Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Friends and New Places in the Czech Republic!

We have spent the past two days at a mountain retreat about two hours away from Prague. The parents we spoke to were eager to learn and very smart, but the stories they told us about their memories of living under communism blew me away! Stories coming in the next post.  

First take a look at the place and the woods surrounded it, full of light and energy!

image

image

image

image

Here are some of the fun people we met:

Here is the organizer and his amazing assistant who did a stellar job of organizing individual and collective events for 85 adults and 72 children of all ages and still thought of giving me flowers..again at the end of the retreat! Incredible woman!

image

And some of our new friends:

 

image

image

Last night we had a remarkable dinner prepared by a chef that has received a Michelin Star for excellence, which apparently is a BIG deal in Europe. Front page news in Prague! We had a five course meal to die for!  How in the world the chef and his team served 85 people without the equipment he usually has and in a kitchen he isn’t familiar with was truly remarkable. It was a meal to remember! Darn! Forgot to take pictures of the food.

image

image

image

It was a fun weekend of being able to rub shoulders with some outstanding parents and business people who pretty much make The Czech Republic work!  Their financial reach is incredible!

The ride back through the countryside was sensational:

image

 

image

image

image

image

We went back to the beautiful Radisson Hotel owned by one of our hosts and had a few minutes to discover the famous Wenceslaus Square which was a block from where we were staying.

image

 

It was fun to see the crowds and hear the chanting of hundreds of young people who were marching up the street and celebrating the bronze medal win in the World Cup Ice Hockey by the Czech Republic. They were so excited!  Their “brother” Slovakia beat them in the semi-final but they seemed to be okay with that and are cheering them on, hoping for the gold!

image

image

image

Delighted to be invited, we were asked by one of the couples at the retreat, along with their twin teenagers (almost 17) to drop by their home for a quick visit within a coule of hours after we arrived back in Prague. They seemed like a stellar family but we learned just how stellar when we arrived at their home, which just happened to formerly belong to leader of the Communist Party when the Russians moved in after the war in 1945 and took over Czechoslovakia! The house had originally been owned before the war by a wealthy Jewish family who managed to escape Hitler’s horrors by fleeing to England and then on to Brazil. 

The completely restored and refurbished home was stunning and in a beautiful neighborhood filled with embassies and stars. Angelina and Brad lived in the neighborhood when they were making a film in the Czech Republic.

image

image

image

image

The herb garden planted on top of their new garage:

image

image

Take a good look at this gorgeous family because these two teenagers (who are twins) are about the cutest kids you would ever want to meet!  The mom was nice enough to offer us a lovely light Swedish dinner (the mom is Swedish) with fresh bread, smoked salmon, herring, fruit and an array of beautiful cheeses. How in the world she managed that after only being home from our weekend retreat together for an hour was beyond us but it was delicious and we were so grateful!

Those teenagers who both speak three languages fluently and can understand another two sat with us for about an hour and amazed us with their knowledge of the world. Their daughter figured that she had visited about 50 countries and was leaving for a study abroad program next year in France. The son gave us a very mature look at what it was like to live and attend a private school in Prague. As we were leaving, I mentioned how lucky their parents were to have such good kids. He immediately responded that he and his sister were the ones who were lucky to have such amazing parents!  What 17 year old would say that?  It was really an inspiring evening with a beautiful family! We learned so much!

image

Truly an event to remember!

1 comment:

charity said...

wow, this looks so awesome mom. i'm sure i said that about my parents when i was 17! :)