Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stromovka Spring + our Wolf Story

 
Rouchswalwe asked if Prague has reached beer garden time yet, and I'm happy to say that it has! For the last two weekends we have gone rollerblading in our favorite park - Stromovka - and in the evening, after a good several kilometers of pushing James in his stroller around the park, a beer outside is just right.

The top and bottom row of pics are from Stromovka, the middle row are on the way to a beer garden in our neighborhood.

But before I completely turn my back on Winter, one more story for Eleanor: Our family, inspired by my brother-in-law, has a history of attempting crazy outdoor adventures. This might mean snow shoeing through three meters of snow AND towing a sled behind (on the stomped down snow shoe path). Or it might involve one person biking on two bikes along the tow paths of the French canal system, because that was the fastest way for us all to get to dinner on time. The list goes on, and has led me to always carry emergency rations when I hang out with my b-i-law, a pocket knife, a match or two, bungee cords...

I'm not naturally adventurous, but these habits have grown on me, and it doesn't feel like a vacation unless we try something a little bit challenging. For our Easter trip, that something involved cross country skiing, darkening day, and two sisters who were not going to let a snow storm get in the way of their planned afternoon ski trip. Thus it was that on the evening before Easter Sunday, while snow fell, the wind blew and the residents of the Engadine valley hunkered down for the night, my sister and I set out on our Easter adventure.

The cross country paths were snowed over, but the wind was at our back, and we reasoned that we'd make ten kilometers in an hour. Three hours later, after what turned out to be my favorite trek of the holiday, we arrived home. We were tired, but content. Because no one else was out, we could ski side by side and talk the entire way. The fresh snow made the hills easy to get up and down, we'd shared a chocolate bar to keep up our energy (rations, naturally) and even though we were completely snow covered, we were happy we still had the habit of adventure. But three hours? How to explain this to the guys at home, taking care of the children? Then around the corner came the first person we'd seen all afternoon - led by his dog, bounding in the snow. And our wolf story came into being.

11 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Your adventure sounds exhilarating! I've only been lost cross-country skiing once, but it was memorable and FUN.
Your beer-garden weather sounds grand.

Mary said...

I have never been skiing in my life but am quite content knowing I can read your stories instead..

Barrett Bonden said...

I only did cross-country once. Hired the skis and the boots and set out without any instruction on a 10 km loop. Ahead I could see an athletic looking couple in matching blue and yellow kit - definitely Swedes. By pushing my heart rate into the low thousands I caught them and we chatted amicably. Felt very smug having caught the Swedes. Finally the 10 km loop came to an end and I peeled away to take my skis and boots back. Cheerily the Swedes waved goodbye and... set out on another 10 km! In my case it was a matter of stopping while I was ahead. Yours was a much more visceral experience, an adventure as you say. Since I love mountains I always said I'd switch to x-country when downhill was no longer possible. But in the end I couldn't bear to watch others doing lazy parallel turns and not be among them. I've turned my face resolutely to this computer screen instead.

Eleanor said...

You know me so well - I simply adore the wolf story. You and your sister are the myth-makers of the 21st century. Centuries from now Little Red Riding Hood will be forgotten, but the wolf trek...ah yes...the wolf trek and the twin sisters.....a true classic.

xxxxxE

P.S. A sketch may be needed as evidence/illustration perhaps?

marja-leena said...

I used to cross-country ski, what joy with the quiet of the snow and the forests, so unlike the crowds on the downhill slopes. The wolf story really adds to that fairy tale atmosphere!

Lovely sounding spring there at last, beer gardens and all! Enjoy!

Ellen said...

:) - one cannot overemphasise the chocolate bar aspect of that story. Knowing you had a certain number of miniature Snickers at hand made ANY trek possible.

Julia said...

GG - How did you find your way back? Beer garden weather is a delight!

Mary - First time I can say this, but I'm actually looking forward to next winter. I promise to bring you more stories.

BB - We almost never see downhill skiers, so it is a low risk, but I can see it might be hard to go to mountains where you used to downhill ski, just for the xcountry aspect.

Eleanor - I've imagined the sketch: white on white with very faint grey shadows of trees in the distance, the wind whipping the snow in swirls all around us. Only haven't figured out how to incorporate 1. the Snickers bar, and 2. the "wolf". This would definitely be a job for pastels.

ML - Is it possible to xc where you are, or is there not enough snow? I'm not very familiar with west coast weather, I have to admit!

Ellen - So true! Good times eh? And we didn't even need to use the bungee cords OR the matches.

Rouchswalwe said...

Na zdravi! That's good to hear. I think I'll have a Czech Pilsner tonight in celebration of the beautiful Prague spring. (We are having a cold week here.) The way to the beer garden is grand and looks like it would work up a thirst ... perfect! Fortified with Pilsner, I would even be willing to give cross-country and wolves a try.

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Tracy said...

What a great story to add to your other adventures! Beautiful photos of Prague too, as always.

countrypeapie said...

I love crazy adventures, especially when they involve chocolate and snow! I do hope you finished the story with a beer, even though you were miles from the garden.