Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Adventure #66 and #67- The Czech Weekend

At the beginning of July, Martin asked me if I wanted to go to his father's cottage with him.  I agreed right away, because I enjoy weekend trips out of Prague.  I felt a little apprehensive though, did his dad speak English?  Would my Czech be enough?  Then Martin told me that his friends Petr and Zuska were coming along also.  I felt better, because I know them both and they speak English well.  

The time arrives and we buy lots of beer and food for the whole group.  Our train ride took about 3 hours and his dad picked us up at the train station. Our first night we introduced Martin's father to the game 'Bang!' (very complicated game, but pretty fun too!).  The main language in the room was Czech, with very little English.  I managed to make it through the night without any horribly embarrassing events.

On the second day, we decided to try geocaching (#66).  This is an activity that started with portable GPS systems.  There is a 'treasure' at a specific GPS location and you follow the machine to the location.  Once there, you must 'hunt for your treasure.'  We found one site that was about 2km from the cottage and took off with our borrowed GPS system.  We found the site ok, but once there, the GPS would tell us one number, then another, so we weren't sure where we needed to be exactly.  After 10 bites from stupid biting flies (that love American blood- they never bite Martin, just me!) and spotting a half dozen spiders the size of a 2kc coin (or penny) we decided to abandon the search.  

Throughout our geocaching experience, we came across many mushrooms and raspberry and blueberry bushes.  These GPS locations were logged into Martin's phone, so we could find them on our return trip (boys and their toys!).  We 'harvested' our finds and returned to the cottage with our 'treasures' of the edible variety.

Our breakfast on Sunday included fried mushrooms with egg and marinated, salted mushrooms.  Since we had been quite lucky the day before, we set off with the intention of picking blueberries.  Unfortunately the blueberry bushes were practically empty.  But while searching, we found lots of mushrooms!  **I should note here that the Czechs joke that their national sport is mushroom hunting! (#67)**  We found mostly Chantarelles (smaller, orange mushrooms) but Petr and Zuska hit the mother lode with bags full of all different types of mushrooms. 

Our reward for finishing lunch!
Thus my Czech weekend came to an end.  It was relaxing, but exhausting at the same time! (Anyone who has spent time trying to follow a conversation in a language they aren't very good at will know this!)  I will say that by midday Sunday, I could follow the conversations (thanks Martin for telling me the topic every now and then!) and I would add something, although in English! (I can't think fast enough to make sentences in Czech as part of a conversation with natives)

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