Sunday, September 12, 2010
Hi! Final Trip to Europe to the Czech Republic
It's been awhile since my last post. Had company and just getting back into the swing of things. Bare with me, regarding reading your comments and blogs. Now, As you can recall, I did two posts re my trip to Europe with my husband. All of these places occurred from a two week period. The purpose of this trip was to help me heal from my mother's death, as well as meet mother's family for the first time. Mother was borne in Czechoslovakia, which is now referred as the Czech republic. Prior to going to Prague also referred as Praha, my French relative connected me with Philip. Philip was a distant cousin, age 24, who spoke and could read and write in English. I began an e mail correspondence with Philip and we decided to meet when we were in the Czech Republic. Gerry, my husband and I planned to stay in Prague and then eventually meet Philip and go to his hometown, Ceska Lipa.The hotel we stayed at had a kitchenette and offered the greatest continental breakfast. We ate alot of cheese, salami, fruits, bread, and regular coffee unlike the thick and strong coffee in France. Prague is a very old city. There are alot of structures built in the 1700's. We put on our walking shoes and saw wonderful sites. At first, we were worried that people wouldn't understand us but that was rarely a problem. Prague has a no. of long,stone bridges, some for car s and others for tourists to take a slow paced walk. My favorite building was a Catholic church. Within this church there were 22 individual small altars. The church throughout it's history had add ons. This was a famous tourist attraction. Prague gad a no. of buildings with beautiful carved figures. There is a square that people build food from the different vendors in the square. At the end of the square is a museum and a large statue. One day, we came across a bridge where people were selling items from purses,jewelry, pictures. The prices were very reasonable. We were told that the Czech Rep. was less expensive to visit than most countries and we would have to agree. The Czech Rep. is noted for it's handmade glassware. I went nuts looking at the shops and bought some glassware for gifts. My mother always told me that her father had been a glassblower. We walked alot, by choice, but Prague has an old established trolley system that travels within the city. Although, We ate we lost weight because of the exercise. We traveled by a subway system to a stop where we would meet Philip. We meet Philip and his father(he spoke no English). Philip was our interpreter, we traveled for almost 2 hours to the city of Ceska Lipa. It's a small town. Upon arrival we meet Philip's mother and younger sister, Vandula. (she spoke some English). As we were moving into the living room, an elderly woman, Vera, approached. This woman is my mother's youngest sister. Aunt Vera and began to cry, hug and kiss one another. Aunt Vera couldn't speak English, but patted my butt indicating that both she , myself, and other family members had a large body frame. we just laughed. We sat, ate a meal and drank wine. Later that day, little did we know that a no. of family members were invited to Philip's house to meet us. Philip, for 4 hours did interpretation while food and wine was shared. All of my life, I have always felt some emptiness not having my Czech family, but now that was not so. My husband and I left the Czech rep., went back to France to return on a flight to America. This trip was great. I gave my French and Czech families a photo album of my family in America. They in turn, gave us a total of 4 bottles of wine, vodka which we had to smuggle through customs. We did it!I still have contact with mu European family. This trip was the key to help me to heal with my grief. When I think of Mom and get sad, I go back in my mind to what I have gained. Life is too short and I've learned that sadness , anger will take away what"s good in life and people.