Navštívili jsme: park Divoká Šárka

Geocaching and Open-air Theatre in Šárka

26. 9. 2020

Do you like countryside, solving puzzles and challenges? Try Geocaching in Divoká Šárka! 

This weekend we took a trip – interesting and informative in all respects. My girlfriend and brother and I agreed to go for a walk in Divoká Šárka. On our way to Dívčí Skok Inn, where we refreshed with a beer and a pickled sausage, it occurred to us that there might be some caches in Šárka. After finding out that there are really a lot of small treasures scattered around the park, we chose one hidden somewhere in the Open-air Theatre in Šárka, because neither of us had ever been there before.

 If any of you don't know geocaching, it is a worldwide entertainment/sport for everyone who likes to solve ciphers, search for treasures, and experience adventure. The principle is simple. Someone hides the treasure and encrypts in some way the coordinates of its location. Then it's up to you to decipher it and go to the field to look for it. The treasure usually is a small box with a pencil and a diary where you can note yourself as a happy finder and sometimes there are also small items in the box, such as toys from kinder eggs, which you can take as a souvenir in exchange for another item you brought with you and insert it in the box so that the treasure is never empty.

The principle is simple, but ciphers can sometimes be pretty tricky. Probably it will also be because last time I went geocaching with my parents I was about 10, but the problem we chose, which most of the comments described as easy and pleasant, gave us quite a hard time. In fact, we didn't find the correct coordinates in the end, even though it took us a lot of beer and a lot of data surfed…

I have to admit that the cipher was really simple, it consisted in finding answers to questions about the Open-air Theatre in Šárka, such as:

“A = Digits of the date of the first performance in the Open-air Theatre in Šárka”

I don't know where we made a mistake that the final coordinates still didn't work for the theatre's location, but it doesn't really matter at all, because we learned a lot about this interesting

In the end, we decided that another beer probably wouldn't solve it, and we set out to look for the place a little blind. The place, thanks to its sloping and semi-circular shape, has great natural acoustics, so when someone sings down in the middle, you can see and hear the singer well from anywhere on the slope. People noticed this already before the First World War, and in 1913 the Summer Stage of the National Theatre was established there. They played opera performances there with a war break until 1922, when the project was closed for financial reasons. In 2005, however, the National Theatre and the city district of Prague 6 decided to renew it, and every year on the first Sunday in September, people have the opportunity to come and enjoy the culture in the open air for free.

The repertoire has always included traditional operas, mainly by Czech but also foreign authors. Last year, for example, the opera Don Giovanni by W. A. Mozart was performed there. This year it was supposed to take place again, but due to complications caused by the coronavirus crisis, the popular performance had to be cancelled, so we have to wait for 2021.

The slope has been overgrown with trees since 1913, so the monumentality of the Open-air Theatre is not so striking, however, when I stood on the "stage" and imagined up to 10,000 spectators in front of me who gather there every year, it amazed me. However, I couldn't focus on the little treasure hidden somewhere, even though we crawled through all the local bushes. So I had no choice but to settle for a few bites by nettles, leaves in my hair, one vibrator found in the bushes, a broken ego, my heads full of opera history, and one bee in my bonnet.

But as I mentioned, we had a very good time and that's the main thing. So if you want to take an extraordinary trip to the popular Šárka, I highly recommend geocaching. Both adults and children will have fun. I wish any potential searchers good luck and I hope that I did not discourage you with our failure that is simply part of it.

Thanks to geocaching, you will also discover interesting places that you did not know before, such as the Open-air Theatre in Šárka, where I definitely plan to go to see an opera performance next year. So maybe we'll meet there…

You can find information about caches on this website and you can also download the application:
https://www.geocaching.com/map/default.aspx#?ll=50.09824,14.32008&z=15

For the updated information about the program in the Open-Air Theatre at Šárka see here:
http://operavsarce.cz/

Written by Albert, who lives his life balancing between arts and climbing. He is one of lovers of staying in nature, physical activities, and beauty of all kinds.

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