The time that I fell off the ski lift in the Czech Republic!

As lovely as Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
As lovely as Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Rokytnice nad Jizerou is lovely.

it’s in the Bohemian mountains of the Czech Republic and last week, I told you all about how to get there, where it is, and why we went there!

It’s skiing season and Rokytnice nad Jizerou has got eighteen (18) kilometres of wide pistes, excellent facilities, an adrenaline-inducing snow park, and wonderful views of the surrounding Krkonoše Mountains in the Czech Republic.

In fact, whether you’re a complete beginner or whizz down the slopes like a world champion, you will find what you’re looking for in Rokytnice.

Experts say that before you put on a single ski you should think carefully about which of the ski areas suit you best. There are five (5) of them. There is Studenov (near the centre of the village), Sachrovka, Modrá Hvězda, Bah’ynka (which are basically side by side) and Horní Domky which, with a splendid location on the slopes of the Lysá Mountain, has the longest slope in the country!

If only I had thought of that.

I’m a sucker when it comes to getting into trouble. Remember that time that we went to Inverness in Scotland, and the B&B landlord had forgotten that there were three (3) of us, The Music Producer, “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I, instead of (2) two…

My poor boy, who is taller than I am, had to sleep on a child’s camping bed which was jammed against the bedroom door, jammed against the bathroom door, and jammed against our very small British double bed!

On the city-kart in Leba, Poland before the chain and seat broke off!
On the city-kart in Leba, Poland before the chain and seat broke off!

Or what about that time that we went to a little village on the Polish Baltic Sea, and even though the sun was shining and everything, there was hardly anybody there and the circus, the cinema, the ice-cream waffle shop, the bicycle stand, the restaurants, and all the shops except for two (2).

Were closed!

Do you remember that time that I thought it was a good idea to climb up a live volcano in Bali.

Well, it wasn’t!

Akwaaaard!
Akwaaaard!

Have you forgotten when even though I can hardly ride a bike at all, I thought it prudent to go on a rural off-the-beaten-path mountain bicycle tour in Indonesia and ultimately fell in a ditch causing my guides to run into a panic!

How about the time that I was attacked by monkeys and they pulled my hair. Oh yes, they did!

Korean art and craft.
Korean art and craft.

And don’t even get me started on the horror of horrors and complete stupidity of flying all the way to Korea when actually, we should have been going to Qatar!

You would have thought that I had learnt my lesson from years ago, when I first came to Rokytnice nad Jizerou, and learnt to ski….

I mean, if you’re looking to spend your holiday just skiing or snowboarding, then Rokytnice nad Jizerou is just right.

Horní Domky or Grey Beard!
Horní Domky or Grey Beard!

Because of the terrain, Rokytnice nad Jizerou offers skiing and snowboarding for every level. It is recommended for beginners, skilled and very advanced skiers, of all age categories.

If you like slopes with greater difficulty, variety and width, or you’re an upper intermediate to advanced skier, the ski resort – Horní Domky is perfect. It has over 14 kilometres of perfectly groomed pistes which boast a width of up to 100 metres and a range from 630 to 1,315 meters, and is the best ski location in the Czech Republic in terms of its position, exemplary ski slopes, and facilities.

It is popular mainly for its large span of snow diversity, and the extent of its downhill courses.

It is dominated by Mount Hora, which is accessible by two (2) four-seat chair lifts and six (6) pole lifts. One of the chairlifts is the starting point of the Krkonoše cross-country skiing arterial trail and even takes you up to the Krkonoše National Park.

If you’re a snowboarder however, then Roktynice nad Jizerou won’t let you down as there is a snow park with several jumps, obstacles and its own lift popular for travellers and tourists, who love to Freestyle. On a length of over 11.4 kilometres you can ski on the blue, red, or black ski runs.

The Professionals!
The Professionals!

Only go on the black run if you’re ready.

I’m a strong red skier but when I was a blue skier in the 90’s, I decided to go on the black ski run with a bunch of friends who had been skiing for years and thought it might be fun, if we all skied together.

I guess you all know where this is leading!

We decided to go on the black run.

Me included.

The pole lift put in between your thighs!
The pole lift put in between your thighs!

We drove up and began to slowly ski up the hills of Horní Domky on the pole lift above. You know the one. Where the seat is put in between your thighs and you are whizzed along. It’s quite relaxing and as long as you don’t doze off completely, and you hold on tightly, it’s quite a pleasant way to go up.

This is what it looks like when you're whizzing up the pole lift!
This is what it looks like when you’re whizzing up the pole lift!

At some point, we began to climb higher and as such, the ski lift had to reflect that change in atmosphere and altitude. We went on a two-seat chairlift.

Now for the non-skiers among you, when you’re in a two-seat or four-seat chairlift, you’re outdoors and exposed to the elements. Most importantly, the skis are already attached to your feet so that you can quickly ski off. Away from the lift as the chairlift doesn’t stop, and automatically swivels around so that you must GET OFF!

I was supposed to be in a chairlift with my boyfriend at the time, but I somehow missed my seating, and ended up going on the next one.

The Alpine ski lift in Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
The Alpine ski lift in Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Alone.

I was in an unfamiliar area and the speed at which we were climbing up those mountains was dizzying. I wasn’t completely in my seat and neither was I comfortable. At some point, I got confused and found that my skis were trapped in my alpine ski lift.

I tried to untangle my legs so that the skis would be in front of me rather than behind me, but I couldn’t.

So I lifted the ski bar.

