Annie writing from the Czech Republic

Hello everyone... First of all, you,ll have to bear with me as I navigate thru these very different computer keys and letters... I am writing from the the small but gorgeous city of Pilzen aka Plzen, in the Czech Republic. It is absolutely breathtaking... After what seemed like an endless journey- leaving the US thurs at noon, arriving in Frankfurt, Germany 7am fri and immediately taking 5 different trains, we arrived here fri about 6pm. I am learning so much about the Czech people and this wonderful country. For hundreds of years the Czech people just fought to survive many occupations. Only in 1992 did they become a democracy led by a playwright from Prague who became president after an uprising called the "Velvet Revolution"... called that because there were no casualties. I know theres a song in that!!! The buildings were spared during WW11 because the occupation was so swift, so the architecture is just spectacular, the streets are cobblestone in spiraling patterns and there are flowers and huge trees gracing the city. I am often wondering what this region looked like whan my grandmother left here almost 100 years ago. Needless to say, I am taking a gazillion photos. This is the birthplace of Pilzner beer, so of course a tour of the brewery was a must. The tunnels underneath where the beer is fermenting in huge copper vats go forever... I of course had to play my flute there! They have an annual music fest which I will truly attempt to perform at some time in the future... wish me luck. The food is also incredible... and I plan to eat my way across town. The Czech people are warm and friendly... but this is probably the most intense language barrier I have experienced outside Laos! Last night I acted as translator for a group of people from Madrid who spoke no Czech or English... The waitress spoke a bit of english... fortunately I was able to help everyone to communicate and they loved their dinner. Tomorow... on to Prague- Praha-Prag depends on what country you are in!!!... Then onto Slovakia... BUT... someday... I will return! Nasdorovia Hanulka

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