Travel Journal (Day 3)
July 19, 2013

Travel Journal (Day 3)

So, after many long hours on a plane, we finally made it to Prague about 1:00pm, which is seven hours ahead of my home time in Oklahoma. We encountered some initial travel issues that could have potentially been bad. But, let me start at the beginning.

On Monday, July 15, we were supposed to fly out of Oklahoma City in three groups: one with 10 flyers (my group), one with four flyers, and a latecomer to the trip who had to travel alone. My group was scheduled to leave first at 11:00am, but the great state of Oklahoma and its weather decided nope, that wasn’t happening. In a rare July summer rainstorm, there was too much fog and cloud coverage for our plane to land, so it rerouted. Initially, we should have been in Prague before the other two groups. Even with the delay, we thought we would be able to catch the new flight time and still make our connecting flight in Detroit, Michigan, to JFK Airport in New York City, New York, and then onto Prague; however, we quickly learned that we would miss our connecting flight to Detroit.

Of course, when traveling with a group of other people, my first reaction was serious concern, not for myself but for how the others would react. So, as the professors and leaders of the trip, my boyfriend and I went up to the counter to figure out what we needed to do to get to Prague with as little delay as possible. Thankfully, we had a Delta Airline employee who was kind, efficient, and understanding of our situation. Within minutes, she rerouted us to the airport in Atlanta, Georgia, with an overseas flight to Amsterdam and then onto Prague, all with only a two-hour difference in when we would arrive. So, instead of being the first group to set foot in Prague, we were the last.

But we made it and had such wonderful, patient help from Delta Airlines employees. Because of their hard work, we were able to get our group squared away with no problems. That made our lives easier.

Once we finally arrived in Prague, all of us were spent. Flying long overseas for 8-10 hours is exhausting physically and mentally. Yet, the excitement of finally being at our destination can jazz travelers up. It is an interesting dynamic. Instead of pushing ourselves too much, though, we took the rest of the afternoon to rest and shower after an initial orientation from our tour director and from us, the profs.

After some much needed R & R and bathing (and oh, did that shower feel good), we all met back up for a traditional Czech dinner at Prague’s oldest working brewery, U Fleku, which claims to have been brewing beer since 1499…that is a long time. I think the students enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. Because it is so old, the rooms look super cool and emit the vibe that the place is antique. Lots of wood and stained glass adorn this restaurant.

On top of that, they have guys who come by with trays of beer and Becherovka, which is an herbal bitters drink consumed as a digestif. I think it tastes like potpourri. It is not bad, just very herbally. Anyway, at U Fleku, if you do not tell the waiter no repeatedly, he will try to insist you take the beer or shot. It really is quite fun even for those who do not drink because the waiters will do whatever they can to add just one more to your ticket. They are charming and funny. It is quite the atmosphere.

Afterwards, we all went back to our place, called the Prague Center Apartments and Hostel, and just crashed. It was a great first day in Prague!

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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