So maybe you'd like to have English menus."
It's amazing how happy simple words in English can make me feel. I love languages and coming into contact with new cultures, but I can't deny that I really am pretty passionate about my own native language. I won't be all excessive and say that English is the best language in the world, but it is the one that makes my heart most glad. It is the language in which I have been blessedly immersed and in which I can describe my every thought and vision in ways few people can. So when, in the multitudes of people oblivious to the meaning of the things I'm trying to say, I hear such an open invitation of understanding, I can't help but feel a thrill of joy run through my entire body.
Needless to say, we took him up on his offer and read over the English menus. We'd mostly figured out the Czech menus, but it was comforting to see our ideas translated correctly. It still took a long time to decide on the drinks we wanted. We were mostly just relieved to be basking in a coffee shop that could have been nestled snugly at the heart of any American city, complete with In Style magazine, and American music in the background. In the end I settled on a thick hot chocolate, topped with a pile of whip cream and chocolate shavings. A nice warm up after a day of wandering out in the cold.
On Saturday Naomi, Tammy Crystal and I went to Loket to check out the Wine Tasting Festival at the castle and to attempt a hike out to see the Frozen Wedding party (Svatosske Skaly). In truth, the Wine Festival turned out to be pretty cool. Tammy had been given a couple of free tickets, so we got into the castle for only about $2.50. After wandering around the castle for a while (Crystal and Naomi had never been in it) we checked out the festivities.
After enjoying the festivities, which included traditional cooks serving massive sausages, assorted cheeses, and potato pancakes as well as some amazing caramel roasted nuts, and traditional music complete with dancers, we headed out to find the Svatosske Skaly, a rock formation that looks like a frozen wedding party.
The walk was fairly long (6.5 km one way) but well worth it. To top it off, the weather was pretty much perfect. Cool but clear. We stopped along the way for a few photo ops:
At long last we came to the amazing rock structure. It is so difficult to fathom how people can see such amazing design and not be drawn to praise the Creator. I stood with eyes uplifted and full of awe. The rocks stood straight and tall, a solemn procession heading up the side of the hill above the river.
Beneath them I felt ever so small and insignificant. Who am I to be allowed to behold such beauty.
I didn't have a chance to add the pictures to go along with my post about hanging out around Cheb last weekend, so I'll just toss a few in here at the end.