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Prague Christmas magic

In spite of the terrorist alarms that are shaking Europe, the Czechs continue to celebrate Advent and Christmas as they have for centuries with Christmas markets, gorgeous music, and church services in the city of Prague.

Here are some of my favorites:

Christmas market at Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square)


Winter beauty north of Prague, in Jicin Janské Lázně and Vrchlabi



around Prague


Weekend in Podebrady, August, 2015

"Poděbrady(German:Podiebrad) is a historical spa town in theCentral Bohemian Region,Czech Republic. It lies on the riverLabe50 kilometres (31 mi) east ofPragueon theD11 highway.  A historic milestone in the life of the town was the year 1905, when it was visited by the German estate owner, Prince von Bülow. This well-knownwater divinerfound in the inner courtyard of the castle signs of a strong spring, which was later bored to a depth of 97.6 metres (320 ft).  The discovery of carbonicmineral waterresulted in the opening of the first spa in 1908. AfterWorld War IPoděbrady rapidly changed into a spa town which from 1926 specialized in the treatment ofcardiovascular diseases, rapidly gaining renown not only in theCzech Republic, but also abroad in countries includingAustria,Germany,Russiaand theUnited States.

The history of Poděbrady reaches back to medieval times. A long-distance trade route running from Prague to easternBohemiaand then on toSilesiaandPolandpassed through the then-fo…

Prague for Beginners: Finding Myself in Prague

I've just published my novel about a young American woman living in Prague in 1994, Prague for Beginners: Finding Myself in Prague.


You can buy it as an ebook on amazon.com at the link below. It's a Kindle book, but you can read it on your computer with the free Kindle app if you don't have a Kindle reader.

Prague for Beginners: Finding Myself in Prague

Here's an excerpt for Chapter One, where Elizabeth, the young American woman, goes to the main train station to buy a return ticket to Bamberg. She can't buy the ticket because they close the office, but she does meet a Czech man who's just her type:

"Defeated yet again, I walk out, falling into step with the youngish guy. Can this be love? As we pass into the big main hall, I turn toward the guy, wanting to find out if he does speak English and has an idea when the office might reopen, or if it’s even the right office at all. He is looking at me, so I try a simple “hello.” When his eyes remain wary, my heart s…

Prague in August: Cucumber summer, or okurková sezóna

In August, my husband will travel to Prague to take care of some urgent business. Good luck to him in finding people in town and ready to do business!

August is in "cucumber summer," a Czech way to reference the hot part of summer when the plants in your garden get ripe all at the same time. It is the time to take a holiday, either to your chata (summer cabin) or out of the country, if you prefer.

August is also the month when everything in Prague slows down to the point of halting. With so many people on holiday, the government offices all but cease to function. Even normally-leisurely bank tellers and post office workers are slower than usual, as if the lassitude in the air has affected them.

Other countries have similar names for this season. According to Wikipedia,

"Other countries have comparable periods, for example theSommerloch("summer [news]hole") inGermany;Frenchhasla morte-saison("the dead season" or "the dull season") or "l…

Prague for Beginners, in process

I wrote the last words of my novel Prague for Beginners on December 24, 2014. I thought I was done with it!


But here it is, April 2, 2015, and I am still working on the editing. I have done five edits myself of the 331-page manuscript. My husband Jarda has made a complete set of edits (focusing on Czech language and history), which I added to the manuscript.


I have added edits by one of my editors, Noah Shepherd, and am waiting for the final edits by my other editor, Melissa Lesley-Fox.


Now I am printing the manuscript 10 pages at a time, and finding an astonishing number of mistakes, typos, awkward sentences, unclear sentences and other elements that I still need to edit.

My intention was to publish by February or March 2015, but I have missed those deadlines, and am not as close as I hoped to be to having the e-book available for the people who've expressed an interest in reading the book, as well as the people I have yet to know who will read it!


My new goal is publication by l…