Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Poppy Seeds

Opium Poppy  (Papaver somniferum) Seed Capsule
Poppy seeds are a pretty common ingredient in the Czech cuisine - especially when making deserts.  A traditional Czech buchta (the best translation I could find is a stuffed bun), consists of ground poppy seeds mixed with sugar.  The poppy seed stuffing is delicious and you can even buy a special poppy seed grinder.  So when I had the opportunity to stop by an opium poppy field, I couldn't resist to pick some poppy seed capsules.  They were past the opium producing stage - I believe the opium is collected when the capsules are still green. 

Climbing in Adršpach.

The Mayor (left) and the Mayoress (right), popular sandstone towers for tourist viewing and for climbing.

Finally Jakub and I had 2 days off to ourselves without the kids, I think since January!  So we left the kids at the cottage with their grandparents and cousins, and went for a little climbing trip in Adršpach, a region in northern Czech Rep. near the Polish border, where sandstone pillars are abundant and it is a paradise for climbing.

In touch with Jakub's family at the cottage.

Mushroom picking - Hřib Pravý, Boletus edulis (highly prized mushroom in Czech Rep.).

When Jakub arrived in the Czech Republic, we headed over to Orlické Hory (northern Czech Rep.) which is where his grandmother has a cottage.  She normally stays there for the summers and it's a wonderful isolated location near a ski resort (hills rather than mountains).  It's a very nice place to relax, in the midst of forests and fields.  Jakub's mom and dad were also there to help out, as well as our niece and nephew, Eliška and Vítek, so the kids had companions - they actually played amazingly well together.  The following photos were taken at the cottage.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fun with the camera

Whilst in Náměšť nad Oslavou, I've had a bit of time to play with my camera.  So here are some randoms from my stay there.  Some are perhaps a bit artsy as a photo, the others are a bit artsy as a product I made.  And the rest are....well randoms....

I hope you enjoy them :)   Click here for photos