Pictures will be added later on...
Sunday, 13 February
2005 Day 1
Benno left to pick up the others with the school bus at 5a.m. We were out
of Haarlem by 6a.m.
We left Netherlands quickly but the roads in Germany is not so goed. We
had a good journey but Kobily in one day is too much. So we stayed
overnight in a luxious hotel close to the airport of Praag. We had a nice
dinner and slept on time in order to be well rested for the second half of
our journey tomorrow.
Monday, 14 February 2005 Day 2
We left for Kobily after a delicious breakfast. The chauffer rode
carefully because of the ice and snow on the road. We arrived at 2:30 p.m.
at our pension/hotel. We comminicated with a bank pass, sign language, son
and a little bit of German. It was a serious pension with a strange odor,
thin dekbed and little warm water. By 6 p.m. Vastimil, Jarmilla and Maria
picked us up. We had dinner at a local bistro called Ámaretto! After a
restful start, we were convinced by Jarmilla dat the Czechian kooking was
good as well as the sphere. A few gifts were exchanged and then we went to
the wine basement of the old mayor that dated back from 1790. We were in
the basement after a short walk. We were introduced to 4 white and 3 red
Tsechian wine. It was so special to stand on that bobbling 'wall' where
coins was pasted. Sandra, Lara, Corrie and Colinda pasted coins on the wall
and made a wish. Their were a lot of special things we learned in that
night. You can't just mix all sort of wijn together otherwise you will get
an ugly kn! According to the tradional songs in the basement. "We were
really impressed over the songs and the singing talents of the Czechs. Our
songs 'dromen zijn bedrog'and 'daar in het kleine café aan de haven' cannot
be compared to it ! Maria and Vlastimil brought us home and we discussed
the day in our cold room.
Tuesday 15 February, 2005 Day 3
The alarm clock went off at 7:15 a.m. Colinda and Corrie took a shower but
after +/- minutes, the warm water is gone. It's a pity that Sandra and
Lara cannot take a shower. The breakfast tasted good but the room was so
cold. At 8:30 a.m. Vlastimil and Jarmillla picked us up and brought us to
the school. We were immediately impressed by the large buildings and the
space around it. What we noticed directly when we went in was the spacious
rooms and that everybody was wearing their mules (both the theachers as the
The tour started at once. We started with group 3 (class 1). When we
entered the class room, all the pupils were standing behind their desks.
The childeren were very quiet. We were introduced and looked around in the
class room and the children started to sing songs around the keyboard of
the teacher. Finally we watched to some works of the childeren. The candies
which we brought were diveded between the childeren. Our tour continued.
We arrived at the impressing sport place. On that moment a group of girls
The lessons were given seperate (the girls and the boys).
In the school there is a lot of possibilities for the childeren to stay
after the lessons. This happens in special class rooms. We visited on class
room in the cellar. In this room the oldest childeren of the school of the
9th class (the childeren are about 14 or 15 years), were watching a movie.
They were doing this because the other half of the group was on a sky-camp.
The childeren were without any supervision in the class room and we were
impressed how quietly they were sitting there. We continued our tour and
arrived in the computer room. In this room about 15 were available. We
think they have a good computer education. We received a souvenir with a
computer drawing entitled "autumn in Moravie". After the computer room we
visited the 4th class (group 6). Also here there was only a small group of
15 childeren with only 2 girls in the group. A large difference compered
to Dutch school is that the Czechian children stays until they are 15 years
old in grade school (grade 9) and the and the kindergarten is separated.
Jarmilla took us with her to the kindergarten and when we arrived, there
was a group waiting to go for an excursion. We noticed that the group was
very small (+/- 12 children) and that the children quietly waited in the
hall even when Jarmilla stopped to talk to their teacher. We went to the
first floor to visit the first kinder group. The room is very large and
there were even beds for the children to sleep after their warm lunch. The
materials for the school children were outdated. The directress of the
kindergarten gave us a tour of the building and told us that their were
about 20 children born in the village per year. There are 2 kindergarten
and the size of the group is incomparable with the Dutch school. Once a
week 1 classroom is made a vailable from 9:00 to 12:00 a.m. for parents
with small children to meet each other. At he same moment that we wanted to
live the children that went with the excursion just came back and we were
able to observe their regular routine. When they came in they dressed
themselves independently. It's now time for a warm lunch which went very
much structured. We left after the lunch to go to grade schooland the
children went to sleep.
