Written by: Jiří Vašek
True, vacation time is behind us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tour the countryside with your friends on horseback, in canoes, or on mountain bikes. You don’t have to invest in expensive equipment nowadays, you can just rent it. Online agencies can help.
Renting a boat or raft and setting out on the water is easier now that boating fever has abated, and there isn’t as much traffic on the rivers. While most boating equipment rental sites on the net cover only the rivers in their own areas, raft.cz offers a summary of about 70 Czech and Slovak rental agencies. Just type in “moje vyvolená” (my choice) river, and you’ll find boat rental details, basic information on prices, equipment, and e-mail and telephone contacts. The site also offers updated information on water levels, weather forecasts for coming days, and many articles. Service as it should be.
All you need is a mask and snorkle to catch a glimpse into a world of bluish silence…but for longer and deeper visits you need complicated equipment running into the tens of thousands of crowns. If you have a CMAS, PADI, or IANTD diving school card (about CZK 7,000 for a basic course), just go to the Deep’N’Down shop and diving school in Prague. Its website evokes the atmosphere of magical depths, and lists such things as equipment that, during a ten-day stay in Croatia, costs under CZK 1,000 (but a deposit of around CZK 50,000 is required).
Here’s a tip for cutting the cost of your next vacation – rent a camper. For about CZK 3,000 a day you get bedding, camping furniture, and a shower stall with warm water. There are also firms on the internet whose campers are parked year-round in Croatia or Italy, with views of the azure sea. For sports and recreation, you can also rent motor boats from bluerent.cz.
There are over 250 ranches in the Czech Republic where under the guidance of experienced instructors you can see how the world looks from horseback. At equichannel.cz you can find the nearest stable and how much it costs. The site was set up in 1997 by people in close contact with horses, and you can sense their love in this otherwise cold web presentation. You can find tons of information on riding, along with links to articles, professional literature, interesting ideas, advice, and a summary of various events with a single topic: horses.
Now you needn’t wonder how to get your bike to southern Bohemia for a short excursion. Czech Railways rents bikes so you can learn about the Třeboň area, Hluboká castle, or the Bechyně spa. The same service is offered in eastern Bohemia, at train stations in Česká Skalice and Tanvald. Put down your national ID card and CZK 500 as a deposit, and for about CZK 200 a day you can rent a mountain bike, which is about what private rental shops charge. But the difference is that you can return the bike in other places the train line goes through. You can reserve a bike by phone or over the net.
Everyone knows that golf’s expensive. But why pay more for equipment than you have to? At this address you’ll find top-brand golf equipment for sale at lower prices. You’ll also find so-called “clones” – high quality clubs made by less well-known firms at a fraction of the price.
This site will prepare you for what to expect when applying for a US visa. You’ll find out what you need to successfully get through the bureaucratic, expensive process at the US embassy in Prague.
The database of knowledge at Živě.cz explains many terms in the areas of PCs, the internet, and technology in general. It also contains an advice service where you can have specialists help you solve technical problems.
This overview of all global commemorative days and holidays tells you when international anti-smoking day is, or that 23 August is the International Day for Remembering the Slave Trade and Abolishing Slavery.
|word of the month:
– There’s hardly a web surfer, digital photographer, or webmaster who doesn’t know JPEG, the format for storing digital images. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the name of a group of people who strive to discover the best way to store graphics. With JPEG they brought the world small file size with very good quality, which helped, among other things, in the development of the porno industry on the net. Photos can be quickly downloaded in various browsers, without the richness of their colors changing, which is one of the banes of a competing format, GIF. Additionally JPEG support 24-bit graphics, so pictures can contain up to 16.7 million colors.