A postcard from Czech countryside

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Greetings from beautiful Czech Republic

Hello everyone!-) I might not have been around for a while but I still find time to go for a walk here, in my temporary exile. I would like to share with you an experience from a walk I did today with a local group in my home town.

Just to explain; No other group organises walks around here other than a pensioners group. My family thought it bit unusual that I wanted to join them: here, there is the custom of Sunday afternoon walk after lunch when whole families go for a gentle stroll but a walk other than that? Unheard of. My Dad warned me: do not go, they are all communists. Clearly, more than 20 years after the revolution, some old wounds are still not healed. But I was determined to go. So 13 hours this afternoon, in blazing sunshine but cold, I arrived nervously in front of the town hall. But there was not need to worry – I received the warmest welcome a newcomer could imagine – although everyone looked amused when I confessed that I was the president of a student walking society; and of course, jokingly, they questioned my pensioner status. I did feel like a true foreigner on an adventure though; having been abroad for more than a decade, I could hardly remember who was who. The topics of the walk were local quarries; both sandstone and granite that were plentiful in my home town’s vicinity. We learned something about the local history; such where one of our neighbours lost a leg during quarrying sandstone operation and that Jaroslav Heyrovský, the inventor of the polarographic method and Nobel Prize winner, has his granite gravestone made out from stone quarried near my home town. The group shared healthy snacks (note: no cakes, dried fruit and fresh vegetables only) and a small glass of sherry was passed around too  – certainly interesting ideas but not sure ones that our walking group could necessarily introduce. Overall, it was a lovely afternoon walk in a great company of generous and kind people; I wish more locals would realize how special these walks are and join them next time; as you all know, you do not have to be a pensioner after all,  to enjoy  a lovely walk.

Miss you all and look forward to be back soon. In the meantime, keep on walking -) x Kristina

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