Oh dear! What to do!
Oh dear! What to do!

And fell straight down into the forest!

I found myself face-down in a lot of snowy powder with my glasses stuck to my face!

I was in shock, and so was everyone else.

The empty chair!
The empty chair!

I could hear echoes of shouting, screaming, and frantic waving. All I could do was look on as my chairlift staggered emptily away into the cold distance.

The first thing I did was to check my legs.

They were at a funny angle.

Where are my skis?!
Where are my skis?!

And then I wondered where my skis were.

Then I burst into torrent of tears.

Luckily for me, gravity had flung my skis away from me. I was seriously bruised and in shock, but I had no broken bones.

I was in the middle of the forest and I was completely and utterly alone. There were no mobile phones in those days, and in 1994, the Czech Republic was an undeveloped East European country. Waiting for help would mean that I would freeze. I could see where the chairlift was supposed to go, so I began to walk towards the direction of the next chairlift station.

i_m_in_shock_look_i_have_a_blanket_by_teamfreewillangel-d62zdp0I began to search for my skis, put them together, stuck them in the snow, and began to walk. And shed tears, and talk to myself, and shed more tears.

I was in shock you see.

By the time I got to the chairlift station, it was 1.5 hours later, all my friends were enormously worried, and I couldn’t talk at all.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/24/murder_intrigue_and_the_mysterious_origins_of_vodka/
A needed shot of vodka!

Happily, I was sat down, and a jacket was put around my shoulders. Somebody also slipped me some vodka.

I needed it as I still had to get down from the mountain!

One of my girlfriends’ gave me her skis and then she went back down into the forest with her boyfriend to find mine. Both of them on a tandem of one ski each!

Ha!

Never try to ski with equipment that has not been measured or weighed for you in mind. I was much taller and weighed less than the girl whose skis I was now using.

And it showed.

It’s a dangerous game as the skis kept slipping from my feet….!

I saw the the Mountain Rescue Service in action. They were quick, efficient  & top notch. Sadly, they didn't exist in 1994!
I saw the Mountain Rescue Service in action. They were quick, efficient & top-notch. Sadly, they didn’t exist in 1994!

It took me 1.5 hours to ski down a black run that should have taken 30 minutes.

I was wet.

I was cold.

And I was scared.

I was scared of hurting myself on the slopes, but the only way to get down those slopes was to ski down them.

The ski map of Rokytnice nad Jizerou.
The ski map of Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

I did it.

I finished the black ski run.

I lived to tell the tale.

And then I didn’t ski for 10 years!

I went to Andorra (a tiny country between France and Spain). I went to Southern Germany. And in 2009, I went back to the Czech Republic.

To Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

What I should have done was to get a guide to go with me or simply not go up the black ski run mountain at all, but you live and learn right?

Right!?!

Ski School Yetti in Rokytnice nad Jizerou.Since I don’t ski every year, I always make sure to brush up on my skiing skills and reflexes by booking a few lessons at a reputable ski school. The school that I go to is called Ski School Yetti, is right next door to the Hotel Stary Mlyn. Very convenient not only because you get a discount if you’re a guest of the hotel, but also because it’s only 5 minutes away from the piste itself!

Hurrah!

It’s owned by a bear of a man called Petr. He’s Czech and speaks German and a little English but all his ski instructors are young Czechs, full of energy and enthusiasm, and speak either fluent English, fluent German, or Polish.

In many cases, more English than anything else!

Jakob, my son's skiing instructor.
Jakob, my son’s skiing instructor.

You can learn or improve your skiing, snowboarding, snowkiting, or snowtubing. You can also rent all the ski equipment that you need. And as I told you last week, skis go quickly and Czech prices are out of this world!

I paid 1,522 kc or €55/$62.00 for my son’s skis, poles, boots and a helmet for six (6) days. That’s equivalent to €9.20 or $10.50 a day! I also paid 3,591 kc or €131/$148.50 for advanced ski lessons for children between the ages of 9 – 12 years old in a group of 4 – 8 children. The class started with 5 teenagers and by the middle of the week pretty much ended up being a private class for one, as parents tend to ski with their kids as the week progressed.

I used to do the same.

The old days!
The old days!

I was ill that week and couldn’t ski, so I was pretty relieved to know that my son was never alone whilst on the ski piste! The cost of €22/$26 per day is astounding for ski lessons of four (4) hours per day. Not only that, but the daily ski pass for kids were 270 kc or €10/$11.50 per day and 50 kc or €1.80/$2.60 refundable deposit for the chip cart.

My ski improvement lessons for middle-advanced classes would have cost 2,280 kc for three (3) days or €83/$95 or €28/$32 per day. My ski rental for five (5) days would have cost 1,220 kc or €44.30/$50.50 or €9/$10.30 per day.

You can always leave your stuff, if you need a break. It's perfectly safe.
You can always leave your stuff, if you need a break.
It’s perfectly safe.

I thought that I would recover from my illness and kept the skis for four (4) days but I had bronchitis and was forced to spend most of my vacation time in bed! Petr knew I had been ill. In fact, everyone knew that I was ill, and didn’t charge me!

Thank you Petr.

ANY APRÈS-SKI?

Fun & games in Austria!
Fun & games in Austria!

Rokytnice nad Jizerou isn’t the Austrian Alps and you’re not going to find many people doing the conga here! Having said that, there are ski schools for adults and children a-plenty, equipment rentals, ski service, restaurants, fast food booths, paragliding, a mountain rescue station (which I saw in action), a few small discos and a TESCO!

