Last Sunday (13th december) we visited the mega event „Adventní Geoskořápky“ in Prague which took place the 10th time. Since 2006 Geonutshells is a traditional Christmas event in mid of December. In the first years it was a simple geocaching event. But more and more geocachers from all over the world joined the Geonutshells to celebrate Christmas so that it received mega status.
Geonutshells is related to an old Czech Christmas tradition. On Christmas Eve people make small boats, usually from walnut shells. They put small candles inside, light them and let the boats float on water in a large pot. The fun of this tradition is in predicting future from how far the boats float or how they stick together, or not.
The participants of the Geonutshells let float their candle boats in Certovka channel. It is really impressive to see the historical buildings illuminated by hundreds of candle lights.
What else offer the event and the city for geoachers? In Prague you can find very old caches like „Prague Panorama“ (GC1E51) from 2001 and the cache with the most found it logs of the world – the „Prague bridges 1 – Karluv most“ (GC189E5). Two virtual caches are also located in Prague – one on the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) and one on the Charles Bridge.
In addition to the mega event numerous subevents were organized which were used to meet other geocachers, talk with each other and exchange the so-called „CWGs“ – which were coins made of wood with personal motives.
Since 2013 lab caches are part of the Geonutshells. This special geocache type was developed to offer for example time limited geocaches instead of event caches on mega events. Lab caches mostly work the same as regular geocaches: navigate to an interesting place, find the cache and sign a logbook. A container and a logbook are preferred, but not necessary. The more important thing is a code which you need to mark the lab cache as found. The last two years the lab caches at the Geonutshells had both – logbook and password. Our Czech colleagues were very imaginative in this case. But this year I have missed the nice ideas and logbooks. Tough all 10 lab caches you could find during a walk over the Charles Bridge.
Prague is a wonderfull town, not only for geocachers. Many tourists visit the capital of Czech republic each year. If you go through the streets of the Old City of Prague you will hear a lot of different languages. The best time to walk on the famous Charles Bridge is the early morning. Then you will be almost alone on the bridge with the many statues of saints.
And how looks like Prague during Christmas time? Christmas markets belong to this time of the year as beer in the Czech Republic. The main market you find on the Old Town Square. But there are lots of other small and also bigger Christmas markets in the city. The secound largest one is located on the Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) and the oldes market is Havelská market which is opened over the whole year. While Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky) is located right in the city center, the Square of peace (Náměstí Míru), which is visited by the locals and the Christmas market on the exhibition grounds Výstaviště are a little bit outside of the city center. Traveling to them is due to the metro no problem.
What makes the Prague Christmas markets, which open daily, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so special? The markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts selling traditional handicrafts like glassware, jewellery, wooden toys, ceramics, metalware, Christmas tree ornaments, hats and gloves, and dolls beautifully dressed in traditional costumes. Maybe you find some nice Christmas gifts. The Prague Christmas markets do not only consists of shopping. You can taste traditional foods like Klobása (barbequed sausages) and Trdelník, a hot sugar coated pastry. Large hams are roasted on spits which you can combine with a cup of hot mulled wine – the so-called Svařák.
Sorry that the short report is in English, but my Czech is not sufficient.
Veselé Vánoce a Šťastný Nový Rok. Uvidíme se příští rok v Praze.