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   IN THIS ISSUE: SEPTEMBER 2005 
   • Welcome to babí léto!    • Mushrooming Season at Its Peak
   • What's New in the Czech Republic    • Language Corner
   • What's New on the Website  
 
  Welcome to babí léto!


It was a strange summer. After the promising month of June, the summer break started off cool, cloudy and rainy and pretty much stayed that way until the end of July, just to be replaced by a sweltering week of 40-degree temperatures. August played a joke on us and tried to fool us into thinking that the fall was here already, and we obliged, putting on sweaters and secretly thinking that gloves would really not be a bad idea. In those few days, trains had their heaters on in the mornings and some cities had to start supplying heat to buildings, which normally doesn't happen until October...

Then we got a break. The end of August and beginning of September were almost perfect, with clear blue skies, fields of hay and rowanberries everywhere, and temperatures in the pleasant low to mid 20s. Let's hope the beautiful babí léto comes back, so we can enjoy some more sunshine before the fall descends.

 
  What's New in the Czech Republic


Prague Transport Passes Now An Even Better Value
Over the summer, tickets for all Prague public transport went up by approximately 70% for single tickets and about 10% for passes. This makes passes an even better deal than they were in the past. We encourage visitors to consider buying a pass for the convenience and the value. Details on types of tickets and prices can be found
on our Public Transportation Tickets, Fares and Schedules page.

Znojmo Wine Harvest Festival, Sep. 16 - 17
The Southern Moravian city of Znojmo lies in the heart of the Moravian wine growing region. The Znojmo Wine Harvest Festival (Znojemské vinobraní) has been going on since 1966 and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the country each year. This year's festival takes place on September 16 - 17 in the city center. The rich program starts tonight with a procession of hundreds of people dressed in period costumes, and ends with fireworks tomorrow. Visitors will be able to watch a knights' tournament, enjoy medieval music, dances and theatre performances, visit a historical market, and of course celebrate wine and the semi-fermented young wine called burčák.

Other wine harvest festivals:  Mělník (Sep. 16 - 18), Karlštejn Castle (Sep. 24 - 25)

Music Festivals
• 15th Prague Autumn International Music Festival, Sep. 12 - Oct. 2, 2005
• International Music Festival Brno - Sep. 21 - Oct. 8, 2005
• 2nd St. Wenceslas Music Festival - Sep. 28 - Oct. 28, 2005
Get details on the Calendar.

 
  What's New on the Website


New Design
My Czech Republic has a new design! We hope you like it and we'll welcome your comments in the Feedback forum.

Prague Restaurants
Because we think that good restaurants deserve publicity, we reviewed some of our favorites and posted them on the site. We hope to be adding new ones soon.

Tábor
We recently visited the picturesque Southern Bohemian town of Tábor and put some information and tips on the site for those of you who may want to visit this former Hussite bastion - and for those who live in Tábor's sister city, Orinda, CA.

A Bigger and Better Hotel Booking Database
We have been working with a new partner to offer online booking of hotels, pensions and apartments in Prague, other Czech Republic cities and around Europe. We hope you will like the new selection of hotels and easy-to-use interface. Real-time room availability check and immediate reservation confirmations are offered for most hotels.


Growing Community

My Czech Republic now has over 5,000 members and 13,000 posts on the message boards! If you are not yet
a member, you are welcome to register for free.

 
  Mushrooming Season at Its Peak


It Is (Still) Mushrooming Time!

In case you didn't know, mushroom picking is a Czech national leisure activity. The mushroom season usually lasts from June/July through October. Thanks to the rains and cool temperatures, this year's harvests can be especially generous if you know where to go and make it there before everyone else (it is a known fact that a serious mushroom picker is in the woods and ready to go at five in the morning). On our weekend trips from Prague, we see people returning from forests with baskets full of gorgeous suchohřiby, křemenáče, bedly and other mouthwatering varieties. As we sit in our train compartment, we go by people's yards and catch glimpses of piles of fresh mushrooms being cleaned in preparation for dinner or to be sliced up and dried. From the bus windows, we watch rows of colorful holubinky line the road. I think we'll be heading out into the woods ourselves!

