This year marks the 3rd straight year attending the Banff Film Festival and I’m excited to be going both days to see all the films presented. This festival goes worldwide after opening in Banff. Wild Rock in PTBO sponsors it each year. It will be in Toronto in March and tickets are on sale now. The one in PTBO sells out super quick.
The trailer is below:
Back to back nights at the Festival and 18 films watched. Here are some of the movies that I watched that I could find online.
The North Face PresentsLhotse (23 minutes) |In 2018, Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison completed the first ski descent of the 27,940-foot Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world. This is their story.
Charge (5 Min) | Four top freeskiers and a World Champion drone pilot are dropped at Chatter Creek Cat Skiing in BC for one week. Their instructions: charge as hard as you can every day
Thabang (23 min) | Thabang Madiba somehow found his way into the world of trail running and in the last few years has become everyone’s favourite in the South African trail scene. He lives in Ga-Rankuwa township, without a mountain in sight… or a physio, chiro or dietician for that matter. But through hard work, dedication and passion, he has won the South African Trail Running Championships multiple times and was the first black South African to represent the country in Trail Running. He has become a hero in his community and is hoping to inspire a new generation of youth through the sport of trail running.
Surfer Dan (7 Min) | Beyond the waves; the ocean, the sand, and the sun are a few elements that come to mind when you think of surfing. But for Dan, he finds all that he needs in the icy waves of Lake Superior, Michigan in the dead of winter. To most, it’s quite possibly the most unattractive surfing destination in the entire world – but for Dan it’s all about how you perceive it.
Home (Trailer) | Between 2011 and 2015, UK adventurer Sarah Outen traversed the globe by bike, kayak and rowing boat, traveling over 20,000 miles by human power alone. Her voyage was followed by thousands, hooked on her infectious humor and love of life. But travelling solo, the trip took its toll, and a violent storm on the Pacific took Sarah to the physical and mental brink. Woven out of hundreds of hours of footage, Home intimately and unflinchingly captures Sarah’s journey, telling a story of heart and soul, of real struggle and joy, and one woman’s trek towards true emotional acceptance.
Siblings (3 min) | Over the years, we gained a lot of wisdom together, trying to best each other and take on the world. Through it all, bikes have fueled our adventures, sparked our imaginations, and continually reminded us of what’s most important: We’re all family.
When planning my trip to Europe, I wanted to save on financial transaction costs and get a fair conversion rate on exchanging into Euro’s and Swiss Franc. When I did my research for which credit cards are the best for travel, the Stack Mastercard came up in the results. I poked around some more and found another card called the KOHO Visa Card. Both had an app, so I signed up for the two free cards. My Daughter also signed up for them to use for all our purchases on our trip.
Here is the information on both cards below. (open to view)
Moving over to Miles&More with Lufthansa, we were given these little journals. When planning for a work trip last March, I started to fill it up with trip details since I was heading to Germany and then to Italy after as a little personal side trip. After that trip was over, I started to plan the trip with the kids to Europe. During the trip, I kept receipts and little papers.
When I got home I taped them all inside and printed some 5×7’s to pepper inside to make a little summary of the trip. Now it’s getting fat and it’s going to force to to retire it. Next big trip will be Thailand + Vietnam so I have a new journal for that trip shown below.
I arrived in Ajax the night before to meet up with the kids and talk about the trip and stress that we are packing light and using backpacks for this trip. I brought my tent and camped “stealth” in Ajax and the “Mom” brought them to the Go Train with their passports. Noah broke his arm a couple of weeks before the trip. Days before the trip he got a new swimmable cast. So with that and some travel insurance we were off to the Airport with our 3 backpacks.
Day 1: July 28th Plan
Get ourselves to the airport in time so we are not rushed for our flights
Fit the 3 of us on one of two different flight options
Try and get some “real” sleep on the flight
Arrive in Prague the next morning and book somewhere to stay the night
We took off on the GO Train from Ajax to Union Station in Toronto. We got out of Union and walked across the road to Movenpick Marche at Brookfield Place for some lunch. $50 later we were on our way on the UP Express that runs from Union Station to Toronto Pearson Airport that is always a reliable 25min trip. Kids are excited and so am I to finally be able to take them to Europe. On our way to the airport, I started to shoot some video on my iPhone to make a little travel vlog of the trip, since I’m sure it will give me something to do on the flight and late at night not sleeping due to the JetLag that was coming.
