Friday, July 2, 2010

World Gliding Championship-USA Team 6/29/10

After arriving in Prague Monday morning, my grandfather and I spent the entire day exploring the Golden City. We spent two or so hours in search of a decent printer and ink, which was made even more difficult by our very minimal knowledge of the Czech language. Later that afternoon we took a tour of the city by bus, which drove us past the Charles Bridge, the breathtaking Prague Palace and Cathedral, and the town square, which had an overwhelming World Cup theme, complete with a soccer ball version of a bucking bronco. Our evening was spent exploring the town square, and its surrounding area. Fun fact, the Czech put their street names on the sides of buildings, which means no street signs. You can imagine how this might affect navigation.
Tuesday morning saw the beginning of our drive to Prievidza, Slovakia. Although it was a pretty lengthy drive (seven hours) as I wasn't driving, I was able to fully appreciate the beauty of the Czech and Slovakian countryside. The farther we drove, the more mountainous the terrain became, and the narrow roads cut through small, ancient forest covered mountains, before emerging to look down on the terra cotta roofed villages. I probably have a hundred blurry pictures on my camera from attempting to take pictures from a car moving at 120 kilometers per hour. We also spotted a road sign which we have NO idea what it means. 
We arrived in Prievidza at around five o'clock, thanks only to Grandpa's GPS, christened Flo. Perhaps the most amusing part of our driving was listening to Flo try to pronounce the Slovakian street names, which she somehow managed to do even worse that Grandpa and I. We checked into our hotel, a brand new Best Western, complete with a car lift into the parking garage. Early Wednesday morning, we actually learned that we are the only guests in the hotel. Once we arrived at the airfield, we were able to find the majority of the US team, and together we endeavored to erect an antenna from our team office. Admittedly it is shorter than those of Britain and Australia, but our flag is much higher, which is really the important thing. We were done perfecting our antenna by nine o'clock, and we all got together for dinner at the airport restaurant before heading home at about ten. 
Blair Mockler