Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pros and cons of being in Prague in the winter

The other day, Jon said that he's happy we're here in winter, because there are no leaves on the trees, which means we have an amazing view of Břevnov Monastery. It's especially beautiful at night, all lit up and glowing with ivory light until about midnight.

The cons of being here in winter: it's cold! And a bit gray and bleak (although on the day we arrived last week, it was a gorgeous, sunny day and not too cold). And there are many beautiful gardens here that open on April 1st. We'll have only a few days to visit them and then we're off to Dresden for a month. So I'm guessing we'll miss most of Spring.

There are more pros, though, like going sledding with Michal and his children today. There's only a couple of inches on snow on the ground, but it was enough! To go sledding at home, we have to drive at least ten minutes and walking up a sledding hill is pretty tough when there's 3 feet of snow. Here, we walked to Ladronka Park about five minutes away and it's pretty easy to walk up a hill that's barely covered with snow! I think the kids were underwhelmed when we first arrived at the little hill, but everyone had a great time.

From Europe 2013
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Check out the great sled! I even went sledding on this one, several times. (I was a good partner for the kids, because I made it go faster.) Sturdy and fun!

From Europe 2013

Mira with her new Czech friend, who is about her age. They don't need to understand each other to have fun!

From Europe 2013
From Europe 2013

This super cute toddler found Phin, Seth, and Michal's son absolutely fascinating and watched them wrestle and play fight for a good 10 or 15 minutes.

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He was adorable and had no fear! In this picture, Phin is putting his gloves on him.

From Europe 2013
From Europe 2013

And here's Seth with his new Czech friend. I love that Seth and Mira can hang out with some Czech kids.

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Mira and Michal's daughter getting pulled up the hill by Michal.

From Europe 2013

The sicknesses have abated a little, at least for most of the kids. (Jon is still feeling pretty bad, and Zed's not great, either.) Paní Vitvarova came for our Czech lesson this morning and she'll come again tomorrow. Next week, Jon, Zed, Jacob, and Phin will start a two-week intensive Czech language course at a place here in Prague. I think it's been difficult for Mrs. Vitvarova to figure out how to teach such a variety of ages, so this will allow her to focus on the kids, and we hope Jon and the boys can progress faster. We'll see how it goes. We continue to use Memrise to learn vocabulary. (Memrise is a fantastic site, with courses of all kinds -- languages, music theory, art, geography, etc. -- and you can easily make your own courses, too.) I still can hardly understand anything, but I keep listening and I catch a word here and there.

Next time, our brief trip to Prague Castle. It's old!

1 comment:

  1. I bet it's cute to hear a foreign language coming from little kids! I always have this initial thought, "Wow. They learned another language at such a young age." Then I remember, "Duh...that IS their language." haha (PS I KNOW younger people generally learn languages better and easier than older people. I didn't say my initial thought was a smart one!)

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