It has been such a whirl of activity and experiences since we left Denmark the day after Christmas. We arrived in Prague on Wednesday the 26th, picked up in two cars by our friends Tereza and Tony. Tereza and I worked together at the UTwente in the Netherlands. When James was a baby we visited Tony and Tereza in Glasgow, just before their son Eddie was born. We haven’t seen them since.
They are really the kindest hosts and made sure to make us feel comfortable and relaxed in their home. They live just outside of Prague in a small village called Říčany. The kids Eddie (12), Emma (9), and Roza (7) were a delight—and hit it off immediately with our kids. Plus, they got TWO rabbits for Christmas, which were super fun for the whole crew. On Wednesday, a little weary from our trip, we took a walk into their local village. As the walk passed at least four playgrounds we were able to stop Alice from thinking about her tiredness (relatively speaking) for a while. This one was especially cool with trampolines embedded in the ground.
The village has a square and some ancient castle ruins (naturally) as well as an amazing bakery.
We headed to a pub, which made a delightful beer on site and incredible food. The kids ordered massive hamburgers. Tereza ordered a cabbage soup while I had the chicken soup, but then Alice somehow overtook Tereza’s after having a taste. It was so delicious and Tereza said it was the kind of soup her grandmother would make when she was a child. We had a great time and then headed back to their place to relax and get some rest. Tereza made a roast duck for dinner with red cabbage and potato pancakes. It was amazing.
The weather was cold but not overwhelmingly so—a little unseasonable in this way—but it worked for us as we didn’t have a lot of extra cold-weather gear beyond the basics. Tony and Tereza shared extra gloves and hats to keep us snug. The next day we took a tram into Prague to visit Prague castle and walk along the Charles Bridge. While it seemed a little crowded to us, Tereza said it wasn’t nearly as busy as it could get. All in all we walked seven miles around the city and saw many amazing things.
This is the guard outside Prague castle. Tony encouraged the kids to try to get them to laugh. Willy told a joke but it didn’t work. They got a huge kick out of saying to the guard, “blink if you’re being held against your will.” But then he blinked and we didn’t know what to say about that!
After several hours of relaxed walking, seeing amazing architecture and stone work, listening to musicians on the bridge, and stopping here and there for a chimney cake, beer, or mulled wine, we decided to have dinner. We made our way back to the tramline and stopped at a café/pub on the route home. Here we had another incredible meal. The kids LOVED dining out and picking whatever they liked! I think they all had some version of barbecue wings. I had a gnocchi that was heavenly and Mike had pig knee, perhaps hoping to gain some vicarious knee strength for himself?
Then it was back to Tony and Tereza’s for some more chilling out with the gang, playing the game Dixit at their house. Good times.
On our final day (I know, this was a ridiculously short trip), Tereza and I took the kids for an afternoon hike through fields and woodlands near their house. Then we had a quiet night watching television and talking. We had the chance to see about half of this really cool Czech movie (cover below) and then Dirty Dancing in Czech. It was super fun.
Like champs, Tony and Tereza offered to wake up early and drive us (again, in two cars because our family is too big for one+ a driver) to the airport.
The trip was much too short but super sweet and we hope the next time we all get together it will be in Connecticut!
Here’s our family with Prague in the background
The crew minus Tony and Roza and then one with Roza and Tony, too!
After the Czech republic we headed to Chennai via Dubai. After two days in Chennai we landed—finally—in Thiruvananthapuram. Right now we’re still in a hotel as we get an apartment, register with the government and my school, acquire an Indian cell phone, and all that. More reports from India soon!