After the farewell dinner with our friends from India, I went back home for the weekly evening online chat session with my student group in California. However, in the UK the time has changed from daylight savings time to regular time, whereas it has not yet changed in the US... so when I went online, only a few students were there, as they had been already waiting for one hour... why can the daylight savings time not be changed simultaneously in all countries of this planet?
Then, after midnight, I began packing my stuff for the travel next day, and I was done with everything at 3am.
Wednesday morning was cold, grey, foggy in Leeds. Driving to the airport, then a bit of sun came out. Leeds-Bradford airport was very empty, I got immediately to the check-in counter. Later I meet Georgi from LeedsMet who is also travelling to this meeting: the bi-annual face-to-face meeting of the project EuroPLOT, in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Departure was on time, and arrival in Prague was 20 minutes ahead of schedule. There was a thick grey cloud cover, no sun came through.
I got a white Fiat Panda. Nice car, but the 1.2i engine seems quite weak.
Instead of driving around Prague on the south side, Georgi and I decide that it might be nice to drive straight through Prague towards the East. And yes, we had a glimpse at the illuminated Hradschin, after crossing the river Vltava (Moldau) near the Karls Bridge, as the evening darkness set in. Around 19:00 arrival in Hradec Kralove.
Nice meal for dinner: Altboehmische Kartoffelsuppe, Lendenschnitte mit Boehmischen Knoedeln. And Pilsener Urquell.
At the after-meal walk, I see the participants from Krems: Peter and Erich, who just arrived. And then we meet Nicolai, Margarethe, Helle, and Tom. A few of us decide to go out for another pint, and we end up in the Na Hrade restaurant. When we enter, a very familiar smell hits us which I had not smelled for quite a while: cigarette smoke. It is apparently (still) legal to smoke in bars and restaurants, and this smell is somewhat reminiscent of past times. The bar itself with its interior decoration at the wall appears also to be so nostalgically out of the past.
And now the mind moves to the EuroPLOT meeting which will take place on Thursday and Friday.