During the guided tour was a short time for a recess. Children who brought
something can eat their snacks in the class and the others can go to the
canteen to buy something. The break lasted for 15 minutes. The children
cannot go outside during this break. At this moment we also had time for a
cup of coffie in the faculty room. We met the other teachers here. We were
warmly welcomed and everybody enjoyed the treacle waffles.
In the cantine we ate together with lunch, Jarmilla and Vlasimil the
everyday meal: a soup and a plate of sliced roasterd pork with horseradish
sauce and slices of white pastry. It was nice to eat but its not our
taste. Everything went well. After the lunch the gifts were given to the
colleagues. Vlastimil and Jarmilla were a little bit shy. We hope that its
going to the right persons.
Organized, piled up plates, eating utensils placed in a crate/box and the
leftovers were thrown in a garbage can and everything is in order. We had
something to drink in the faculty room and then time to go the wine
factory. We picked up the director on our way. He gave us a tour of a
relatively new co mpany, then we went to another company complex. We saw a
stock of wine, empty bottles without lables, a conveyor belt to disinfect
and fill up the bottles, a special ingredient to make the wine better and
to put on the cork, platic cover and the ettiquette. Then we went to
another room. They make here all kinds of polytheen (plastic) products like
swimming pools, waterreservoirs etc. What is noticable is that it was a
large company where male and female worked together in a very relaxed way.
After seeing everything in the work floor the director took us to his
office where a wine tasting is going on. We tasted 3 sorts of wine. It was
strange to drink wine early in the afternoon but it tasted good. The
director joined us on the table and told us things about the wine. We were
surprised that the director of such a big company had time for us. At the
end we took some wine to bring home.
The program of this day was completely filled. We were glad to have some
time at the end of the afternoon to relax in our (unfortunately chilly)
room before the evening program started.
Vlasimil came to pick us up at 7 a.m from our pension. We walked down the
mainstreet. We entered via a house to an inner court. We came directly to
a shed and once outside we were in the middle of nowhere. Then we had to
walk upwards were we came to a plateau in a wooden house with a wine
basement. When we came in, we were warmly received by the whole team. We
received a welcome drink, which was for some of us a little bit strong.
This house was from couple and they were the only ones in Kobils with a
wine basement that combines a snack and a living room idea. We went to
dinner, where we were accainted with some other wines. During the wine
tasting we had also some delicious chicken to eat. Vladimir the
art-/drawing teacher of the school had made a caricature of all of us after
dinner. Vladimir came with a quiz to test our knowledge of the Dutch
history. Conclusion: Poor knowledge (disappointing for teachers). The
communication was difficult because only a few people were able to speak
German and English. Afer coffee we took a look again in the wine basement
where we naturally .....tasted wine. Once again we drinked and sang where
for the three of us visitors to a wine tasting in 1,5 day was a little bit
too much for us.
In the evening we walked back in the snow to our pension. The village
looked like a fairytale. Arjan and Colinda decided to take a little walk.
Foruntatly the owner of the pension provided us with a electric heater. And
for once we went home to a pleasantly warm room.
Wednesday 16th February 2005 Day 4
In the morning Sandra and Lara looked forward to a warm shower, but
unfortunately it was ice cold, so today we don't shower. We had a nice
dinner and brought the electric heater into the breakfast room so it was
OK. At 8 AM Vlastimil and Jarmilla were waiting at the step. We were going
to the school with them, where we should be interviewed by someone from the
regional paper. This paper comes out once in three months. There was really
a lot of snow, so it was better that the journalist came to us. We told him
about the Commenius project and about the differences between the Dutch and
the Czech schools. There should also be some photos to make and the best
was of the school. And so we went to the school. Corrie, Sandra and Lara
went to the auto of the journalist. But because of the height of the snow,
the auto glided on the side of the road. So we set the auto aside and took
Of course we made nice photos with the Dutch and Czeck flag together. We
drank coffee, Vlastimil and Jarmilla were interviewed and we said our
goodbyes and walked back to the pension.