Parking is free of charge and there is a ski bus service which is completely and utterly free, to take you from one ski piste to the other.

I’d say that if you’re looking for a good time, there’s plenty of good food, cheap booze, and skiing to be had.

You’d best bring a group of friends or the family with you, and get the party started LOL!

I don’t think you can get any better than that!

Prosím!
Prosím!

For more information, please contact: The ski website of the Czech Republic.

For more information, please contact: Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

For more information, please contact: Ski School Yetti,

A local Czech snowboarder.This article is not sponsored and even though I received a small discount, all opinions and the delicious Czech dishes that I had, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Next week, I’m going to concentrate on the rustic delights of Czech food. You can read the tweets that I sent of Rokytnice nad Jizerou under the Twitter # tag of #RokytnicenadJizerou, #Rokytnice, #HotelStaryMlyn or #skischoolyetti.

You can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 25.02.15 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

I’ll be participating in the pre-ITB Travel Massive event on 03.03.15. If you’re a blogger or just fancy a knees-up, come meet us. It’s going to be so much fun!

The actual International Travel Trade Fair – ITB – will be taking place from 04.03.15 – 08.03.15 and after that I’ll be off travelling to the next destination. More exciting info in March!

If you’re not in Berlin in February, it’s not too late!

February is going to be warm and dandy!

Watch this space!

Returning to Rokytnice nad Jizerou. Because we're worth it!
Returning to Rokytnice nad Jizerou.
Because we’re worth it!

I’m thinking of taking a small group of people to the Czech Republic next year. Who’s with me? Would you consider skiing in Rokytnice nad Jizerou?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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I went skiing in a little Czech village in the middle of no-where: Introducing Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Rokytnice nad Jizerou, the Czech Republic.
Rokytnice nad Jizerou, the Czech Republic.

So last week, “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I returned from the Czech Republic. Even though I was completely under the weather, it was still a great experience.

For those of you who didn’t know, I had a bout of bronchitis and spent a considerable amount of time observing, rather than doing.

Luckily for you, I’ve done it all before…

Phew!

Ah yes.

The Czech Republic.

Where is it again?

Oh yeah, the Czech Republic is in the former Eastern Bloc and used to be known as Czechoslovakia. After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Czechoslovakia decided to split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The capital of the Czech Republic is Prague.

Oh right.

Now you know!

In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!
In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!

Prague is an astounding city of absolute beauty but I’m not going to write about Prague today. I’m going to write about skiing!

The British Berliner is a lifestyle travel blog and yes, I do a lot of things that people might assume is glamourous and exciting, and but even though I live a “normal” life, I also travel.

A lot!

I have a love affair with the Czech Republic because after I graduated university, I went to live there. It was my first real job and it was a high-flying graduate programme.

I didn’t speak Czech or German.

I had never been to Eastern Europe before.

I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, and I wasn’t even getting paid initially!

It was the best thing that I had ever done. I had such a fantastic time, that I stayed on, became the Regional Project Manager and lived there for (2) two years.

Being creative with food!
Being creative with food!

In my post at the beginning of the year, I explained that if you really want to travel, and you have a job, family, and responsibilities. Just like me. You’ve got to get creative. One of those ways is to go to cheaper and to as-of-now-unfamiliar, locations.

The Czech Republic is one of them.

Rokytnice nad Jizerou, the Czech Republic.
Rokytnice nad Jizerou, the Czech Republic.

Who doesn’t love skiing?

When you think about it, most people steer themselves towards France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. All of these places are fantastic skiing locations.

None of them are cheap!

If you’re looking for an alternative to over-crowded locations and over-priced ski huts then perhaps the Czech Republic, and more specifically, Rokytnice nad Jizerou might be the place for you.

Let’s start with the nitty-gritty:

Because Czech soup!
Because Czech soup!

WHY GO TO ROKYTNICE NAD JIZEROU?

I’ve said it before but it’s criminally easy to travel anywhere in Europe and one of the countries nearby, is the Czech Republic. It’s not as close as Poland, but if you’re flying, it’s under two (2) hours.

Rokytnice nad Jizerou is a small village mountain resort based in an area known as the Krkonoše or the Giant Mountains. Rokytnice nad Jizerou means “a stream flowing among willows,” dates back from 1574, and is a part of the region which consists of Horní and Dolní Rokytnice, Františkov and Hleďsebe.

In Germany, these villages are known as the Riesengeberge.

HOW DO I GET THERE?

Taking the Czech train, in Prague.
Taking the Czech train, in Prague.

It’s really quite simple. If you’re flying, the international airport is in Prague. If you’re taking the international train, they generally connect to Prague too. However, if you’re coming from Berlin like I did, then you can either fly, take the train, take the bus, or drive.

I don’t drive and The Music Producer wasn’t able to come with us this time, and since I like an adventure, I thought it would be interesting to take public transport to Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

Let me just say that when you’re feeling unwell, taking the adventurous route isn’t the best way to go about it.

But there you have it.

Rokytnice nad Jizerou. Not on the international jet-set route!
Rokytnice nad Jizerou. Not on the international jet-set route!

Rokytnice nad Jizerou isn’t on the international tourist route so the best way to do it is to get to Prague. You can travel to Prague by flying with any scheduled or budget airline or taking the train. If you book ahead, you can get discount prices from the German Railway Service known as Deutsche Bahn or DB. Tickets are from €39.00, but if you keep your eyes peeled you can even travel from €29.00! If you’re travelling with children, children under 15 years old are absolutely free! For more information about how to book your train ticket to Prague check here.

