Czech the Cyclist

If there is one thing that strike me as the best Czech past time, it is cycling. Now that the weather is definitely getting better, cyclists abound the streets of my little town. The cycling paths are not that well developed but people still go out and ride their bikes.

A Czech friend once told me that it is almost mandatory for every Czech child to know how to ride a bike. And these bikes come in all stages depending on the child’s age.

They start out with little plastic ones.
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Then as they get older, they have those that resemble a real bicycle but without pedals.

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And of course, your bike grows with you.

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As much as I would like to join the trend, I cannot ride a bicycle for now. Plus, I do not own a good bicycle…just yet.   All I can do is reminisce my biking days.

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But the good thing is, we may be able to save some money on my bicycle since I am a small person. Those bikes for teenagers may just fit me just fine. We’ll see.

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Impressive Innsbruck

As mentioned in a previous post, our main goal for last weekend’s trip was to visit  friends in Innsbruck, Austria.

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Melba is one of my closest friends from the university.  Since we had the same bachelor’s degree and lived in the same dormitory, it was only natural for us to be in the same group of friends.  All through our college years, we have shared endless discussions about our families and life goals.  Together with a few other girls, we were like a family- lending an ear and supporting each other.

After obtaining our degrees, we parted ways to follow our dreams.  While I was pursuing an ambitious goal in a manufacturing industry in the States, she went to Japan to obtain her Phd and go after her scientific pursuits.  It was during this time when we met our husbands – both Central Europeans (mine Czech, hers Polish).  Little did we know that we would end up in the same continent to raise our families.

I’m glad that we made this trip out to see them.  It was a great time for our families to bond and for both of us to catch up.

Their place is situated in a suburban location close to the mountains and not too far from the university where her husband Cez teaches.

That Saturday morning, we started our day with a full breakfast on their balcony.  It was very refreshing to be just around nature and inhale its beauty.

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We were lucky that the powers-that-be gave us good weather during our stay there.  There was nothing but sunshine which allowed us to go for a short hike and tour the downtown.

I will do a separate post on the hike because it was a pretty interesting one.

Meanwhile, here are photos of this beautiful city.

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The inner streets of the city is full of impressive buildings with a typical European feel.

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The succeeding picture is a view of the Old City watchtower, which is a popular landmark.

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Going further into town, there lies a more modern square normally used for social events.

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Innsbruck’s public transport system is very well-developed and accessible.  Trains, trams and buses can be seen moving in and around the city.

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Being in the highlands doesn’t mean it’s short of fun.   During our stroll, I was lucky to snap a quick photo of these youngsters parading the streets.

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Although, if you live in a place like this, it would be crazy not to go on a hike.  The alps are just breathtaking.

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When Melba told me that they were thinking of giving up a great opportunity in a major city in exchange for a quiet life in Innsbruck, I didn’t fully understand why.  But after experiencing this beautiful city, I now understand.

I was very impressed with this amazing city and wished it was closer so we can do more frequent visits.  But most of all, we had a great time in the company of great friends.

If you would like to learn more about Innsbruck, you can check out this page.

Anniversaries and Significant Life Events

This year, a lot of significant events are taking place in our circle of friends. A good friend of ours just got married recently and another one is about to take that big leap.  We’ve been contemplating about taking a big trip for their wedding, so here I am browsing my favorite website in search of affordable flights.

Albeit, there is a greater chance that we will not make this trip this year,  it doesn’t hurt to entertain the possibility.  If not there, then we will probably take a short trip somewhere to celebrate the significant events that are taking place this month.

May is anniversary month for my family.   This month, my husband and I will celebrate our 4th year of marriage.  My parents are also celebrating theirs– and it’s their 39th!  When I think about a good marriage, I think about my parents.  Somehow they managed to keep the love alive after all these years.  I hope that ours will be as strong as theirs.

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Two years ago, this month was also the month when we made a very significant decision in our lives.  We left our jobs and  jumped on the plane to Europe.  It seemed like such a long time ago.  But the memories are still fresh because that move was also the catalyst for this blog.

Anyhow, the month of May is such an important month for me.  This month I commemorate so many important events in my life.

How about you?  What are you celebrating this month?

Dreaming of Spain

As the days become better and brighter, I cannot help but dream about vacation destinations.   After living in the center of Europe for almost 2 years now, I really miss the sea.

                             Photo courtesy of gospain.about.com

As I was searching for European beach destinations, Spain has piqued my interest.  But it isn’t only because of its beaches.  A lot of it has to do with my home country’s history.    For three hundred years, the Philippines was under Spanish colonial rule and a lot of what we have now came from the Spaniards.  Shown below is a picture of a street in Vigan, Northern Philippines, which somehow gives you an idea of what the Spaniards have left behind.

Not only did they leave us with historical buildings, but our language in itself is interlaced with a lot of Spanish words.  I would love to see and experience the country that gave us all these.

                                               Source: images.nationalgeographic.com via Elaine on Pinterest

 

As of this time, I still don’t know when we will be able to go, but it is definitely on my bucket list.  Luckily, I found this great site    that offers good deals on hotels, flights, and everything that has to do with travel.  So perhaps one day I will get there.  But for now, I’ll just keep on dreaming.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

This is a photo of the exit door at the Brussels International Airport.

Last year when we moved out of the US and into Europe, Brussels was our first stop.  This picture is very symbolic for me because we had a “renewal” the moment we walked out of that door.

This week’s topic holds a very special place to my heart because this is the main reason why I started this blog.  This blog is all about renewal.

Ligo Circle of Appreciation: Czech Version

I should have done this a couple of days ago, but I somehow lost track of my own schedule.  I just realized that it is the last day today, and I sincerely apologize to Gunta who invited me to join this circle a couple of days back.

The yearly Līgo celebration happens every summer solstice in Latvia.
During that time,  participants adorn their heads with Līgos of flowers, oak leaves,
grasses and plants. Then they  join circles around bonfires and celebrate life,
and appreciation of each other.

The virtual Līgo Circle of Appreciation goes like this:

For a duration of 22 days, starting on 1st October 2012, we will be inviting 2 bloggers per day

to join the Līgo Circle of Appreciation.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an Appreciation, NOT an Award.

To fully participate in the Līgo Circle of Appreciation:
~
* Complete this sentence about blogging: ”A great blog is…

* Refer back to the blogger who invited you

Gunta of Movin’On has included me in this virtual circle of appreciation.  Gunta is a talented writer and photographer who currently lives in Oregon.  She has Latvian roots, thus, familiar with most of the cultural practices in Europe.  I have to say that I truly appreciate being connected with her through blogging since I constantly learn a thing or two in her posts.  You should see it for yourself.  Please click here to visit her blog.

For me, a great blog is one I can relate with and where I learn something new.  It also takes me to places I have never been before and introduces me to cultures I have never experienced.  There are a lot of blogs out there that have met this criteria, but since I am only able to choose 2, here are the bloggers whom I would like to invite into the circle:

I write what I like – A seasoned adventurer’s blog about the outdoors

Jolene’s Journey – A runner, teacher, and traveler’s blog about life

I am adding here some  pictures of fall in my part of the world.

The Elbe River in Kolin.

Swans on the river.

Colorful autumn leaves.

Have a great week, everyone!