Czeching out Kromeriz

Trip Start Mar 03, 2013
Trip End Apr 28, 2013

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Moravia,
Saturday, March 30, 2013

The girls were a little late and Gord's research wasn't up to par, so we walked almost to the museum before catching a cab to the train station. The cab driver generously took all four of us for the short ride, although normally he would only take three.
Anyway, we found the car rental and then had the task of finding the car, followed by the
adventure of getting out of Prague. It all went smoothly. The highway was pretty good, but a bit bumpy being concrete. The speed limit is 130. We stopped for a bite at a roadside diner which turned out to be a mistake as Eva had messaged that she was preparing a traditional Czech
lunch for us. Still, we enjoyed both our lunches: the goulash and stuff at the diner, and Eva's mom's soup, her grandmother's pancake recipe with cherry jam, and Tom's mom's dessert cake.
The food, the home and the hospitality were all flawless! Gord and I had a room under the eaves with an ensuite while the girls had a large room on the second floor. The house backs onto a field separating the military base from the town, so no one will be able to build there. It is lovely!
After lunch, we drove to a garden for a lovely walk then went to town for a green beer
accompanied by even more food. I drank an entire green beer! Then it was off to walk around more, admiring the three RC churches from three different time periods. It seems crazy to spend so much money over so many years to have three grand churches for the same religion, but it
was commonly done. When it got dark, we drove to Eva's childhood home, next to Hana's, to pick up Jana. The reunion between Cara and Jana was great: 8 years faded away as memories crowded back in. We watched some videos the girl's dad had made of Asha's exchange year and Hana's wedding. So much fun!
The next morning was our Easter. It was the first ever white Easter any of us had experienced. 15 cm of snow fell over the course of the day. Gord and I woke early as we forgot about
time change. We immediately realized the snow was going to affect our plans, but not immediately. Eva was up before us and we offered to beat the girls to make some noise to wake Tom. Eva declined. After we had some breakfast, Tom and the girls appeared. Just in time, too! Eva had arranged for her father and Hana's father to treat us to a Czech Easter Monday  tradition: they came in with braided twigs decorated with ribbons and, after a quick hello, started spanking the girls while singing a fun tune. Eva and I were also privileged to be spanked while Gord videoed and Tom laughed. After the beatings, introductions were made and
treats and shots were offered to the beaters. What a good deal for them! It was great to have Eva as a translator as we discussed politics and Rotary and life in general. Tom made a great backup translator :-)
After the beaters went off to do family stuff, we headed into town to do more touring. We looked at the chateau and walked through the city gate to the park. We saw monkeys and ducks and rabbits and deer, none of which seemed impressed either with the snow or our lack of foresight in not bringing bread. It got pretty chilly as Cara shook hands with the trees we passed under and the Aussie girls made snow angels. We had a look at Hana's reception venue from the outside. Finally, we headed back to the pub to warm up. Their Easter menu was fabulous: lamb soup and salad for me! We returned to Eva and Tom's house for dessert (made by Tom's grandmother).

Then came the sadness of more farewells.

The drive back was quite exciting as the bumpy cement roads combined with snow and some speed demons. I loved seeing bunnies and deer in the snowy fields though. We made it back safely and had fun trying to figure out the gas station and how to reach the parkade. We parted ways as he girls rushed back for another pub crawl and we wended our way home to rest up before dinner at a casual Italian restaurant. Our last morning in Prague, Gord and I
walked slowly through the markets to the museum, then cabbed to the train station. A fabulous aster break with wonderful people, especially our hosts!
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