I spent part of last week with cousins Jana and Jan Drnek in Celakovice and Prague. A long day in Prague covered a lot of ground exploring places I had not seen. Interesting sculptures appear all over the city. We rode the funicular up to Petrin Park and climbed the 1891 tower with a great view of the city. Following a lunch at St.Norbert’s brewery, I visited Strahov Monastery Library with another cousin Matej. It was on list of the top 20 best libraries in the world, so I was curious. No flashes allowed, so no photo.
The next day I saw the Letna area of Prague and met Jan (Jr.) and Teresa in their new flat. Later in the day, Jan’s English teacher demonstrated how he crafts wooden bowls and we ate dinner with him at a cool pub in the forest.
When I returned to Tchorovice, the it was a collage of different experiences. Thursday was a funeral for Lenka’s grandfather. Followed by the Blatna Arts Academy program that I attended to see another cousin and village friends perform. A day of contrasts. Evening barbeques and the Burza(a really BIG flea market) finished the week.
I must admit that the kids are a highlight of the trip. Never a dull moment!
May 28, 2015
I’m already behind on my trip blogging, but I guess that means I’m busy. Here are a few highlights of last week.
#1 – a really nice bike ride about a nine mile loop around the village area. Passed through four small villages and visited the family cemetery in Kocelavice. I would describe the terrain as gently rolling. Every village has a chapel built in the late 1800’s and a World War 1 memorial. There are old shrines in many fields as this was one mostly Catholic country.
#2 – Painting outdoor furniture. It rained all week, so I was fortunate to have a large barn to work in and enthusiastic help. We picked a teal green and I went at it for three days. I wanted to do this for Lanka and Ivo last year, but ran out of time. We were happy with the result.
#3 – A visit to Pisek, where they have the best sand sculptures ever!
#4 – Day Trip to Lipno, in the Sumava mountain area, south on the Austrian border. This is a ski area with a boardwalk above the tree level, challenge playground, challenge walks and nature exhibits, plus a huge viewing tower. The view was spectacular. It is on the largest lake in Czech Republic and is a very popular area for boating, cycling and camping. No surprise that I loved it!
In 2004 I came to the Czech Republic for an REI hiking trip, fell strongly “in like” with a country and found family that I had never met. Blog posts from July 2014 tell the story, so I won’t repeat it, you can look back in the blog to read if interested. Now here I am again, in the Drnek family home in Tchorovice for an extended visit.
Disclaimer: many Czech words I use will not be technically correct because I don’t have the accent marks (that change pronunciations and meanings) on my keyboard.
I arrived last Thursday after 24 hours of no sleep. There is just no easy way to get here, even though all connections were smooth. It was great to see everyone again and did not feel like a year had passed. The real measurement was how much the two little boys had grown.
The theme for the weekend was airplanes and hockey. A fly-in for small planes and ultra-lights happened Saturday at the village airfield. Would have loved it if John Graham appeared. He didn’t, but I did talk with a German who had been to Oshkosh.
The hockey world championships were in Prague, a huge event where the national sport IS hockey. We watched the Czechs beat Finland, then USA beat Czechs for the bronze medal. I was sorry it wasn’t the other way around because hockey means so much more to the people here, where everyone seems to be a fan, than it does at home at home. Their only consolation was that we were not the Russian team.