However, we didn’t do that.

Oh dear me no.

We took a different route. We took the bus / coach!

shutterstock-92810047-zob

We did this because we were travelling during the German school winter break. This winter break is only one week! This meant that we had to arrive in Rokytnice nad Jizerou on Saturday so that we could get our skiing equipment and our classes organised on the day..

It’s a small place. By Sunday, all the classes and best equipment are rented out!

The very wonderful German trains had transport from Berlin to Prague but would be changing (5) times in the middle of the night and had long transfers.

Er. No!

Meinfernbus-berlin
Meinfernbus outside Brandenburg Gate in Berlin!

So I decided to go with a bus company called Meinfernbus. I had never been with them before, but they had direct transfers from Berlin to Prague and had a cost of….

Wait for it.

€18.00 per person. Each way!

A knight on Wenceslas Square - Prague.
A knight on Wenceslas Square – Prague.

We left Berlin at 22:20 and arrived in Prague at 03:10. We then took the night bus to the Main Train Station in Prague as taxis were thin on the ground. This station is called Praha Hlavni Nadrazi or Praha hl.n. It’s the biggest train station in Prague, and is really close to Wenceslas Square. It used to be pretty grim. In fact, in the late 90’s, I had missed my bus back to Berlin, and the station was so dodgy that I ended up hiding my stuff, and spending the night at the international casino, whilst I waited for morning!

Having a bite and a sup at KFC, Prague!
Having a bite and a sup at KFC, Prague!

Praha Hlavni Nadrazi is pretty cleaned up now and we had a few hours to kill as our local train was leaving Prague at 06:11. I decided to show my son the bright lights of Prague, the statues, the museums, the Bohemian cobbled stones, and Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Yep! “The Tall Young Gentleman” was hungry and the late night sausage stalls looked quite unappetising, so we had breakfast in the place that Prague had found it’s freedom. As did everybody else.

It was turning into quite a party as tourists around me were speaking Czech, English, German, Spanish and French!

Breakfast in the Czech Republic!
Breakfast in the Czech Republic!

After breakfast, we took the local Czech train.

I had booked our train tickets on-line and because we were going to the mountain region, the trains got distinctly smaller and smaller ’till we basically took a toy train with one carriage, and end-of-the-line-stops. I booked our Czech train tickets here and the four (4) hour journey from Prague to Rokytnice nad Jizerou cost just €13.00 for the both of us and €26.00 both ways.

You do have to keep your wits about you though as the transfer time is about 5 minutes, and you need to take three (3) trains. The next train is usually right in front of you, and the train officials were very helpful, and even waited on the tracks with us, until we got on the next train!

Our tiny Czech train!
Our tiny Czech train!

I paid €36.00 for the return bus journey from Berlin to Prague and 241kc (Czech crowns) or about €9.00 for the return train journey from Prague to Rokytnice nad Jizerou. “The Tall Young Gentleman” paid €36.00 too and only 121kc (Czech crowns) or about €4.50 for the Czech train!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

No crowds at Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
No crowds at Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

OMG. You have got to be joking.

There are about 3,000 people who live in Rokytnice nad Jizerou with the rest being tourists. Most of the tourists were either East German or Czech.

I’ve been going to Rokytnice nad Jizerou since 1996, and I have met only a handful of non-German speaking tourists, so you’re going to be interesting to the locals. English isn’t widely spoken but those that do, are really eager to practice and are enormously friendly. They get even friendlier when you speak a few words of Czech.

The Czech Republic is a young nation and they’re going places.

WHAT IS THE SKIING LIKE?

"The Tall Young Gentleman" surrounded by teenaged girls at Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” surrounded by teenaged girls at Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

It’s lovely and cheap.

I’ll tell you more about it next week!

I DONT SPEAK CZECH.

Most people only speak Czech or German but there will always be someone around who can help.  If you can speak English, you’re good to go!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

At the ski hut.
At the ski hut.

You can if you want to.

In the past, we used to do a homestay with a local family in the middle of a hill. It was an old woman whom we called “Oma Maria.” We paid something like 10 Deutsche Marks or €5.00 per day. She didn’t speak English or German!

It was pretty basic and when we young, it was all we needed. Breakfast was included, it was a shared bathroom, and kitchen, the TV was in Czech or German, and there was no WiFi!

After twenty years with husband, and pre-teenager in tow, a little more is needed.

If you’re really low on cash, you can still find similar all over the village but it isn’t going to be for €5.00 per night, more €25.00. You can find homestays here.

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

Outside Hotel Stary Mlyn, Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
Outside Hotel Stary Mlyn, Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Yes. However, we’re not talking of the French Alps here, but if it’s good enough for German tourists, it’s surely good enough for you. We went to an establishment called Hotel Stary Mlyn.

I like this hotel in particular because it’s right next to the ski lift!

After a full day of skiing, all I want to do is drag my weary legs and ski equipment to the hotel, and collapse. And I can, because it’s all of 5 minutes away, or in my case 10 minutes!

Drag them or leave them. They're safe!
Drag them or leave them. They’re safe!

