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On a crisp and cold day in January, Irena and I hopped in our Cooper Mini S Clubman to leave Prague and hit the road.

We quickly went from „green road“ to the „white road“ and were immediately grateful for four wheel drive!

For a pit stop on our way here we stopped in local restaurant. Irena and I sauntered into a cozy living room with several local families and tasted a delicious Czech specialty, kulaida soup, a slightly sour, creamy broth replete with mushrooms, dill and egg. We quickly discovered that former President Vaclav Havel was a frequent guest here!

A little chat with this fine old chef imparted to us the cool fact that when Havel dined here he would shoo off his customary bodyguards so that he could feel the Gr8ness of a simple meal without the burden of celebrity.

The place has a natural elegance rare to find  in Prague. (But in Czech Republic, go a little distance – and you’re far away!)

A folky, woody charm redolent of the Czech countryside and the Gr8 films of the late Czech icon Milos Forman.

After warming our bones we got back on the road till we reached our destination, Pec pod Sněžkou, a lovely little ski town nestled in the hills of Krkonoše.

After checking into our pension and setting off to roam the town, Irena and I found we were not alone. Our new friend (local cat) followed us out. We were immediately charmed by the Gr8 atmosphere and picked up the local legend of this clearly haunted mansion whose owner, in the 1800s, following an argument with his wife, shot and killed himself in the living room.

Night fell and after a deeper stroll we settled into a local pub, a welcome respite from the frozen night. After a couple of delicious beers and a good meal we both felt ready (after a nice warm rest of course) for the next day’s skiing…