Monday, June 30, 2008

Gettin' to Czech

So the first step in our big summer trip was getting to Europe, something that used to be easier to accomplish than it is these days ... the purpose of my return to Czech after 4 years was two fold, first and foremost, Aviva and I were attending my ex-girlfriend Pavlas wedding and second, Aviva had never been to Czech, and I really wanted to meet Pavla and her family and to see the country where I had maybe the funnest (sp?) year of my life.

So back when I lived in the Czech republic a ticket across the big pond was only about 600$, but these days, with the completely crapped out dollar and the rising price of gas (and therefore airline tickets) the tickets were more than twice that. Still, with a bit of finagling (meaning 5 hour phone conversation with Stella, the helpful United ticket agent and several long and frustrating follow up calls ... gotta say United used to be a lot better at this) we were able to get across the ocean without inducing complete bankruptcy.

We flew into Czech on a Friday afternoon, having left New York on Swiss airlines (highly recommend them) the previous evening and spent 4 or 5 hours in Geneva on layover. The short flight from Geneva to Prague is very pleasant, and the approach to Ruzyne, Pragues international, reminds me of how much I love Czech, flying over the lush, green fields punctuated by orderly, quaint towns of small, red roofed houses. It is remarkably beautiful.

Hana, Pavlas mother, picked us up from the airport and when we got back to her house Pavla was waiting for us. Hana had made dinner, delicious of course as Hana is a tremendous cook, and we just sat around the kitchen table and talked long into the night, about literally everything under the sun. Aviva made it to 9 pm, quite good considering the serious jetlag, and I was so excited I managed to stay up until around midnight. We decided that we would spend the next day at Kutna Hora and And after I said dobro noc and walked down the stairs to the guestroom (guest floor really as the whole bottom floor of the house was turned over to us), I was struck by how unlikely this whole situation was.

I mean, here I was, with my fiance, spending the night at my Czech ex-girlfriends mother house, in my ex's old room, having traveled halfway around the world to attend my ex's wedding with said fiance. Pavla and her whole family treated Aviva and I wonderfully the whole time, like we were distant family. Aviva and I both spent the entire trip feeling remarkably fortunate, I especially, as I my relationship with Pavla and her family has become something more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.

Anyway, I went to sleep, exhausted from travel but still a bit wired, excited for Kutna Hora and thrilled to be among such friends.

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