Julian and Sabine arrived on Friday night after an arduous journey that involved an unexpected "detour" through the back suburbs of Prague in the dark. Not a good place to be after 7 hours of driving. They pushed on, steeled with German bread - the good stuff - and arrived at Chata Preciosa just as the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony was kicking off in Vancouver.
I had a strict itinerary organised for them that did not allow for much free time or rest. Of course, no visit to Harrachov would be complete without a visit to Novosad a Syn Pivovar (the local brewery attached to the glass factory). After 2 half litres of Frantisek and a plate of the house speciality (pan-toasted bread, garlic and onion, and housemade beer-cheese), Julian and Sabine had discovered that the Czech way of life truly is very good for the soul!
We didn't hesitate to return to Chata Preciosa to enjoy some of the wine Julian and Sabine had brought with them from their parent's boutique winery in the Gau-Weinheim region of Germany (West of Frankfurt).
And of course, support for the Czechs competing in the Winter Olympics is all part of the evening's cultural program (here the women's biathlon is screening, much to Julian's delight).
Day 2 dawned and we decided we were ready for some sport and action! Bring on the downhill slopes. Actually, more like: bring on the slight decline in elevation that the 3 year olds use for learning! Nevertheless, we were excited!
They make it look easy! (See our beginner's slope behind)
Evening called for another excursion into the depths of Harrachov to find good beer and food. This time a cosy Hospoda (pub) call Drevenka was our destination. The beer tasted excellent after a day on the skis, the fire was warm, the waiter's jovial delight at my broken Czech entertaining and the food...well...let's just say my plate wasn't to be seen under the monstrous snitzel I was served.
Day 3 started with a trip to Poland for some XC Skiing...
and ended with a cultural exchange of music, indigenous instruments and the delights of German cooking (bring on the cream, butter and cheese).
Delicious meal Germans! Come back soon!
Last reflections on Julian and Sabine's visit bring me to Julian's purchase of a rather suspicious looking "schnapps glass" made by hand at the local Glass Factory. A vessel for drinking alcohol for a man with refined tastes, or something else entirely?