25 December 2005 - Prague, Czech Republic
Na Kampe
We navigated our way safely to this square near the Charles Bridge with the help of a little friend.
Here we met with Veronika's sister, Hedvika, and her husband Justin.


25 December 2005 - Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Castle
view of Prague Castle from the Charles Bridge. We returned to Na Kampe where we shared some Christmas Turkey with Hedvika and Justin...


25 December 2005 - Prague, Czech Republic

Burning Brandy
...and some Christmas Pudding.The word 'pudding' in Czech translates to a custard-like dessert. Jitka imagined a burning lump of custard rather than this. She still thought that pouring burning brandy on a perfectly good cake was very odd behaviour indeed.


27 December 2005 - Prague, Czech Republic

We had organised a surprise lunch for Jitka in Prague for her birthday in a restaurant called 'La Perle de Prague', which is on the top floor of a building designed by architect Frank Gehry. We had booked some time in advance using their web page. After dressing up and driving down to Prague we arrived at the restaurant only to be told that they are closed, and they never received our booking. Fortunately we had a few other restaruants to choose from. We eventually ate at Restaurant Parnas. An art-deco restaurant on the banks of the Vltava


29 December 2005 - Brno, Czech Republic

Insurance Void
I had promised Veronika & Jitka's cousin, Martin, that I would race with him on this indoor go-kart track when we next visited. He is the same age as Jitka and is keen racing driver, racing karts and full sized cars when he can afford it. He has to wait another 18 months before he can drive a car on the road...

The drive to Brno was interesting. It started to snow heavily once we had passed Prague and the roads were very slippery. For the last 60km we were travelling 40km/h on the freeway. At that speed our stopping distance was about 200m... we seemed to be taking a lot longer to stop than everyone else... we eventually arrived in Brno safely.

That's me in car number 7. The track is slippery concrete, tight and quick. It was a little crazy with no particular rules of importance and some serious bumping between drivers.


30 December 2005 - Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Vetruse Castle
A recently restored castle near Usti
nad Labem.


30 December 2005 - Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
Usti nad Labem
The view from the Castle of the valley below.


30 December 2005 - Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Pirelli P6000s
After a brief internet search I have now discovered that these are summer tyres. This would help explain the severe understeer... resulting in us sliding onto the wrong side of the road at intersections in Brno at speeds which motorised wheelchairs can exceed..

We will drive to Berlin on the 2 January where we will be changing this thing for something more sensible.


31 December 2005 - Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic
The Gypsy Baron
The last day of 2005 was spent at a performance of Johann Strauss II operetta in the Theatre in Usti. Pictured from left to right is Veronika, Martin, Jitka & Babicka (Grandmother)


31 December 2005 - Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic


1 January 2006 - Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

Novy Rok
At midnight the whole city erupts. Personal fireworks are launched from balconies, parks and streets illuminating the city. This went on for over half an hour. Amazing.

Happy New Year everyone!