We loaded up the car and went on our way to Praha (Praag). It was better to
drive during the day so we able to look calmly for our new stay (place).
The pension we booked was a catastrophe, the owner didn't know that we were
coming and was full. He felt very much guilty and he arranged for us our
new pension. He stepped with us in the bus and told us that we were going
to a castle. Nothing said was too much. It looked really super. Slada, our
host had designed it himself. It was really in a castle style: The rooms
were super and we immediately took a warm shower. Actually the price of the
rooms was Euro 67 per night, but we only paid Euro 15 per person, because
that was the price of the first pension. After showering we had a glass of
Australian wine (14%) by the fireplace and then we had a delicious dinner
in one of the ten best restaurant of Tsjec. He warned us for the price but
Euro 10 for the main dish is still low for a Dutch restaurant. So we had
Peachliquer, delicious paté, a wild soup with fresh garlic and a main dish
of Chardonnay, a French white wine and a red Australian wine. We only
drinked a little wine those days. In this restaurant they didn't serve
Czech wine, because they thought that Czech wines are not good enough. We
didn't notice that in the Czech wine basements.
Thursday 17 February Day 5
After a good night's rest in a warm room, we enjoyed a delicious dinner.
Now it was time to take the metro to Praag. We walked a few minutes from
the pension, bought a ticket and after 20 minutes we were in the center of
Praag. The first day in Praag should have been a cultural day, but we
didn't do that because of so many shops. After a quick look in a few shops
we decided to stick to the original plan. We walked towards the Moldau
River where we came to the Karels bridge- a beatiful gothic bridge. This
bridge ties the 2 cities. We came to a beautiful old part. We walked
towards thecastle but to view this we have to climb 98 steps. This was too
much for Corrie so she went together with Sandra to drink coffie. Arjan,
Benno and Lara went up and once above they thought they saw one castle but
it was far from the truth. This castle is the biggest in the world and the
main entrance lies in the Hradcany square. Once inside you can walk slowly
to see different churches, houses and walk towers. We visited the Saint
Vitus Cathedral. We walked further and took some impressions and then we
went down to Corrie and Sandra. Now its time for lunch- a delicious goulash
served on a piece of bread. Afer lunch we headed to the Jewish area and
also had nice impresions. In short it was a fantastically beautiful city
where you can get an impression in one day but not really enough to see
everything. Today is a very cold day with layer of snow and the wind blows
very hard. We were very cold at the end of the afternoon and decided to go
back to our pension. Today Slada recommended another restaurant about +/-
20 minutes from the pension. When we arrived, the resaurant was closed but
about +/-100 meters people told us about that other restaurant. When we
opened the door, their was an enormous smell of cigarette and we also were
schokked because what we saw inside was an outdated local bar with the town
alcoholic. Carefully we ordered food and drinks but it tasted above
expectations. After a nice walk we played dice called "going to hell"and
Friday 18 Febraury 2005 Day 6
This was a nice shopping day so we went up early. Nice shower, had
breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
Arjan and Benno went for the last time at the castle to visit the golden
street and to shop for gifts, We, the women, didn't had time to lose so we
aimed for shopping. And it went extraordinarily well. At 13:30 we arraged
to have lunch together by the metro. Sandra and Corrie Gve themselves a
break from shopping and waited for Arjan.
After a delicious lunch we separated in two groups. Corrie went now with
the men. Everyone succeeded at the end of the afternoon! Full of bagage and
tired legs but satisfied, we ate again. Arjan and Benno bought for our host
a really nice appropriate present. A kind of shield made of wood with a
knight and horse made of tin. Finally, we had a drink and after that we had
to go pack and sleep.
Saturday 19 February 2005 Day 7
The alarm went off about 5a.m. and that was hard. W e showered and dressed
and about 5:45a.m., Slada was ready with coffie and tea and a compleat
breakfast to take into the car. At 6:15 we left from Praag. After a long
drive, everybody was about home by 10:00p.m.