Day Nine – Epic Odyssey
This morning, the hotel opened their breakfast service early just for us, so we could eat, flight brief, and load for a 7am transfer back to Genoa Airport. It is a perfect day, clear and calm – ideal boating weather, just one day too late! Sadly, we said farewell to the amazing hotel staff and departed our Italian paradise. Fortunately, we are en route to another paradise: Prague!
The flight to Prague is just under 90 minutes, but today was full of weather challenges. Fortunately, the capabilities of the Epic, in terms of range and climb rate, gave us the confidence to move ahead with our scheduled departure. We were able to climb quickly above the uncertain weather and continue on to our destination, knowing we had the range to divert if necessary.
We arrived at Prague Airport (LKPR) and waited in the FBO as the planes were unloaded and paperwork processed. Once through immigration, we were greeted by Katarina from Blanik Aircraft, who arranged our transportation to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Lunch was waiting, along with colleagues from Blanik and the Epic Board of Directors, who scheduled their quarterly meeting to coincide with the World Tour.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel staff were ready with early checkins for everyone. In fact, their service and attention to detail throughout our stay was quite impressive. The hotel, which was once a monastery dating back to the fourteenth century, is a perfect blend of traditional and modern design.
After lunch, we took a walking tour of Prague. One of the most beautiful cities on earth, Prague is truly magical, with its combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Fortunately, it has remained relatively untouched, surviving wars and political upheaval. The tour took us across the famous Charles Bridge, to the Stare Mesto (Old Town), the Astronomical Clock and Old Town Hall, St. Vitus Cathedral, and of course, Prague Castle, which stands guard majestically above the town. A sudden storm brought out the rain gear, but didn’t deter the group from their explorations.
The evening’s celebration held special significance. We recognized our hosts from Blanik Aircraft, as well as the Epic Board members, but also said our farewells to Curtis Jordan and Barb Berg, who depart for home tomorrow. At the same time, we greeted Ryan Shields, owner of N900RB and his colleague, Eric Libbey, who just arrived this afternoon. It was a night of welcomes and farewells, shared stories and much laughter, as we begin the next phase in our Odyssey adventure.