 
  Language Corner


Czech Last Names

Have you ever thought about the meanings of Czech last names? We have gone through a lot of them and came up with an interesting compilation of some of the common types of meanings behind Czech last names. A lot of them seem to be based on professions, bird and animal names, and adjectives, nouns and verbs that were probably meant to describe the person's characteristics when the name came about generations ago. You will also notice that Czechs like their diminutives!

Descriptive Adjectives
Černý (Black), Dlouhý (Long), Malý (Small), Nejedlý (Inedible), Nový (New), Opatrný (Careful/Cautious), Plachý (Shy), Pokorný (Humble), Rychlý (Quick), Suchý (Dry), Tichý (Quiet), Veselý (Cheerful)

Descriptive Nouns
Buchta (Pie/Cake), Drbohlav (ScratchHead), Hromádka (LittlePile), Hůlka (SmallStick), Chalupa (FarmHouse/Cottage), Chudoba (Poverty), Křížek (LittleCross), Kučera (CurlyHead), Mrázek (LittleFrost), Rada (Advice), Svoboda (Freedom), Vodička (LittleWater), Zahrádka (SmallGarden), Žáček (LittlePupil), Žák (Pupil)

Descriptive Verbs
Brousil (Sharpened), Chytil (Cought), Dohnal (CaughtUpWith), Kouřil (Smoked), Kvapil (Rushed), Musil (HadTo), Navrátil (Returned), Pospíšil (Hurried), Strouhal (Grated), Vybíral (Chose), Vyskočil (Jumped), Zlámal (Broke)

Professions and Social Status
Bednář (Cooper), Biskup (Bishop), Hudeček (LittleFiddler), Kaplan (Chaplain), Kolář (Cartwright), Kovář (Smith), Král (King), Krejčí (Tailor), Kuchař (Cook), Mlynář (Miller), Pekař (Baker), Sedlák (Farmer), Sedláček (LittleFarmer), Sládek (Brewer), Švec (Shoemaker), Tesař (Carpenter), Zahradník (Gardener), Zeman (Squire)

Animals
Bažant (Pheasant), Blecha (Flea), Čížek, Daněk (FallowDear), Hrdlička (Dove), Hroch (Hippo), Havránek (LittleRaven), Ježek (Hedgehog), Kocourek (LittleTomcat), Komárek (LittleMosquito), Liška (Fox), Moucha (Fly), Ptáček (LittleBird), Racek (Seagull), Skřivánek (LittleLark), Sokol (Falcon), Sova (Owl), Straka (Magpie), Šváb (Cockroach), Veverka (Squirrel), Vlček (LittleWolf), Vydra (Otter), Zajíc (Hare), Zajíček (LittleHare)

Plants, Fruits, Vegetables
Borovička (SmallPine), Cibulka (SmallOnion), Fiala (Violet), Jahoda (Strawberry), Jedlička (SmallFir), Kapusta (Sprouts), Kopřiva (Nettle), Malina (Raspberry), Mrkvička (LittleCarrot), Růžička (LittleRose), Vrba (Willow)

Word Combinations and Whole Sentences
Brzobohatý (SoonToBeRich), Skočdopole (JumpInTheField), Vítámvás (IWelcomeYou), Nejezchleba (DontEatBread), Nepovím (IWontTell), Nesnídal (DidntHaveBreakfast), Osolsobě (AddYourselfSalt), Přinesdomů (BringHome), Rádsetoulal (LikedToWander), Stojespal (SleptWhileStanding), Drahokoupil (BoughtExpensively), Kopkáně (KickedABuzzard), Přecechtěl, Snědldítětikaši (AteTheChildsPorridge)

Extensive Czech language information can be found on locallingo.com.

 

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