Hotel Stary Mlyn is a family owned hotel too and has a ski school attached to it, so it’s even more convenient. I think all the staff are related as pretty much everyone knew that I was ill and did so much to help me. The receptionist/ski teacher wrote information for the doctor in Czech. The manager called the Czech train company to confirm travel status as a rock had blocked some trains from moving! He even carried my bags, drove us to the train station and waited for the toy train to arrive too! The ski school owner took back my skis after four (4) days, and didn’t charge me, and the Czech waiter used to have an Irish girlfriend so was enormously pleased that he could talk in English, rather than German. Although I speak both!

Hotel Stary Mlyn had it’s own restaurant and bar, a billiards/darts/table-football room, ice-skating, sauna, and a dedicated room for skis, and boots.

It's not the Ritz, but it'll do LOL!
It’s not the Ritz, but it’ll do LOL!

Our double room was en suite with a TV (German and Czech. Sigh!), hot water, and free WiFi but you should bring your own towel and toiletries, as the ones provided by the hotel are for stronger constitutions!

A Czech Continental Breakfast of kiełbasa sausage, cucumber, sliced, sweet peppers, and slices of cheese!
A Czech Continental Breakfast of kiełbasa sausage, cucumber, sliced, sweet peppers, and slices of cheese!

A continental breakfast buffet was included, and we also paid for Half Board which consisted of a three-course meal.

I was so impressed by the food that Czech food deserves a post all on its own. You’ll see that in a few weeks LOL!

The prices for a ski resort located right next door, are amazing.

A beautiful Scottish Terrier that would break your heart!  Photo@ petguide.com
A beautiful Scottish Terrier that would break your heart!
Photo@ petguide.com

For our B&B we paid 1,530kc (Czech Crowns) or €56.00 per day.  Our 3-course dinner every night was 260kc or €10 for BOTH of us. For each person, that amounted to €28.00 or $32.00 per day for the B&B and €5.00 or $6.00 for a 3-course dinner.

A bargain me thinks!

I’M REEEEEEALLY ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

At TESCO's.
At TESCO’s.

No Problem. Pretty much any Eastern European country is quite cheap and is never going to break the bank. If you’re on a budget, you could do worse. Beer at any restaurant is about 80 cents or $1.00. Meals including a starter are about €5.00 or $6.00!

If you’re making your own meals there is a TESCO supermarket. I know right!

You can find TESCO in pretty much every East European country and the food items are  really funny. In Rokytnice nad Jizerou you could get rolls of Czech bread for 1.50kc or 4 cents and they equally sold Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce and Marmite!

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO ROKYTNICE NAD JIZEROU?

All the villages offer downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, cycling and other activities. I’ll write more about that in the next post.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Taking 40 winks in Rokytnice nad Jizerou, the Czech Republic.
Taking 40 winks in Rokytnice nad Jizerou, the Czech Republic.

Learn a few words of Czech. It’s similar to Polish such as:

  • Dobrý den: Good Day!
  • Ahoj: Hello!
  • Ano: Yes!
  • Ne: No!
  • Děkuji: Thank you!
  • Prosím: You’re welcome or Please!

Most importantly, have fun skiing!

Go on. Have some fun!
Go on. Have some fun!

For more information, please contact: Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

For more Information about travelling to Prague by train, please contact: Deutsche Bahn.

For more information about travelling around the Czech Republic by train, please contact: Czech Railways (ČD).

For more information about travelling to Prague by bus, please contact: Meinfernbus.

For more information, please contact: Hotel Stary Mlyn.

For general accommodation bookings, please contact: General accommodation in Rokytnice.

Horka Cokolada or Hot Chocolate with Cream!
Horka Cokolada or Hot Chocolate with Cream!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a small discount, all opinions and the enjoyable Czech soups and grog that I had, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the next few weeks, I will tell you how to organise your ski and winter activities in Rokytnice nad Jizerou, and details about Czech food! You can check some of the daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 25.02.15 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

I’ll be participating in the pre-ITB Travel Massive event on 03.03.15. If you’re a blogger or just fancy a knees-up, come meet us. It’s going to be so much fun!

The actual International Travel Trade Fair – ITB – will be taking place from 04.03.15 – 08.03. 15 and after that I’ll be off travelling to the next destination. More info in March!

If you’re not in Berlin in February, you’re missing out!

February is going to be full of it!

Watch this space!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" and I!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” and I!

Have you ever been to the Czech Republic? Do you like skiing?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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We might not be London. We might not be Paris. But by god, we’re gonna have a jolly good time in Berlin, at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2015 in Berlin am 19.01.2015OK guys, I’m finally back from skiing. I was actually ill whilst I was in the Czech Republic, but that was no fault of theirs. In fact, everybody rallied around to make sure that I got better. More of that next week!

Last week, I wrote about Berlin Fashion Week.

Let’s be honest. One of the reasons that people swarm over to Berlin like bees flying to a sticky honeypot, is because of the constant jollification! Oh yeah! Berlin knows how to paaaarty, and Berlin Fashion Week was absolutely no exception. In fact, it was far much better….!

Me!
Me!

The fact that I had various press passes ensured that many doors were open to me and boy, did I use my privileges!

Watergate.
Watergate.

I went to so many parties that I actually turned some down! I was knackered and had drunk far too much champagne. It was time for a detox as I just couldn’t take the high life any more. The next day, I had no alcohol. NO ALCOHOL! The day after, I had a glass of champagne. Only A GLASS! And the day after that, I had a glass of champagne at a fashion event, and a lemon beer. A LEMON BEER people. OMG!

Exciting times!
Exciting times!

WHAT THE HELL DID I DO???

Liberty & Rave.

