Showing posts with label Czech Republic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Czech Republic. Show all posts

29 June, 2012

Day 11 - Prague Botanic Gardens

Today, it was all about visiting the Botanic Gardens in Prague... but the Gardens I visited, were the ones attached to the University of Prague, and had more of a science feel to it; not necessarily a bad thing either...

It was a small, eclectic Garden, long and narrow, and had both a working glasshouse for operational use, as well as another one for visiting public to enter.


Potted Palms


Potted Trees Prague Botanic Garden


Prague Botanic Garden Glasshouse

A lot of the trees were in pots, making them easier to 'bring in' when not the best weather in the winter. the lawns were sweeping in nature and generally a very pleasant little garden. However, it was doing the hayfever NO good what so ever, and after cutting short my visit after talking with some of the staff, I headed back to the city and to get some medication, and some lunch!


Lavender and Roses


Hydranger and Bee

After lunch, I headed up to the Prague Castle! It was by this stage, quite glary on the eyes, and it was warming up nicely as well... I caught the Metro to Malostranska, and then the tram to the top. When arriving, I walked past the Princesses Garden, which was a butiful garden! There was a 'Birds of Prey' corner, and they had some magnificant birds on display. You could have your photo taken with one of them, the larger the bird the more it cost, but I wasn't into getting my photo taken! They were also very much against YOU taking a photo of the birds, and as I din't have my long lens with me, I was unable to get a shot :(

After a quick walk around, it was time to enter the Castle itself, and more importantly, into the St Vitus Cathederal.


Prague Metro - Malostransk√°


Princesses Garden - Prague Castle


St Vitus Cathederal - Prague Castle

After the brief look inside, I walked down the long subtle staircasr towards Malostranska Metro station, and along the way, stopped to get some photos of the overview of the city.


Prague City Center


Castle Wall


Staircase Down...

I potted around the city for a good while whilst JP was at work. The plan was that when he finished at 7pm, we would catch up for dinner at the local pub where his spotters club have the get togethers! I caught the Metro up to where we were having dinner. Dinner was fantastic, and not that badly priced either!

After dinner, we strolled across some of the bridges in Prague, there was some buskers about, some great and some, well, they were there... It was getting late now, and whilst the sun was low, it was still quite light, but it was a great final night in Prague...

Hoo roo for now...
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28 June, 2012

Day 10 - Airside spotting at PRG!

Ok, this was a definitely a 'highlight' of the trip... It isn't every day you can get THIS close to the action!!

We arrived at the airport after having breakfast in the hotel, it was served down in the cellar, which was full of lovely lines and arches of old stone (propped up by new here and there...). We caught the Metro and then the bus that links the Metro to the Airport. But, we had to get out at T3, which is short and on the opposite (almost) side of the airport. It was the old terminal, and it is now used for FIFO and charters as well as General Aviation! We were met by the guide, and as it was just us, we were going out in a car as opposed to the bus, which had its pluses in that we could get to better locations and out for a longer period as well!

Soon enough, we were driving along what was the old runway, which is being used for GA parking. Low and behold, there was an Australian registered aircraft out there!!

Wristband


Prague Airport Spotting


VH-LAL a long way from home - Sitting on the old runway in Prague!

We then headed along to the cargo ramp, where an all white (boring) China Airlines Cargo B744F was being loaded. This will be good to get as it departs!!


JP and the China Airlines Cargo B744F


B-18722 China Airlines Cargo B744F - PRG

We then headed to a little spot, where we set up for a good couple of hours, and mainly spotting small (A320 and B737's) jets and the odd props (ATR's) taxiing past and or departing. It was fantastic as a lot of the airlines were all new to me! The lighting was being difficult, but hey, it was middle of the day and I wasn't going to complain, and I got some good results!


CSA Logo Jet departing PRague Airport


AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines B735 UR-AAL - PRG


BMI Baby

We then moved (a little) so as we could get both the B744F and the Emirates B773 departing. After the EK taxied past, we had to get into the car, move, in order for the B744F to pass us, as this is an operational (and safety) requirement. It didn't take either of them to long to get to the end of the runway and soon departing!


EK B773 to DXB


China Airlines B744 Freighter departing PRG

The day was fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, thanks JP!

We then headed back into town, and dropped of the camera gear and then a freshen up. We were meeting up with JP's dad for dinner, at a Mexican restaurant nearby! It was great to catch up with his dad again, as it was last December, in Rome, where I last caught up with him for dinner!

What a day, lots of great stuff done and lots of good company... Totally exhausted, especially as now my hayfever was ramping up... I am over the sneezing and constantly running nose and itchy eyes.
Hoo roo for now...
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27 June, 2012

Day 9 To Prague via Amsterdam

I woke up early today, as I was having breakfast with a colleague from Ireland (Dublin) and we were catching a cab together to the airport at 7am... Breakfast was nice, and during the breakfast, the new Chairperson from Greece, asked Alan if he could do the 'Field Days' next year!! YAY, a trip to Dublin next year is now on the cards, as well as Beijing!

Anyways, we got into the cab and then headed to the airport. The cab driver was quite a chatty chap, and we spoke about the economy and so on, and before to long we had arrived. It was quite a small airport, and I now understand as to why it was cheaper to fly into Oslo as opposed to Kristiansand! The facilities and terminal itself, were still stuck back in the 50's or 60's! I was having some small difficulties with my check-in, as I was on a flight into the Czech republic via Amsterdam. It ended up that the gate agent was trying to check me in via a new system, and it wasnt letting her! Eventually, I was checked-in (rather early) and she took carriage of my bag and I entered through the security check. To show just how small it was, I had met the agent at the check-in, security, at the gate and then she handed the inventory to the flight deck!! She was one busy lady!

Departure from Kristiansand was a very quick departure, the Captain spooled up to full power and then released the brakes and almost slingshotted us into the sky! The flight was pretty smooth and before long, we were arriving on Amsterdams furthest runway, the Polderbaan! I had read that at times, it takes longer to taxi to/from the runway, than what it does to actually fly across the channel to the UK! Today though, the Captain was in a hurry and we only took around 20 minutes,

Clearing security was a fairly easy process, as it is when travelling intra-Europe, and before long I was waiting for JP to arrive from Prague. His flight arrived and we cleared security together and went to the KLM shop where he purchased an Airforce ! model and then we went to the viewing deck; which is simply an amazing place!

It was soon 'time-to-fly' and needed to clear security, and this is where I came into grief... Security officer was far to busy chatting up a pair of blondes, to inform people, me, that they need to take out cameras... I had already taken out laptop, I know the 'drill' by now, and sent my bag through to be x-rayed. On the other side, I was asked if the bag was mine, and did I know what was inside it... Yeah I do, and at this point I would NOT have had an issue, but had a) the guy on the otherside mentioned it, I would've taken it out, and b) as the guys on this side were talking in Dutch, I asked they speak in English so as I know what is being said... It got a little heated as I wanted to see where my gear was going instead of asking silly questions by the security... Afterall, its c $10K of gear! After it was done, I grabbed my gear and we left for the flight...

Gear x-rayed AMS


CSA Wingtip
The flight to Prague itself was pretty good, a new airline for me, and a new destination! As JP was now living in Prague, I followed him to the bus, then Metro and to the hotel I had booked, which was right in the middle of the town and on the Metro station! It was late, and we had dinner and hit the beds...

Hoo roo for now...
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