With my flight benefits at work, I decided to book us on Air Canada since the direct flight with Air Canada Rouge leaves Toronto close to 5PM. As a back-up, we booked on a credit card the 8:20PM Toronto to Munich flight with Lufthansa. I’ve been checking the flight load all week leading up to departure and LH471 to Frankfurt was at capacity and it looked like LH495 to Munich would fill up also. The space on AC1922 with Air Canada looked good all week. A night before the Air Canada app will show you how many people are on the plane for those who are flying “Standby” and it had about 80 open spots… so I knew we would be leaving on the direct flight at 5PM. Once we land, I would refund the Lufthansa ticket.
The configuration of the flight is a 2-3-2 for economy and we were put in the middle 3 seats with Noah riding in the middle. With the early departure of 5pm and us landing in Prague at 7AM local time… I knew it would be tough on the kids since it was only 1AM Toronto time and we had our whole day ahead of us so trying to get some sleep on the flight was important so after dinner I would force them to use the eye-mask and ear plugs I packed to try and get some sleep. At the airport we went through security with no issues. A bit of juggling since we took some stuff out of our main packs and had little bags for our personal items to distribute the weight. They didn’t weigh or measure any of our bags. We also asked the gate if we could get on first with Noah’s arm and that helped secure space in the overhead bin for our backpacks all together.
Below is the first episode of our travel vlog:
I’ve never flown Air Canada Rouge before. I’ve heard stories that the cabin in economy is tight. I also heard that there are no screens on the back of the seat and you have to download the AC App and you can stream movies on your device. I knew were would get food. I was hoping to fly with Lufthansa so the kids could experience our airline on a long haul flight. Maybe on the way back we will fly Lufty.
On the flight, I was really pleased with the food and the room. My legs fit… so I was happy. I just couldn’t enjoy a cold beer on the flight like LH471. The boarding and gate staff were great. Noah and Chantal tried to sleep and I think they drifted off for about two hours.
If we made the flight then we had to book somewhere to stay when we land
Make our way downtown Prague and drop off our bags
Go find something to eat and see how we feel with JetLag
Check-in to our accommodations
See if we feel like going out again to check out the city.
Get some much needed sleep.
Episode Two below capturing hitting the ground in Prague:
After landing in Prague we found a quiet place to sit down and login to the wifi to book somewhere to stay. I used Hostelworld to find and book PLUS Prague for 2 nights. Since I didn’t know if we would get on a the plane it was better to book something after we land. After booking… it was time to go through customs and find the express bus that would take us downtown to the Hostel so we can drop off the packs and go out for breakfast.
Getting tickets is easy. We just picked up 3 24hr metro ticket that is good for all the busses, subway and trams. It didn’t take too long to get downtown via the express bus that takes us to the “Yellow” subway line that we can take to our hostel to drop off our packs.
Below you will see the start of the “Yellow” line to the far left. That’s where the airport bus drops you off at and we just took the yellow line west to the “Red” line where we simply go north 3 stops and the Hostel is right there. Downtown Prague is where Yellow and Red touches the Green line.
It was too early to check-in so we took off downtown to look around a little and get something to eat. We got off at Muzeum and went up to the surface.
We walked around and snapped some pictures and took in the first sights of Old Town Square. I wanted to take them to a place that the Honest Prague Guide talked about Lokal so we had to walk and check it out. We wanted to get some traditional Czech dishes to try. I wanted a mid-morning Czech beer. We ordered Roastbeef with Tomato sauce with Czech Bread Dumplings, 6 week old ripened fried cheese, Pork Leg Schnitzel fried in butter, Pork braised with Kohlrabi and buttered potatoes. After that we got some local Czech money and off we went to explore a little more.
At 3PM we made our way back to get our room at the PLUS Prague Hostel. We selected a private room and headed up to unpack our bags a little. This is a cool little place. Very large and clean with many rooms to mingle and chill. It has a pool and sauna downstairs with a little gym and a big kitchen to cook meals and eat. Outside in the back it has a beach volleyball court and ping pong tables and attached is a bar that serves pizza, burgers and bar food. In the mornings there is a buffet for about 7CAD that has eggs and bacon and other breakfast stuff to fill up for your day ahead.
After getting upstairs… we all claimed our beds and had a nap. Our room had this layout bottom-right above and I had the bottom bunk over to the left and the kids had each a twin bed. You pay for the fourth person to get a private room. It was 3PM in Prague. We have been up for 26 hours straight at this point and we were cooked.
We slept for about 5 hours and got up and went downstairs to get some food and we took it easy and caught up with friends in Canada while I edited video and we talked about the things we could do the next day and what I wanted to do since I did some researching on what Prague had to offer. My evernote Prague folder was full and I made the kids put evernote on their phone so they had all the access to everything on the trip and they could see the agenda. It was peppered with “Don’t tell Mom any of the details”. Since I didn’t want to answer a thousand questions about what we were doing every day of the trip.