William Roche’s Diary
Mountain Waters of the Czech Republic

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May 30, 2009: Czech, Please

I rise at 8:30 am. On this occasion I have beaten the jet lag, as I don't feel at all sleepy. But there is another problem. Before I left Australia I had a slight head cold and as a precaution, I visited a doctor. As the symptoms were quite minor there was little to be done and he indicated that it should pass. However since travelling and encountering different temperatures I am starting to experience some discomfort and I feel a sore throat coming on. 
I go for breakfast and I use a few words of Czech to greet the waitress and ask for a menu. She smiles and talks to me in Czech! I indicate "slow," and say that my Czech is not much! All is well as she cheerfully speaks to me in clear English. 

It is still raining hard outside. By mid morning the weather has improved and I venture into the city. I spend an enjoyable couple of hours visiting the national museum, exploring Wenceslas Square and spending time inside the shopping plazas of Na Prikope. Soon it is time to go to the rendezvous point. I meet Ryan (Alcoa Earthwatch USA) for the first time. He helps me book into my room at the hostel. I also meet Russ, Rachel, Martha (USA students) Cathy (USA volunteer) and Miesa (Japan). We meet Josef Krecek, the Earthwatch Principal Investigator in the Czech Republic. He is a quiet, courteous gentleman. He takes us sightseeing and to an evening meal where we have the opportunity to sample a typical Czech meal. Later Josef shows us more sights and takes us to a church where he has reserved seats for a Baroque music concert. He also arranged for us to have a private tour to learn more about the history of the church. Later Josef parts company with us and the team stops off at a café near the hostel to have a coffee and to further bond. It's been a long day and we soon retire in readiness for the trip tomorrow.

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