Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Not too much new since we got home from the Czech Republic! Thursday and Friday Evelyn and I were back in school. And Friday night my class had a Påskefrokost (Easter lunch more like a party) at my friend Julie's house and that was a lot of fun! I made (Bjarke made) some damn yummy Mac-n-Cheese that I brought and it was just fun hanging out with my friends and really getting to talk to them! It had been a while because I missed a bit of school for our holiday. Saturday and Sunday I was basically at home just relaxing and sitting outside in the sun, reading and writing and watching movies. It was so relaxing and really nice to just kind of be to myself.. But Saturday night I went to see Sys Bjerre, a pretty popular singer here in Denmark, with Daiki in his town, Rudme like 15 minutes away. It was a really good concert! She's pretty good live! And the concert was kind of, althought I didn't realize before I went, for little girls. So all these little girls (like 10-13) brought their parents and it was just so funny. All the little girls in the front jumping with Sys Bjerre! and the parents in the back.. and me and Daiki and my friend Katja who came with her little sister. It was really fun! And when the concert was over Sys Bjerre sold t-shirts and was giving autographs.. I got a picture of her signed! whoo hoo!
Yesterday, Tuesday Evelyn and I met up after school and went down by the lake and talked in the sun, and then walked around the lake and lay down and talked more.. it was just SO nice! It feels so good to have the sun again! We came back to my house and ate left over Lasagne and ended up talking a lot with Bjarke and watching a movie! A really great day! I felt so good going to bed reading my Harry Potter book..nothing else to report! francine

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Czech Republic at Easter!

