I got acquainted with all the participants at noon, before we started our trip from Prague to the location of the project - Jizera Mountains, in the northern part of the country. I recognized Dr. Krecek at once, from a picture in a briefing, and was very glad to meet him after all the mail correspondence we'd had when he was helping me get my visa. There were also Petr, who is helping Josef with the research and is completing a PhD; and Dobro, our driver, helper and good friend. The team has worked together many years on this project, and are very friendly and supportive.
Our lunch, my first meal in the Czech Republic, showed me that no one can go hungry here: portions are huge! We visited a fortress from the 14th century, empty since the 16th. If you can handle the numerous stairs, you're rewarded with a wonderful view.
Our minivan climbed up the Jizera mountains by a long curvy road. Forests and meadows were all around ... and a thick mist. (I learned later that you can "catch" a mist. Did you know?) We settled in a cozy village house "Statek U Rajtru" with a nice wood smell inside. I'm in a room next to Rachel's and Martha's.
Dinner was very tasty - a garlic soup and beef with dumplings from a Czech recipe.
In the evening we sat together at a big table and talked on different topics, including Czech history, famous people, culture, the region's peculiarities and our own countries.