The Czech Republic – 2008
Our Czech Republic Top 10
- Spending time with our friends Zdenek and Helena – their friendship, and the sharing of their home and lives enabled us to have a truly unique Czech experience.
- Walking and cycling through forests, villages and across meadows. With all the excellent signage, it is almost impossible to get lost.
- Eating wonderful meals prepared with fresh local ingredients. Here is a small sampling of what we enjoyed: apple strudel, grilled klobáska, fish from local ponds, pork with dumplings and cooked sauerkraut, potato soup, goulash. Picking fresh blueberries and mushrooms in the forest which then are cooked into delicious dishes. Plums (švestka) picked from the garden. Many types of fresh local breads and cheeses. Eating smažený sýr (fried cheese in breadcrumbs) and french fries for lunch, and not feeling guilty since we walked 5 to 15 miles per day and/or cycled 15 to 20 miles per day. We also enjoyed pivo (beer), white wine from Moravia, slivovice (plum liqueur).
- Appreciating the beauty of Prague. Buildings with amazing art nouveau designs, their amazing castle, convenient transportation, concerts in beautiful churches…
- Relaxing in the garden after dinner and drinking which resulted in wonderful conversations (see #1). Most evenings it was cool with many bright stars shining in the clear and dark night sky.
- Trying to speak, pronounce and understand Czech words. For instance, smrzlina is ice cream, tvrtek is Thursday. The American mouth requires more vowels.
- Experiencing an impromptu performance of local musicians playing violin, guitar, drum, and dudy (Bohemian bagpipes) and singing Czech songs in Slavonice.
- Joining a field trip with Zdenek’s university research team and learning about spruce bark beetles and their biological control in the Šumava national forest.
- Experiencing the town and village environments. Our walks enabled us to appreciate the squares and building architecture, flowers in gardens and window boxes, and the pace of life in CR.
- Learning about Czech history, especially their freedom from soviet domination. Walking by old WWII fortifications and sensing the past.
Our Bottom 5
A few less positive items we will call our bottom 5, however, none caused real difficulty:
- Typing on Czech keyboard
- Fernet (alcoholic beverage few would enjoy)
- No laundromats!
- Trying to speak, pronounce and understand Czech words.
- The end of vacation in the Czech Republic!