August 2010   Our trip to "Czech"  

From Germany, we went, Sasha and I, to the Czech Republic to sightsee and attend an important event of the other Cernikovsky family

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Prague Castle behind us and the Moldau River (Vltava).  Click on any photo to see a large image. 
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With Rostya and Simon in front of the Old Town Hall in Prague.  Click for a larger image. 
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I went to their wedding in England.  They worked and travelled all over the world and we met a few times over the years.  Now they live in Prague and allowed us to use their fabulous apartment.  Click for a larger image. 
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On the way to Prague from the airport, we stopped at Strahov, near Prague Castle for a lunch of "svickova".  Click for a larger image. 
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With our car at the Strahov Monastery.  Skoda cars have certainly changed since I saw them when I grew up in Prague.  Click for a larger image. 


 Then we went to Chrudim, in Eastern Bohemia, where both Sasha and I were born.  I took this photo from my hotel room at sunrise.  Click for a larger image.
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In the main square of Chrudim.  Click for a larger image. 
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With the whole Cernikovsky family, we also visited the cemetery, where Sasha's parents are buried and also my father.  Click for a larger image. 
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Hnilickova Ulice, Chrudim, where I was born ...
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... in this room.  Click for a larger image. 


 With all the Cernikovskys, from Hradec Kralove and Ostrava and Vermont, and with Kveta from Chrudim, we made a three-car trip that Jana planned for a long time, to Zelena Hora, south of Chrudim.  This is an interesting "Baroque Gothic" monument to a saint Jan z Nepomuk ... see http://www.zelena-hora.eu/
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Zelena Hora, Sasha with Josef and Jirina Cernikovsky, z Hradec Kralove.  Click for a larger image. 
 

We spent a day with them here and couple of days later attended Josef's big party in Hradec, see below
 

From Chrudim, we drove to northern Moravia.  Click for a larger image.
 

  On the way, on small country roads, the harvest was finishing and tractors were packing straw into huge rolls, that were sitting in the fields.   Click for a larger image.
If your PC does not have Java installed, you will not be able to see the animated sequence of our trip by cable cars to Serak, but click on the photo of us below, having a drink at the mountain hut, with a view of the town and spa of Jesenik below.

In Moravia, the Jeseniky mountains, where many years ago we used to have a house to spend summers and where we skied in the winters.  We used to hike to the top of Serak, a nearby mountain, to pick blueberries and visit the hut on the mountain top.  Today, there is a cable car, and as you can see, it is pretty old, built in the 70's.  The bottom section, some 1,300 meters long, has already been replaced by a modern quad-ski-lift, and the top section, 1,800 meters long is still the original single-seater, but they were building a new one and said it would open by November for the ski season.  Above is an animated sequence of the trip.  Sasha must have been the only person ever to the top of Serak in high heels, and she managed to walk the half-mile from the top of the cable car to the mountain hut!  There are wonderful views down to the town and spa of Jesenik. The last two photos in the sequence, on the way down, show an electrical wind farm down below.
 

It's not a tall mountain, but the views are wonderful.  And blueberries are still covering the mountain.  The cable car goes from about 700 meters above sea level, close to the 1,351 meter top.  Click for a larger image. 
 

This is our old house, not in a very good condition.  It's a pity, because the village and the area is now full of very nice B&B's, pensions and small hotels, renting rooms to visitors in summer and winter seasons.  Click for a larger image.
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We spent a night in beautifully restored Jesenik Spa, and then had to hurry back to Hradec Kralove, where Josef Cernikovsky was having a lovely party, in a wine cellar of a hotel which was made our of three old houses on one of the two main squares.  Sasha was given a German flag, Jana is holding the Stars & Stripes, they gave me a Guatemalan flag, and the rest are holding up a Czech one.  A small United Nations of the Cernikovskys.  Click to see a large image. 
 

After a big lunch, we had a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant. Sasha is here again with Josef and Jirina.  Click for a larger image.  I made a mistake of mentioning to Josef that I was planning to buy some Czech dumplings (in powder form) to cook back home in Guatemala.
 

  After lunch, I went and bought a few bags, but he returned with 20!  Here they are on top of our car, in front of the hotel.  In Antigua, we have already enjoyed some.  Many thanks!  Click for a larger image.
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And, on their way from Vermont, via Montreal and Paris to Amsterdam and Prague, Josef and Jana spent a weekend with Sasha in Cologne and went for a Sunday lunch in the wine producing Ahr Valley.  Click for a larger image. 
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And they enjoyed some German cooking, which is now much improved.  See you next time, some other place on the planet!  Click for a larger image. 
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