BREAD&BUTTER:

Bread&Butter - Berlin Fashion Week.The first party that I went to was at Bread&Butter. Bread&Butter is a huge denim-focused urban street wear fair that was located at the biggest airport in the world – Tempelhof. In fact, every time you watch a film about pre-1945 Germany, and there’s a huge airport involved, it’s that one.

It was closed a few years ago because of the speculation that it’s in the middle of the city and therefore dangerous to all…! As result, Bread&Butter making Berlin it’s headquarters was welcomed until last summer when bankruptcy was whispered.

Bread&Butter really didn’t know whether they were coming or going and in early December had cancelled participation at Berlin Fashion Week for 2015! After much support by local Berliners and a number of lawyers, by mid-Decemeber, they were back with a new concept: “BREAD&BUTTER – BACK TO THE STREET.”

Bread&Butter - Berlin Fashion Week.Please remember that when Germans say “back to the street” although you may be thinking of hard-core New York, Germans are thinking of Berlin trendy locations. You may be thinking of deprived neighbourhoods, Germans are thinking of gentrification. You may be thinking “I don’t want to go there,” Germans are pushing and shoving to get an invite!

As such, an Email was sent to me informing me that BREAD&BUTER was going to host a “guerrilla” trade show at ‘The Blue Yard’ in the heart of Berlin – a suburb called “Mitte” for trade visitors and press representatives.

Bread&Butter - Berlin Fashion Week.I’m a press representative so I hopped along to see what they had for us.

My goodness. It was only 18:00 and “The Blue Yard” was pumping. There were live DJ’s and live musicians, and the crowd was spilling out into the rainy Berlin trendy streets. Oh yeah, it was raining but some trade fair venues were handing out umbrellas so I had this huge piece of equipment trailing with me, wherever I went….!

Bread&Butter - Berlin Fashion Week.I wandered around some of the very lovely shops and pop-ups and bumped into a couple of cool-looking Americans, some dainty Dutch people, and some young over-whelmed German entrepreneurs.

My Gin & Tonic!
My Gin & Tonic!

Fridges were all over the venue and you just helped yourself to some beers or water. The beer – Heineken! Oh dear. I had a few sips and quickly abandoned it.

There was a tent for refreshments so I had some currywurst, chips (fries), and a bun. You all know how much I like currywurst! Within the inner core of a denim store was a gin & tonic bar and gin & tonic lollipops! Strictly adults only of course. I had a quick chat with them as they recognised me from last season!

I couldn’t really spend too much time there as I had an appointment to go to BIKINI as I’m always interested in supporting young German talent.

BIKINI BERLIN:

Truffle titbits!
Truffle titbits!

I’d never been there before but I’d seen Bikini’s billboards all over West Berlin. I got there about 20:00 and of course, the main building was closed to the public but not to participants of Berlin Fashion Week, and definitely to press individuals.

I managed to catch them at the end of their presentation, and mingle. I also managed to nibble on their truffle titbits and drink their wine. They ran out of glasses and cups so rushed around to find me one and explained their concept of combining truffles and wine as a Southern France family business overseeing a pop-up restaurant service in Berlin.  They are called Truffle & Wine Berlin by Chez Serge.

I must say that their titbits were delicious but I had to leave for my next engagement, so they gave me a bottle of French wine to take home with me. Thanks guys!

PANORAMA:

Panorama - Berlin Fashion Week.

Last week, I told you a little about PANORAMA Berlin Fashion Fair. PANORAMA presents contemporary fashion, shoes, accessories and lifestyle articles. Not only that, but they always have really cool parties going on. Last season, I went to the PREMIUM party of the week, this season, I went to Panorama’s.

Watergate Flyer Party - Berlin Fashion Week.The Panorama Berlin Party took place at a club called Watergate in the trendy suburb of Kreuzberg. It was “invitation only.”

On the outside, the club looked pretty dingy but on the inside, it was packed with hipsters, rockers, and the fashion set. Watergate has two floors and through the wide floor-to-ceiling windows you could see the river. Known for its LED lighting panel that spans the entire length of the top floor of the club, Watergate mostly plays house and techno music.

Cool.

Just what I like!

Watergate dance floor - Berlin Fashion Week.I huddled up with a group of gay guys who were lovely, sexy, and ready to mingle, while flirting with every hipster boy that came by. It was also an open bar.

Open bars are fabulous but can be killers especially if you’re drinking gin & tonic, standing right in front of the live DJ, twirling around, and surrounded by guys who could actually dance! I got there about 22:30 and by midnight, I’d had enough. I’m not 21 years old any more. I cannot dance all night long anymore.

A few hours, and I’m done!

It’s a little sad ‘cos when I was actually 21, I could party like the best of them non-stop. And why not? I was young, I was at university, and I wasn’t broke.

The next step was to get a taxi home.

If I could find one.

The streets were swarming with pretty fashion people, and the grungy Berlin set.

I+miss+the+old+days+can+t+remember+how+long+ago_a4f215_4784088My new gay friends flagged me down a taxi and I can’t tell you how much I tipped the taxi driver, as I can’t remember!

I blame the hot dog that I told you about last week! Suffice to say, my umbrella and I got home safely!

After that, it was serious fashion business.

Guido Maria Kretschmer Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2015/16And Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin or MBFWB ?

