Two And A Half Days In Prague And The Skoda Factory
A few days well spent in Prague
Thursday, 03, May 2018 03:00
By William Coleman
My last few days on Bailey's Bristanbul tour were rather manic, and that is putting it lightly. With a mid afternoon arrival as Camp Sokol and a final day to roam Old Town I made sure that my time spent it Prague was full of sites and experiences. It was my last day on the tour after all.
As we arrived at Camp Sokol I was informed that it was up to me to arrange the evening's festivities, my Budapest party planning must have left a positive impression. For some insane reason I had mentioned that I knew my way around Prague Old Town, as I was there in October of last year. So all eyes were on me and I was feeling the pressure, as large groups and Prague sometimes do not make for fun times. The town has been known as a bit of a party town and large groups are not as welcome as they once were.
Myself, along with a small handful of others, went into town a couple of hours before the rest of the team arrived so we could do some recon of where to eat. Mostly to avoid lots of wandering around and not knowing what to do or where to go.
Having been there before and eaten far too much food than anyone should do across a long weekend, I knew a few great places that serve amazing food at very low prices. My first pick was the Wolfgang Inn, if you visit Prague you must eat here. The local food is plentiful and so tasty. A litre of local beer costs around £2.70!
As I entered I could already see that there was not table, chair nor bar stool free. I walked up to a member of staff to enquire about a table for 13 and the polite gentleman simply replied, "I cannot believe how busy we are". I took that as a no and then moved on to another spot down the road that I knew. Thankfully we were able to get a seat for 13 so the food and drink flowed all evening.
On day 2 in Prague we were invited to visit Skoda factory in Mlada Boleslav, a small town which was about 40 minutes drive from central Prague. Seeing as they had sponsored the trip and given us two great vehicles in the Kodiaq and Octavia we excited to see their birth place.
Having seen car manufacturing this close it really did give me a new appreciation for the industry and just how many people are involved in the creation of cars. The factory employs around 35,000 people across its many different departments. In the town of Mlada 1 in 5 people work for Skoda.
Skoda have grown so much that there is now a 6-12 month waiting list for certain models. The factory makes 2,000 cars per working day and it takes roughly 24 hours to complete a car from start to finish. When you have 35,000 people on the payroll you can get a hell of a lot of work done during the working day.
After a fantastic tour of the factory, museum and and brilliant meal at Skoda the team separated into two. Team 1 went back to the site for some much needed R&R and Team 2 went into old town to spend a few hours taking in the sites. Team 2 consisted of myself, Bailey Australia, a cameraman and Dean Ozen from Bailey.
After a very quick drive into town we parked up and started our sightseeing. When in Prague there are a few must see sites. First of all Charles Bridge is outstanding and provides a different experience to Old Town. It also connects the party area of Prague to the older section where it's more old Prague than Old Town Prague.
Once you have managed to get across the bridge, it can be extremely busy and take a little bit of time to get from one end to the other, you start to make your way up the hill to Prague Castle. Make sure you take your camera, and a bottle of water as the walk up to the castle is quite a long way and steep. The view from the top is one of a kind, you can see the entire city from the castle.
The day was almost done so we all headed back to the site, it took a lot longer than expected as we hit Prague's rush hour traffic. We had to leave town a little bit earlier because we had the Cadac in our roof box so the team back at camp could not cook our evening baquet.
The evening feast that chef Dean Edwards cooked for us all was spectacular. During the day Dean went to Prague's food and wine market to get local produce for a homemade goulash. The good thing about having a professional chef on tour is that you can have restaurant quality food direct from your caravan.
The setup we used for the evening meals and prep work could not have worked better. The Bailey Advance motorhome was where all the food was stored. The Bailey Pursuit was where the food was cut and prepped, the hob and oven did an outstanding job feeding 21 of us over 21 days. Once all that prep work was done the Cadac BBQ Grill was where all the finishing touches.
The Cadac really was a key piece of kit on this trip. The large paella dish is large enough to prepare enough food for everyone. While the onboard hobs cooked pasta, potato and other side foods the BBQ grill made the bulk of the foods such as meat, stews and even an experimental porridge one morning. So if you are in the market for a great portable BBQ you should be looking into Cadac. For more info on the model we used search Carri Chef 2.
The last day in Prague is where the CaravanTimes team parted ways with the Bristanbul team. After 18 days on the road it was a tough goodbye but the fun has to end at some point.
Everyone chipped in to pack up camp so the team could complete their 360 mile drive to Germany, which translates into a 9+ hour drive. With everything ready the guys kindly dropped us off in Prague Old Town, but not after being caught in bad morning rush hour traffic. No good deed goes unpunished.
After a long day in Old Town, arrived at 9:30am and got a cab to the airport at 7:30pm, the team were very much ready to get home. 10 hours in Prague can go a very long way when you know you have to been on a flight that evening. Once it was all said and done, with a few local beers finished, we finally headed back to London to get back to the reality of life.