A Walk in the Country

village apple

Walking up through the village of Stranny to the road. We’ll go a few hundred yards along the road and then turn off on the hiking path. Apple trees were just coming into bloom, along with lilacs and forsythia.  Roads through the hills were planted with apple trees, one every 30 feet.


We walked from Skranny to Neveklov, following a hiking path that led along the edges of fields and through well-managed forests.


Sheep nibbled their way towards us.


We went through a gate into the forest. 


Joe climbed up to a lookout. 



We passed what turned out to be a hospital or residence for developmentally disabled adults. This is the new part. The old part appeared to be an old mansion, certainly dating from the 1900s. There were greenhouses with people working in them and residents strolling around. It was fenced but the gates were open.

100 year chestnuts

One way we guessed how old the hospital was was because these chestnut trees are at least 100 years old, and there is a whole avenue of them leading up to the main building.



The apex of our stroll was the town square of Neveklov, where there is an ATM, a movie theater, several restaurants, the town hall, a couple of markets and some other shops. there was also a small cucarna, or sweet shop (a coffee shop is a kavarna, and this one was both) that was selling black currant sherbert. We went in and had some. So did many other people; there was a constant stream of adults coming in for the sherbert, in cones.

3 birthday

This man is showing us the cake with which he will celebrate his 71st birthday. He does both Alpine and cross country skiing, plays football, doesn’t speak a word of English, and this is his grandson Jacob eating a vanilla and black currant cone. The owner of the shop spoke some English; when we wanted to ask a question, the other clerks would call to the owner, who was a very lively and cheerful, outgoing person.

2 cucarna

The outside of the ice cream shop. 

1 old house

We passed this old house on our way out of town. 

There were several things in this town that were marked on the map but which we couldn’t find; for example, the Jewish synagogue and also the Jewish cemetery. We found a cemetery near where the Jewish cemetery should have been but it was a Christian cemetery. Under the Nazi occupation, of course, Czechoslovakia rounded up Jews. Theresienstadt was in Czechoslovakia, Auschwitz only two hours east of Ostravo in what is now Poland. 

2 brook

On our way back, we entered the forest again and crossed a brook.

7 Hawthorn

In one area, the trees lining the path were hawthorns, buzzing so loud with bees that you could hardly hear yourself talk. 



Here is where we stayed.  The village of 100 people is called Stranny and this is the only inn.


Published by helenaworthen

Labor educator, retired from University of Illinois, taught at TDT University in Ho Chi Minh City in the Faculty of Trade Unions and Labor Relations. Co-author with Joe Berry of Power Despite Precarity: Strategies for the contingent faculty movement in higher education, forthcoming (August 2021) from Pluto Press.

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