Friday, July 4, 2008

Ostrava and mountains, written 26 June 2008

Friday and Saturday in the Czech Republic were fantastic. Since the country is so compact, you are never far from the mountains; it’s landlocked, so you’re never near the sea but being near the green mountains is really special. We visited a few different spots in the mountains and did a few walks that really gave perspective on the beauty and relatively undeveloped nature of the country. We had a great meal on the top of Radegast, beef with a gorgeous sauce made of celery, garlic, onion, celery, and cream, and I finally tried the ubiquitous dumplings. With, of course, a glass of beer – the beer culture in the Czech Republic won me over, 100 percent. I’m enamored with this nation that cherishes their beer, but really with passion.

Friday evening we got back and Patrik and I directly went to a French Music Festival in the park where I mingled with various Czech and French people, it was definitely a relaxed vibe and a good time – thought the French techno left much to be desired for my taste.

Saturday I went with Jitka to the market where there was a decent variety of fresh produce, then we were off to the mountains again with a few of their friends. We took the wrong path up the hill but it was still an enjoyable walk. I was yet again presented with my conundrum of meeting people, and them taking awhile to open up to me…but I’ve definitely gotten better with this, and have learned to slow down, relax, and just let it happen.

Jitka was lovely and made me my requested mushrooms in sour cream, delicious, and in the evening we did a sushi and yakitori party…and it was tasty.

I have so much gratitude to Patrik and Jitka and all their friends for taking the time and energy to teach me so much about their unique country and to show me and share with me so many things I would never have otherwise had the opportunity to experience.

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