A blog for people who don't want to spend all their free time in the real world. After all, we live and work there. Escape the mundane with books, travel, and writing.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Funnies

In honor of Halloween, I wrote some Halloween Mad Libs and asked my students for random verbs, nouns, adjectives, numbers, foods, etc. to complete the story.  Here are some of the best bits.

On Halloween, some people dress as monsters, superheroes, languages, shop assistants, or baby fish.  To decorate their houses, they carve faces on big pineapples and hang elephants from the ceiling.

Children walk from house to house and say "trick-or-woman."  Then people give them bananas.  Sometimes children collect up to 8 pieces of candy.  If they eat it too quickly, they feel extraordinary.

On Halloween, be careful. You might see a monster. 

Vampires are especially friendly.  They often wear pink clothes and like to drink milk.  To protect yourself from vampires, you should wear a necklace of carrots

Zombies are not dead and not unexpected.  They swim very loudly.  They like to eat octopus.  Stay away from them.

Werewolves are people who dance with penguins when the moon is pretty.  They have 666 legs and resurrect very fast.

Ghosts are also common on Halloween.  It is very hard to smile at a ghost.  Usually they can't magnify you, but if they scare you, you may have a leg attack.


Halloween is a very fun holiday.  Just be safe and don't talk to books you meet in the dark.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The tiny things you discover when you travel

Here's a beautiful tiny flower I found today on my hike--an October flower as big as my thumbnail that seems to sprout from a delicately veined balloon.  Almost alien.


I have no idea what it is.
But that only makes it more beautiful and mysterious.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Beautiful Olomouc, Czech Republic

If you're planning on visiting the Czech Republic, don't limit your stay to Prague (and maybe Cesky Krumlov).  Check out Olomouc, one of my favorite Czech cities.  The old town is really pretty and fun to explore, it's a university town with lots of cultural stuff going on, you can use it as a base for day trips, and there aren't so many tourists.  Here are just a couple of shots of the main square from my last visit there.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Autumn in the Czech Republic

Trees are blushing pink.  The ground is a carpet of gold.  Wood smoke scents the air.  I run around catching leaves as they fall.  Ah...seasons!  





 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mushrooms in the Czech Republic

Mushrooms I saw today on my hike from Bystřička Reservoir to Brňov, via Malá Lhota, in the Czech Republic.  I don't think any of them are edible, with the exception of the last, which I KNOW is not edible.  But they're all gorgeous.





Friday, October 2, 2015

Zidova Strouha, near Bechyne, Czech Republic



Near Bechyne, this great trail follows a stream through forests and rock formations.  The trail crosses the water multiple times, making it even more fun.  The northern end empties into the river, where a cool little bridge takes you to a nice flat rock with great views--a perfect picnic spot.


Be careful of stinging nettles, and near the southern end be on the lookout for a place where the trail crosses a field.  If you're southbound, it's easy to miss.  The trail could do with some better marking...but that makes it more of an adventure.

I took the bus from Tabor (via Bechyne) to Nuzice, then walked the blue trail down to the river.  From there I backtracked a bit and took the yellow Zidova Strouha trail the whole way up to where it turns into road. I caught a bus from the middle of nowhere, at the stop in the picture below:  "Zimutice, Smilovice, rozc. 2.0."  Be sure to know bus schedules beforehand.  They're infrequent.  And the bus may snake through every little village on its round-about journey back to Bechyne, so just sit back and enjoy the tour.
 

Trail length, the way I did it:  9.1 km
Main section of Zidova Strouha:  7 km
Prettiest part:  the northern end, near the river.