Well, it was fantastic. Again, I felt really honoured that Mercedes-Benz had given my blog and I, the green light. Thank you! Here we go:

MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK BERLIN or MBFWB:

It's Showtime - Maybelline New York 100th Anniversary Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2015/16I’d never been there before so I was really impressed by the location which was right outside the famously renowned Berlin landmark – Brandenburg Gate. There was a  huge amount of security but once you had shown your pass or invitation, everything calmed down.

There was a huge lounge and it was filled with the latest Mercedes-Benz car, there was a “for camera/TV” make-up & nail section sponsored by Maybelline, which I desperately wanted to go to, but the queues were too long and I didn’t want to miss the fashion shows. There was also a “design-your-own” little booklet sponsored by Herlitz, a “green” bag and on-the-spot artistically drawn box sponsored by Fashion I.D. and Peek & Cloppenburg. I took the bag but couldn’t wait for the box due again, to the queues. At each fashion show, there was a goodie-bag of sort filled with hairspray, socks, nail varnish, creams, chocolate, bracelets, little booklets, discount on designer labels, a winter-pack, etc. Very, very nice.

There was also champagne and water sponsored by Jules & Mmm.

I had lots of water.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2015, Berlin am 21.01.2015There was a dedicated press lounge for live tweeting, FB, and media posts. Very handy and welcome for re-charging batteries and checking on some of my pictures.

Last season was the first time that I had ever seen a real catwalk show and I was on the front row! At MBFWB, I was to get closer. Much closer. In fact, if you look on the right-hand side of the photo below, you can actually see my red handbag on the floor and my hand on a pale green iPhone!

That's my red handbag on the right hand side!
That’s my red handbag on the right hand side!
  • I went to the stage catwalk of Ioana Ciolacu. I was on the front row! Ioana is a designer street wear collection. It’s aim are designer clothes that you can wear on a daily basis and still have comfort and accessibility.

Ioana backstage - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • There was pink hair, stripes and fur galore. And that was from the guests, not the models! This designer had cashmere seats with loose backs, stripped and tweed culottes, flared cut-offs and flowered cut out prints stuck onto the clothes themselves. Colours were creams, greys, pinks and black.

William Fan - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • I went to the runway catwalk of William Fan next. Again, I was on the front row! William is a new designer whose clothes are minimalistic, aesthetic, have clean lines and are functional. I agree! The clothes had smooth lines, were boxy, casual, and wide. Lots of short-cropped jackets over long shirts, and cut-off trousers.

William Fan - backstage. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • In my opinion street wear for the person who wants to look relaxed but elegant. Lots of tweeds and lines for both boys and girls. Very Berlin! Colours were black and dark blue.

William Fan - Photographs. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • Most faces looked serious and even quite sullen. I’m not sure if that was the look they were going for but I have to say as glamorous as it may sound, it must be awfully difficult to be a catwalk model and have all these people (including myself), very close to you, staring at you, and putting your face and body all over the media world.

Use Unused - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • The next day, I went to the runway catwalk of Use Unused. This collection is all about confident women who wish to dress in unique designs that don’t dominate, but emphasise the female body. Loose roller necks, slightly flared, patterned prints, nice, strong, straight lines.
Use Unsued - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
Even models take photos of themselves. You’re welcome!
  • Practical clothes that I would actually wear to work myself with just enough colour not to make me look boring or garish! Colours were creams, mauve, blue, olive-green, and grey. The prices are pretty neat too and with my runway show ticket entitles me to a 15% discount before 15.02.15. I might just go ahead and use it!

Whitetail Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • I then went to the stage catwalk of Whitetail. This design is about simplicity. Sharp cuts, sharp angles, a masculine outlook but feminine inside.

Whitetail Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • Very different. It was quite an interesting set up and there were no seatings.  The models were situated in the middle of the room and stood or sat on steps together, so that you could see the clothes. You had to have been there but they were sort of in a circle like statues or human mannequins. As press or guests, you would move around the room rather than the models themselves, and just like artistic street entertainers, they would move an arm slightly or take off a jacket if you needed to take a photograph. Simple and sleek, tweed, linen, or cashmere. Colours were black, grey and white.

Marina Hoermanseder -  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. On the last day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, I went to the creme de la creme of Berlin Fashion Week – Marina Hoermanseder.

I tried and tried to get a ticket. But no can do.

I hung around.

I pestered the organisers.

They tried to help and asked me to wait around.

Marina Hoermanseder Backstage -  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. There was a queue of 50 people also waiting around. At 3 minutes before the show was to start, the organisers declared the ticket booth closed!

Oh no! I had to be there.

What should I do?

The girls around me gave up and went home.

I didn’t.

I decided to go to the runaway entrance and if I wasn’t sent away, I would just walk in.

With much bravado, I got in.

I didn’t have a ticket so I figured the best place to actually get a seat was in the front row! So to the front row I went. Again!

Marina Hoermanseder - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

  • I got a seat and a goodie bag. In fact I was actually 2 heads away from the paparazzi cameras. Bulbs flashing and hacks shoving. OMG! I was a little nervous and started sweating. It was Patrice Bouédibéla from MTV Germany. I mean, this guy used to date the American singer: Anastacia! I was actually near a German celebrity so I started speaking to the person who was in between us so that I would look as if I was part of the international group! If you see a photograph of me sitting in a group of MTV German music hosts, that would be it!
I sat 2 heads away from him. He's a really nice, chilled out guy. We even took a few photos but they're not that good as it was pretty dark then!
I sat 2 heads away from Patrice Bouédibéla. He’s a really nice, chilled out guy. We even took a few photos, but they’re not that good as it was pretty dark then!
  • Marina Hoermanseder’s design are heavy coats, over-sized jackets, and opulent collars. The collection unites cashmere jackets and wool blends with high quality leather and turtlenecks. The ultimate highlight of the show was an elaborate leather corset inspired by 17th century orthopedic equipment!

