It's not easy to write a love letter to Czechia, but this is how it sounds: Miluju te. Na shledano. Uvidime se pozdeji. Translation: I love you. Goodbye. See you later. As much as it's about the place, it's even more so about the people that help you to fall in love, imperfect as that […]

It's not easy to write a love letter to Czechia, but this is how it sounds:
Miluju te. Na shledano. Uvidime se pozdeji.
Translation: I love you. Goodbye. See you later.
As much as it's about the place, it's even more so about the people that help you to fall in love, imperfect as that love is, with language barriers and all.
But still, we managed to communicate somehow, with our limited Czech vocabulary and unlimited use of technology.
The Czech Republic (officially Czechia these days) and its people warmly welcomed us, fed us, treated us kindly, and, as needed, showed us the way.
Like the stranger in Brno, who I asked what was the best way to get to the Zelny trh (cabbage market), when we were renting a flat over the weekend in Brno, from our free overnight parking spot at a shopping center. She recognized that we weren't quite getting her directions and simply walked us a kilometer or two, finally pointing out the Zelny trh a short distance away.
And then there are my relatives in Netreby, Roman Fikeyz and the Castek family, who not only fed us many meals but also drove us here, there, and everywhere, showing us the sights and also enjoying our company, when we stayed in their home for five nights of our Czechia experience. The bonds between our two countries, linked through a common ancestry, continue to grow.
There is also our friend Misa, who prepared a picnic lunch for us at a park that overlooked Prague, and who afterward took us on a hiking tour of that fairytale city, half of it in the rain and also with her baby in carriage. As well, Misa, a native of nearby Horky, came to Netreby and served as our interpreter, joining us for portions of visits/trips there.
The Dobremysl family of Beroun opened their home to us and made us feel very welcome. Kamil Dobremysl and I have Skyped for three years. Kamil. We enjoyed many delicious meals prepared by Kamil's wife, Jana, including a last one the morning we left early for the airport in Prague. Kamil then led us to the airport, as we followed in our rental car, to the drop off point for the car. Kamil and Jana's teenage sons even put up with our bad Czech and also spoke to us in English.
There are many reasons to fall in love with a country, but it is the people you leave behind that you miss the most. Family, friends, and even strangers will be, for us, the lasting memories of this special place.