Dancing House.  I love how this house is unique and stands out but just enough. It blends in well with the surrounding buildings so it is interesting but not distracting from its environment.

St Hubert’s statue. Thanks to Jack Bowman, I knew that this statue was here and it was on my list of places to see in Prague if I ever went! It did not disappoint!

The Spanish Synagogue ceiling. We went to the synagogue for a Gershwin concert, which was great. The synagogue is called the Spanish Synagogue because it was designed by a Spaniard who obviously had a lot of influence from the Moors as the styling is very much like what you would find in a mosque.

One of the things that I love about my phone is that it allows me to take 360 photos. Here is  the link to one of today’s 360° pictures

Had a bit of trouble with the sun on this one, but here is the back of the Cathedral.

Prague Day 1

Prague Day 1

The astronomical clock in the old town square.

This jug was super heavy, I think my right arm gained some muscles lifting that!

We flew into Prague today and wow it is gorgeous.  Checked into our hotel, went out to find lunch then a quick visit to the town square! The main part of Prague’s old town is under UNESCO protection and boy should it be. The buildings are all different and fantastic. The are on average 4-5 stories high. But they all have different things that make them unique from the iron work around the balconies to the paintings on the eves to the paint on the facade.

Prague is very nice so far! Some absolutely beautiful buildings to look at!


Dog Sledding

Dog Sledding

On January 21st I got to go dog sledding. Wow, just Wow.

This was a fantastic day out. We left home and after about an hour and a half drive north of Moscow to a town called Dmitrov. We drove on for about 20 more minutes into an area with a few Dacha’s. Then we hiked out into the woods get to the location of where the dogs were tethered to some trees.

The owners of the dog sled had a fire all set up along with some tea set up for us to enjoy while we waited for the dogs to be ready.

Once we all got out instructions on how to ride the sled, they began to attach the dogs to the sled. Being husky’s the ones that weren’t being chosen were letting their voices be heard!

I happened to be standing near the owners and he asked me to hold the two lead dogs so that he could help connect the others. Then all of a sudden he was sending me to get onto the snowmobile.

I was going to ride down on the snowmobile and then ride the sled back. What I didn’t expect was the speed that the ride down was going to entail! So we started down the trail in front of the sled just ahead enough to keep an eye on them and make sure everything was okay. At that point we were going about 20-25 Kph. After a bit when he realized everything was going okay, he said down. Something told me to hold on. That was a good thing! I stopped being able to see the speedometer after we got to about 60 kph!

Once we got to the end of the run he pulled the snowmobile over and waited for the dogs to come. Once they came into view, he started talking to them and slowing them down. Once they got to the end he grabbed them and turned them around. Thing it was my turn!

The first jump off is a bit of a jolt but them you are just smoothly cruising along. It was amazing to just be going along. I only wish I had known what to say to them to encourage them on, but I just kept making encouraging sounds and enjoying the ride.

I didn’t even take any pictures of video of the ride because I was enjoying it too much!

We spend the rest of the day hanging out with the dogs while everyone else rode. Then went to lunch in Dmitrov. The town was beautiful but as we arrived, it began to snow, not just a little bit but really, really snow. You can see in my pictures the difference between when we first got there and when I headed off to lunch!

All and all it was a great day!






Belorusskaya Station in the morning Sun.
Troika in progress.

February 11th I got the opportunity to go on a Troika ride.

We arrived at the Yard to be greeted with a bit of a show. A guy on a colored stallion did some jumping through a ring of fire, a young girl rode her horse around showing her control skills and then another guy and girl rode a bit of a pas da deux.

Then we all loaded up into the Troikas. Things to know about . Troika, there is no suspension, where one sled goes the other goes because they are fixed axel, and if you are in line with the outside horse you are going to get a bit of pelting with snowballs from their feet!

We went on a loop around a big field that was in some pretty deep snow which was hard going for the horses but was interesting for us. I got some video from the back of the sled but it was a fun experience all the same.

After a snack of pancakes, we did a quick tour of the farm. It was a very typical yard! The stable block was very nice and well kept. The stalls weren’t very big and they had been built up off of the level of the hall so the horses have to step up quite a bit to get into their boxes. All in all it was a pretty typical yard, well except for the camel!

The Farm Camel

I recommend Troika riding as well and to be in the small Troika in the middle of the back seat or the front back facing seat!

The church that we rode to.


From the front