Czech Trech (Trip to Hrubá Skála and Prague!)

Quick overview of my DIScovery trip to Prague…

First off, I heard they’re canceling all of these trips for future semesters because of lack of interest, which is a shame. It’s a great deal, as DIS fronts a lot of the cost and all the activities are planned and set for you. No need to worry about anything.

I ended up being the only student from Stockholm to sign up for this trip, and the rest were from the Copenhagen program. This was a cool opportunity to meet new people, and also to become closer with a DIS Stockholm teacher (one of our tour leaders who flew over with me)!

I arrived in the Copenhagen airport with Djina on Friday night, and we stayed at a super nice hotel right in the airport! Like a really nice hotel…

We met the rest of the group at 6am to take off for Prague! From the Prague airport, we had a 1.5 hour bus to our castle in Hrubá Skála. Once we got there, local tour leaders led us through a whole slew of trust exercises and bonding activities, the necessity of which only became apparent later…

After three hours of that, we had about an hour to unwind before dinner. Let me just say this here and not harp on it, I was not fed very well. I don’t think veganism is a thing in the Czech Repub, at least outside the city, and my options were not exactly satisfactory.

Next day we woke up early and went on a Cave and Rope Expedition! Here the purpose of the trust exercises became clear, as there were lots of fear-factor type situations, squeezing through small crevices, jumping over abysses and climbing up and down precarious rope ladders.

Next we had lunch at a local restaurant and brewery, where I bought three cans of beer for my parents and sister who are visiting me tomorrow! After that, we went back into the woods where we climbed up and repelled down the sand-stone structures.

That night after dinner there was a treasure hunt around the castle, but as I was exhausted I opted to rest in the room instead. I heard it was magical, though, and that they could see the Milky Way!

The next day we repelled across a deep gorge and high-rope bridged back over. High-rope bridging is essentially tight-rope walking, but the tight-rope is made out of a stretchy rubber material, and there are two other ropes next to either arm that you hold onto. Also, of course, you’re connected by a harness to a higher rope.

After that, we repelled down the gorge about 35 meters and walked back up. Next, we had lunch and then afterwards we trekked through Hrubá Skála.

The most interesting part of the trip to me was learning about the natural landscape on this hike. The whole area, billions of years ago, used to be ocean. Then when the ocean went away, the pressure caused the sand on the floor to condense into sandstone. Then earthquakes came, and caused fissures in the rock structure.

Over time, these fissures broke down further to form the sandstone structures and gorges that make up Hrubá Skála today. Now many trees have been planted, creating an otherworldly environment of sandy floors, with mystical sandstone and green trees and moss.

The next day we did archery, which ended up being super fun. I used to do archery at summer camp, and I was a terrible shot. But I realised that archery is quite meditative if you breathe into it, inhaling as you pull back and exhaling as you release.

After we had finished learning to shoot and having a friendly competition, some girls asked me if I would lead them through a yoga sequence. While people went off and did their own thing or continued to shoot, I led them through some yoga on the grass.

It was really fun and restorative to teach again and to help my new friends with their form and answer questions. We then left for Prague where we explored the city before meeting up for a Dinner Cruise on the river Danube.

At this dinner I discussed yoga and helpful anatomical tips with another girl, which made me feel a calm sense of confidence and an ability to radiate my light while receiving light from others.

Before the dinner cruise some other girls and I went to a cool photography store so that my friend Jess could get film for her polaroid. It was such an inviting and chill atmosphere, we all hung out there for awhile, and I ended up buying a photography book that I connected with.

Sidenote: on the way back to the hotel for the cruise, I actually ran into a couple friends from my core course, which was kinda crazy!

The next day we did a bike tour through Prague. And if you’ve kept up with my blog, you know about my previous, intense experience with biking. But I made it, and I kept up with the group (from the back, of course) the whole time!

After the bike tour, I went to a vegetarian restaurant with some new friends. However, first we got distracted by a store called Bershka where I bought a sweatshirt, pants and a leather skirt! Needless to say, everything is way less expensive in the Czech Repub than in Stockholm or Copenhagen.

After, we went to the Old New Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter. I wanted to see it not only because of my Jewish roots (I’m going to Krakow to see the camps over Thanksgiving break), but also because I love visiting old religious sites. We then peaked into the Old Jewish Cemetery and perused the street-stands in the area.

Finally, we went to explore Charles Bridge before heading back to the hotel to go home to Scandinavia.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

“Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” — John Lennon

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