Marina Hoermanseder - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.They were all sort of Tim Burton-like, high-waisted trousers, leather tops, fur capes and stoles, double waisted belts, and lots of leather studs. Colours were bright reds, electric blues, light grey. Lots of plastic and leather. Everyone was very excited!

Marina Hoermanseder - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.Last but not least, was Berlin’s Night of Fashion.

The 10th Berlin's Night Of Fashion - Berlin Fashion Week. Berlin’s Night of Fashion:

Berlin’s Night of Fashion or BNOF is an event that was created by an agency called after NetWork in 2009 by an exciting, enthusiastic man called Peter Schuler. Berlin’s Night of Fashion is a night where the media, models, photographers, makeup artists, casting agencies, headhunters, fashion individuals, businessmen and sponsors can come together, for a night.

It was freezing and snowing so I arrived fashionably late, but in time for the red carpet photo-shoot and a bottle of Shandy. I needed to take it easy as I had a 50th birthday party to attend later that night, and I wanted to remain upright!

There were screens all around depicting the fashion model castings, rehearsals, make-up, and clips of last summer. I even saw myself on-screen swanning around LOL!

Berlin’s Night of Fashion is in its 10th year and this was the second (2nd) time that I was attending.

It was an enjoyable fun night.

The night consisted of the Red Carpet, photography and fashion networking so I milled around, got my photo taken, took others, and generally chatted to one and all. There was musical entertainment and then a catwalk presentation by the fashion houses below and these were my first impressions!

Me on the Red Carpet.
Me on the Red Carpet. It was freezing so I wasn’t very fancy this time. Just the fur coat. It’s real by the way!
  • NATALIE JANKE HAUTE COUTURE:  Lovely, elegant evening gowns in blue and pink. Lovely colourful high-heeled footwear in mainly cream or black in shoes that I recognise, as I have a pair myself!
  • CARINA SHKURÓ: Backless dresses covered with crepe-like material in peacock colours. Very nice!
  • WEIBERSTYLE: Colourful street wear. Dresses & Docs or tight print and tartan-like trousers. Very Rupert the Bear! Very 1979 Brit pop! More pop culture and aimed at young people/students with Doc Martens. Pretty much my old school look LOL! I sometimes wear pop socks with my ankle boots & yes, I’ve even got UK socks, boots and trainers, but I digress!
  • LIVING FACES: Extra glam hair & make-up. Very Tim Burton in an exquisite black & white way! Lots of white 17th century hair and white powdery make-up. One girl even had a set of chandeliers on her head. Ingenious!

BNOF - Fashion Week Berlin.

  • ALFREDO LIFESTYLE:  Long, glittery, cream dresses with fur and feathers in hair! During the break, I managed to take a few photos and chat to some of the wonderfully dressed models!
  • ROCKMÄDCHEN: Lots of beads in hair and long beads around the neck. Silks and Jacquards, pale greens and blues with a white background. Very Spring-like! Flat Roman-like sandals and the ever-occuring Spanish theme. But with blond hair!
The lady has a lamp shade on her head!
The lady has a lamp shade on her head!
  • THE DRAG WALK: As flamboyant as you can possibly be. With wonderful shoes!
  • SORGENKINDER: Jeans, shirts, leggings and sweats. Male and female styles of pilot jackets and printed hoodies. They did some sort of play on stage by re-producing new prints on blank T-shirts. I didn’t really understand what it was meant to represent!
  • STYLERSCLUB: This was some sort of hairstylist competition which they brought on stage to the tune of James Bond’s 007 “You Only Live Once!”

I had a wonderful time. Thanks so much everyone.

Many thanks once again to BREAD & BUTTER, BIKINI BERLIN, PANORAMA Berlin Fashion Fair, SHOW & ORDER, BRIGHT, SEEK, PREMIUM, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, Berlin Fashion Week, and Berlin’s Night of Fashion.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin stills by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for IMG, Frazier Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz, Jean Pollex/Getty Images for IMG, Ian Gavin/Getty Images for Use/Unused, Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for IMG, and Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for IMG.

On the red carpet at Berlin's Night of Fashion.
On the red carpet at Berlin’s Night of Fashion.

This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary press tickets, all opinions and the various refreshments and Gin & Tonic, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Next week, I will tell you what skiing is like in the Czech Republic and how to travel there using only public transport! You can check some of the tweets and pictures daily on Twitter & FB!

Some time in February, I will be at the Wintergarten Varieté where illusion replaces reality – for their latest production THE MAGICAL MYSTERY SHOW otherwise known as “The Show of the Magician.

The 65th Berlin International Film Festival – The Berlinale – will be taking place from 05.02.15 – 15.02.15.

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 25.02.15 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

I’ll be participating in the pre-ITB Travel Massive event on 03.03.15. If you’re a blogger or just fancy a knees-up, come meet us. It’s going to be so much fun!

The actual International Travel Trade Fair – ITB – will be taking place from 04.03.15 – 08.03. 15.

If you’re not in Berlin in February, where else are you going to be?

February is going to be exhilarating!

Watch this space!

Show&Order - Berlin Fashion Week.Do you think Berlin is at par with London or Paris? Would you like to have a jolly good time in Berlin? How would you do it?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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