Tuesday 7.4.2009
We left Berlin in the morning and made the 3 hour drive to THE CZECH REPUBLIC! For those of you who have been following my blog since the last time we had holiday in the Czech, you might remember that we lived in a small little town an hour north of Prague called Úštěk. You can read more about Úštěk at this great website . But this time, instead of staying at the Sports Hotel we stayed at last time, we stayed at Bjarke and Solvej’s friends‘ little hotel basically across the street. And it was so amazingly cute and cozy! And the Yasantska family were so nice! The Mom doesn’t speak anything but Czech and it was just so much fun talking to her because we used Czech, German and English. And at times like that you really realize you don’t need words to express yourself. One of the daughters, Ava speaks fluent German and English so we also had fun talking to her! You can see more about our little hotel at ...... But anyway, by the time we made it to the hotel we were pretty tired so we decided to just hang out and relax and have dinner at the Sports Hotel across the street, and get some yummy Piña Coladas!
Wednesday 8.4.2009
We decided to start the Czech holiday with some serious shopping! We went straight to the cheapest and best of the best, the Yellow Market! Which I learned recently is called the Yellow Market by the Czechs because of all the Asians selling things there. I bought a new dress and some nice perfumes and SCARVES, my absolute favorite and my horrible addiction. I will not mention how much I spent on scarves.. but they are just so cheap that I can’t resist! And I KNOW I will use them! We ate lunch at a yummy Italian pizzeria with some good ‘old Czech Beer! And then we went to the big shopping mall right outside of Prague called Letňany! Read more about Letnany at . We went to a cool tea shop there and I bought a few funky teas! My latest addiction, thanks a lot Bjarke. And after some intense shopping we had dinner at this cool basement restaurant in another town and headed back to the Sports bar for more Piña Coladas and Evelyn tried a Swimming Pool. Yummmmm! Thursday 9.4.2009
Thursday we visited the Karlstein Castle! We visited this castle on our last trip to the Czech, too. It’s really so cool! I will spare you my history lesson but if you want to learn more about the castle you can look at . What we love even more than the castle and it’s beautiful view, is the Castle town. It’s a little, very touristy town, as Karlstein is a popular tourist attraction. And there is tons of good shopping! (And scarves I must admit…) And it’s cool because at the bottom of the hill/mountain things are really expensive. And the further up you go, the cheaper they get! Last time we got a tour inside the Castle, but decided to skip that this time because the line was very long. On the way up to the Castle there is a guy who has the biggest kind of owl in Europe. If you pay 30 kc (Czech money) which is like 50 cents he helps you put a glove on and hold the owl for a photo op. I was pretty nervous about it! I mean, it’s a freaking HUGE owl. But she was SO sweet and didn’t care at all that I was holding her. She looked at me as she was being moved from his hand to mine but then turned her head to smile for the camera! So cool! I’m so happy I did that! (thanks Bjarke and Solvej) And Evelyn did it too! On our way home we stopped for dinner at TIME OUT and me and Evelyn got some really good salads! Solvej found love in her new favorite sandwich! And as always in the Czech, we had pomfritters (French fries) and Tartar sauce! Friday 10.4.2009
One of the cool things about the hotel we stayed in is that we were almost the only ones there! You hardly ever saw other people. It was like you were living in your own house. And every morning Mamma Yasanska had warm cacao (hot chocolate) and a special breakfast for us! Some mornings we got sunny-side-up eggs, some mornings we got Chicken Shnitzel. It was always a surprise! And some mornings we even got chocolate cake! (yeah I’m sure THAT helped me a lot..Friday we took the BIG PRAGUE TOUR! We walked so so much! But when there is so much to see you don’t think about how far you are walking. Oh! And did I mention that the entire week it was between 23 and 27 degrees Celcius (73-80 Fahrenheit)? NICE! I think I even got some color!We saw the beautiful and amazing Prague Castle Church again! I found this great website, read more at . We walked through the Castle village and down the King’s Steps, a huge staircase leading down into Prague. We crossed the famous Charles Bridge and touched the famous stones for good luck and coming back to Prague. And we touched the star and made a wish! (BTW the Charles Bridge appears in the movies Mission: Impossible and XXX) Evelyn and I went up the Charles Bridge Tower and got an amazing view over the city! Read more about the tower at . We visited the Peoples’ House. The Peoples’ House is so cool because when Prague was freed and the President was elected, as a gift to the people of Prague he had this building restored. It’s really really beautiful and it’s supposed to be a fancy restaurant that average people can afford to eat in. There is also an Opera house inside. And downstairs there is an American Bar, which I thought was pretty funny! We walked through the Big Easter Market in the town Square, saw the Astronomical clock again, and went in New Yorker (and bought a lot of cheap good clothes!)And later we headed home at had a relaxing night hanging out. Evelyn and I really had so much fun talking and just hanging out and relaxing! It was SO NICE! I love her!
Saturday 11.4.2009
Saturday I woke up feeling pretty sick. I caught whatever it was Evelyn had. I had a headache and I could hardly swallow anything. Actually it lasted until Monday or so, but I just drank heaps of water and took some medicine cough drops and a headache pill and by Monday I was up and running again!
But Easter Sunday we went to the Easter Market in Úštěk! And it was so nice! So big really! And people selling handmade things and having fun! It was just such a cool environment! Evelyn and I looked around with Bjarke and Solvej, and then walked down to the lake and made friends with the Swans by feeding them our left over pastries! We lounged around and headed back to the hotel and took a nap. Just a relaxing awesome day! And the nap did me some good! We also visited the Strekov Castle! Last time we tried to visit it was closed because it was winter season, but this time we got to see the whole thing! And the amazing view from the tower! The Strekov Castle is actually very famous because it was here that the famous composer Richard Wagner drew up the plan for the opera Tannhäuser in 1842. You can read more about the famous Strekov Castle at .
Sunday 12.4.2009
While we were in the Czech we met up with some of Bjarke’s friends, Charlie and Henrietta. They were going to visit the very famous Terezin Concentration Camp. And as Bjarke and Solvej had already been there, Charlie and Henrietta said they could take me and Evelyn along! There is WAY too much to write about Terezin on my blog, but the story and the history of this concentration camp is in my opinion very very important. Even more important than many of the other famous concentration camps. If you are interested, and I hope you are, please read .
After visiting Terezin, Charlie and Henrietta brought me and Evelyn to Litoměřice, a very very cool town that we visit a lot when we’re in the Czech, for their Easter Market, where we met up with Bjarke and Solvej. You can see more about Litoměřice at . We walked around a bit and ate some chinese noodles and just enjoyed the sunshine!
Monday 13.4.2009
EASTER MONDAY! We woke up to a fabulous breakfast with died eggs! The breakfast was just so beautiful! And the sun was shining! In the Czech Republic, the tradition is that on Easter men whip (ok.. tap!) women on the legs and butt with pussy willow twigs colored with braided strings which is supposed to bring youth. Kids run the streets hitting doors and people give them chocolates and eggs. I have to say, later when we were in Prague in the 200 SHOPS mall I was whipped by a passer-by! Haha.. too funny!
At one of the Easter Markets in Prague we saw this old lady who was making the cutest little things! She was just so adorable… working so hard making these little 3D flower portraits out of clay and basically.. things you don’t need. But I just HAD to buy something from her because she was SO nice and cute… I bought this little pig with a mushroom in his mouth! She was so happy when we asked if I could take my picture with her and she pulled me down to sit next to her enthusiastically and requested a couple more pictures! She was SO sweet! And I’m so happy I payed the $3 for the little pig.. This was our last day in Prague and it was so nice! Shopping, sitting in the sun with a cold Czech beer and talking! Just so relaxing.. and so wonderful. Tuesday 14.4.2009
Tuesday we did our last bits of shopping in Litoměřice where I bought more yummy tea! And a got some good deals on a skirt and some shorts! And we went back to Letnany and the Yellow Market to get the last few things! And for dinner we went to the Sports Hotel for some really good steak! And.... Piña Coladas! Wednesday 15.4.2009
Wednesday we packed the car (the very HEAVY car I might add!) and headed home! It was a long and really wonderful holiday! But we all agreed it was good to leave while we were still having fun. I’m an unbelievably lucky girl to be able to go to the Czech Republic twice! And Berlin! And to take my friend! And just to have the World’s Best Host Parents: Bjarke and Solvej! You guys are just awesome! And thank you Mom and Dad for funding my trip! Really thank you for a fabulous holiday!
And thank you guys for reading! Keep it up!
Love francine
P.S. I realize I'm having some picture trouble on this post. But as I've spent hours and hours trying to upload pictures and having them not work I'm not spending any more time on it. So you can see all my pictures from this trip at

Saturday, April 18, 2009

First Stop: Berlin!

