Good thing I’m leaving tomorrow because this was the best day yet! I met Zoe’s neighbor Jitka, a puppetry artist who also decorates eggs in the Czech tradition. What a privilege to meet in her home, a creative haven where art is visible in every corner.
Jitka patiently taught me how to apply melted wax–white crayon–to the red eggs. Red is the color of life so its traditional for the eggs; blue, representing death, not so much. Her husband designed an ingenious tool using a radio antennae with a magnet to hold the spoon of wax precisely the right distance from the flame. I’m hoping my son-in-law will make one for me! The wax is applied with a pin on the end of a pencil in precise strokes. Well, Jitka’s strokes were precise and narrow. Mine were chubby and often looked like tadpoles! It was great fun.
Then Jitka showed us her puppets. They are magnificent! Her woodworking skills are phenomenal, as well as her ability to embellish every detail of their costuming. But most importantly, they move easily. This is Jitka’s passion and she wants these puppets to “come to life” by being used. I can’t wait for my grandchildren to have a hand at the one I bought.
I got to see Zoe’s 19th century farmhouse before we left her village of Myto! She has the home fully functional and updated although she’s kept it mostly original. She’s got pastoral views for days. And the barn is in bad shape but has so much possibility–it’s what actually sold her on the house. I can totally see why Zoe moved here.
Ceske Budejovice was our destination for the afternoon. I helped Zoe with research for her next tour group, French guests, by lunching at a restaurant. I have become such good friends with Zoe that I’m willing to make such sacrifices. The restaurant passed with flying colors.
The Czech Republic has lost many religious artifacts to theft. As a result, most of them are not accessible. But the Dominican Monastery with the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary was open. I loved this church and particularly the open space between the church and monastery. It seemed heavenly, which is what churches do for us, I suppose.
And last but not least, antiquing. Ah, be still my soul. I wish Peggy was with me! Zoe tried to identify what interests me so she could help. She quickly realized I’m helpless–no telling what will catch my eye! I found a few treasures that will fondly remind me of the Czech Republic.
It will be sad to leave this place tomorrow but so glad for my new friends, Zoe and Jitka. They’ll be in my heart forever!
For Tours in the Czech Republic, Zoe’s Contacts: http://www.czechtours.co.uk http://www.czechholiday.co.uk
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