Page Six

Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

December 15, 1998


12:50pm - Coming Home from School

Jitka's school and Jitka coming home with a little help from her big sister.



1:30pm - Masarykova Hospital

Veronika's mum, Jana, took us for a tour of her work. This is the four storey infectious diseases ward of the hospital. The hospital is very large, being responsible for most of the northern region of Czech. It was named after the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garyk Masaryk. The 'ova' suffix means 'belonging to'. Interestingly when a woman marries a man, not only does she gain his surname but she also has 'ova' added to the end.

December 18, 1998


8:15am - Dawn in Severni Terasa

Severni Terasa (Northern Terrace) is the suburb in which Veronika's family lives. The sun is very slow to rise in this part of the world. There are only about 8 hours of daylight in the day.
Today we are heading off to the family's weekend house where they spend time away from the city. The wires you can see are not from trams but from electric buses - part of the local effort to cut down on vehicle emissions. When they were first introduced, the streets were full of drivers attempting to reconnect their antennae, which seemed to fall off on every corner, bringing the bus to a halt - the ice on the wires didn't help either.



9:30am - Usti Train Station

Veronika trying very hard to stay warm. It is f-f-freezing...
Where the hell is that train?!



11:10am - The Village of Horni Police

After an hour on the train we arrive at the town of Horni Police (stop smiling - it doesn't sound like it looks). The weekend house is about a 4 km walk from here through the beautiful Czech countryside.



11:30am - Mother and Daugter

Veronika (left) with her mum. Only 3.9 kilometres to go.


12:20pm - The Weekend House

Just before reaching the weekend house we had to walk through the edge of this forest. I couldn't not take a photo of this. On the right is the weekend house. It was purchased by Veronika's Great Grandfather 35 years ago. Not many Czechs have the luxury of a house such as this to spend their summers. The gardens around the house are basically for growing vegetables which are not as easy to come by here.



12:40pm - The Cellar

The cellar is where the fruit and vegetables are stored from the previous summer. Here is Veronika's maternal grandfather proudly showing last year's bounty.



2:50pm - Christmas Biscuits

After hours of walking we went to Veronika's Grandparent's place for Christmas biscuits. It is a Czech tradition that the women bake as many different types of biscuits for Christmas as possible. The more biscuits, the better the cook, apparently. Veronika's Grandmother is the only one who still follows this tradition, so she ends up baking twice to make up for it.
They taste even better than they look.



3:05pm - Jitka

Here is Veronika's little sister, Jitka.

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This page was last edited on December 24, 1998 11:20:11 am
Copyright, 1998-1999
Paul Michael Martin