Sorry I’m just now blogging! Last week we were off of school (and work for Bjarke and Solvej) for our Easter holiday! I love that Easter is such a big deal in Europe.. you get the whole week previous to Easter to celebrate (and the following Monday!) So we went back to Prague and the Czech Republic! This time bringing along my newbie Evelyn from Guatemala who just came in January. But before the Czech, we hit up Berlin for a couple of days! Here is my story:
Sunday 5.4.2009
We drove from Denmark to Berlin (around 6 hours) during which I caught up on my fashion knowledge (thank you mom!) and listened to Harry Potter. And of course, slept. Doing what I do best.
When we got to Berlin we left the car and explored the streets near our hotel while we waited to check in. After check-in, we walked the 17th June Street in central Berlin, which during the Nazi era was a triumphal street lined with Nazi flags. The street was renamed 17th June Street from Charlottenburger Chaussee in 1953 to commemorate the uprisings of the East Berliners. This is the street shown in movies about Hilter with Nazi soldiers marching towards Brandenburger Tor. At the end of the 17th June Street we reached Brandenburger Tor (read more at and ) The Brandenburger Tor is the trademark of Berlin. It was the main entrance to the city surrounded by the wall for thirty years, separating West and East Berlin. Since the Revolutions of 1989 and the Berlin Wall was destroyed, the Gate symbolizes freedom and the unification of Berlin. Being there was amazing. So many people from all over the world travel to Berlin to see Brandenburger Tor and there’s just a good vibe in the air there. We sat down for a while and I got the chance to soak it all in. One thing I love about Berlin is how quiet it is.. full of people, but still quiet and peaceful and relaxing. Bjarke disagrees. He listens for the fast racing cars late at night and the loud growls their expensive cars let out, but I think it’s such a peaceful city. I must note that I spotted a Starbucks here! I haven’t seen one of those in 8 months! Denmark has one Starbucks and it’s in the airport in Copenhagen. But Germans? They’re big fans! I was just excited to see one! We walked past Reichstag, the German parliament Building but didn’t get to go inside because we would have had to wait in line for way over an hour. We also walked past the building Hitler committed suicide in, Führerbunker. And Adolf Hitler's Memorial. We saw the biggest shopping street in Berlin called with all the expensive designer stores.
We visited the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche Church which was just so beautiful. They have turned the remains into a memorial with the church’s history which was really interesting to read! The church was built between 1891 and 1895 by Kaiser Wilhelm II. After the bombing of Berlin in the November of 1943 only the broken west tower of the church remained standing. It was restored and preserved and in 1961 a memorial church was constructed next to the old church. And the old west tower was transfigured into a memorial with pictures of before and after the bombing and the church’s story. (the new church from the inside)
After sightseeing we took a cab back to the main shopping streets and ate a dodgy Italian restaurant. And made it an early night back at the hotel as Evelyn was sick. Monday 6.4.2009 We dedicated almost the whole day to the fabulous, and famous, Berlin Zoo! Probably the coolest zoo I’ve ever been to.. they have SO many amazing animals! Some that I’ve never seen before… Including their Panda Bear named Bao Bao. I’m so so happy that I was able to see a real live Panda Bear! It’s shocking that Bao Bao is one of 239 Panda Bears left in the world. And we saw the famous Knut the Polar Bear (who if you haven’t hear mauled a woman who jumped into his tank just days after we visited the zoo! Read more at )
The zoo even had a section dedicated to nocturnal animals and that just blew me away… Along with my absolute.. 100% favorites THE ELEPHANTS! It was love at first site. A whole bunch of elephants throwing up water and walking around posing for pictures. I was in love! Honestly, I need to look into a career with elephants! There were countless other animals.. and I even got to see hippos, an anteater and penguins that you were allowed to touch! They were so unbelievably cute! For more information about the Berlin Zoo check out . We spent 4 or 5 hours in the zoo just walking around and taking pictures and having a great time! After a couple leisurely hours shopping we stopped at an Irish pub for a Berlin Pilsner and ended up staying for dinner and it was SO good! Such a relaxing and enjoyable day! I’m working on my next couple blogs about the Czech so be patient! They will be posted soon! Keep reading!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

and the holiday begins.... NOW!

Not too much to report! I've taken the last 3 days off school to help the girls (Karen and Evone) and Andreas in the shop connected to our house a woodworking shop called Intarsia. You can read more about what kind of woodworking they are doing there at But they are repainting the house (our house) and shop this week so I helped them. And it was so much fun! Hard work.. but nice to have a change from school and get outside for 7 hours a day! I just popped in my Harry Potter listening books and zoned out which I loved!
Tomorrow morning we're headed off the Berlin! We are now officially on Easter holiday until the Tuesday after this Tuesday.. and I'm ready to go back to the Czech Republic! Evelyn is coming with us this time and I think it will be really fun! So don't expect anything on the blog until sometime next week.. Hope everyone's good at home! love francine