Behind the hustle and bustle of Balabenka, somewhere tucked away behind the Aréna Sparta, a park so hidden and unrecognized lies.
Prosek’s astonishing 20 hectares invite you to take a break from your day to day life in the city and will loosen the tension in your neck, your shoulders and your back immediately.
Your adventure starts from the Aréna Sparta – just a stones throw away from ‘Divadlo Gong’ tram stop. As you follow a pretty and village-looking trail which is passing family houses, a small park with a pergola and splendiferous gardens, up you go into the coppice and get a wiff of nature’s best. Especially in summer the waysides are surrounded by poppies, buttercups and green bushes.
The slight ascent gives you just the right amount of exercise one would want on a sunny afternoon and suddenly, glittering metal, kissed by the sun, catches your eye. No, it is not the heat making you see a Fata Morgana: Right in front of your eyes, a metallic structure of 500 meters length arises and follows down the hill you just climbed up.
Noises of kids screaming in delight and rolls on a metallic surface start filling the air as one approaches the wooden cottage towering on top of Prosek’s hill. A merry company sitting next to the grill, lined with chicken breasts and roasted vegetables, which are filling the air with that delicious smell of a summer BBQ, wooden benches as well as umbrellas surround you as you sit down for a draft beer or a Malinovka. One cannot help but feel like in the Austrian or Swiss Alps up here, so far away from the city’s trams ringing, police sirens and sweaty passengers of Prague’s summer public transport.
But what was that metallic thing that bedazzled you just before you reached this magical place? As you pass a little bridge over to the Občerstvení, the secret reveals itself and makes every Swiss or Austrian person’s heart skip a beat: A toboggan run! In Czech Republic!
What is a toboggan run, you ask?
Remember the movie ‘Cool runnings’, where a bunch of guys from Jamaica get into the Olympic Games and get to bobsled in Calgary? A toboggan is pretty much a bobsled minus the skids. While a bobsled runs down a slope on runners, there is nothing between the actual seat and the snow respectively the run when riding a toboggan. This allows toboggan runs to give customers a somewhat bobsledding experience minus the cold and higher risk of injury.
Besides it being a fun ride for all the Europeans, this simple sled is still the traditional form of transport of the Innu and Cree of northern Canada!
Initially it was used in snow – just as the bobsled – to transport one or more people down a hill. In Australia however, they had a different use: Toboggans are used in the dry lands to travel down steep sand dunes – at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour! At some point in time, people started to realize that a toboggan is not just a practical way of transport – but also a lot of fun!
You never tried it? Then you definitely should get yourself a ‘one ride only’ ticket the Bobová dráha offers for 70 CZK and if you like it as much as we did, go for the ticket that lets you do 6 runs for CZK 370.00! Speed and fun guaranteed!
And because no one wants you to work out too hard on a Sunday afternoon, to get back up to where you started, you simply keep sitting in your bob, which then is being transferred uphill back to where the fun began.
Whenever you had enough of the ‘rodelling’, you should definitely opt out for a walk through the neighbourhood of Prosek. Next to a vineyard, the Prosek area has – against popular belief – more in store than just apartment buildings.
A beautiful pond covered in water lilies and inhabited by a duck mom and her small ones awaits you down the wooden trail leading from the main road rushing through the area of Prague 9! Feel your inner explorer awake as three different trails open up in front of you. Simply follow the greenery into a adjacent, small park or descend the hill via the grassy trail down to Vysočany’s train station where you can catch a tram or a metro back to Palmovka.
A wonderful Sunday (or Saturday) trip for all those who want to reconnect with their inner child and scream on top of their lungs while tobogganing down the windy metal trail.
Have we mentioned that the baby ducks even melt the grumpiest person’s heart? Go find out yourself what wonders Prosek holds!
Tram to Palmovka: Tram 16 from Vysočanska to Palmovka
Metro to Palmovka: Metro B (yellow) line from Vysočanska to Palmovka