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.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Winter's come and gone?

I left you in deep midwinter, full of promises of more pictures to come. I rarely apologize for not hanging about but this time I feel I owe you at least a quick catch up.

So, work work work, no time for photography, work work work and of course children. Does that sum it up?


Then how about some pictures.
(1) About a month ago, the snow in Prague began to melt, and even the drifts disappeared finally.
(2) Signs of spring began to abound, along with odd Easter trappings.
(3) So warm was it, we started to hang out in restaurant gardens, and
(4) James discovered shades.
(5) Prague stayed gray, but warmed up enough for us to take weekend walks across the river.
(6) After three months of working till midnight nonstop, it was time for a holiday. Easter break found us headed to Switzerland to meet up with my sister and her family. After trying to drive over a Swiss mountain pass in a snowstorm, we turned around and made the trip through the mountains on a car train instead. Highly recommended, magical (says me), just the right bit scary (says C). Will slept through the whole ride.
(7) The winter ends with a great milestone passed - C learns to ski in Sils, Switzerland. She's absolutely great at running up hill in her skis. (It was a prerequisite to using the tow rope - the perfect motivation!)
(8) The view from the children's ski school.