Chilling with Cilia in Čilá - Day 8

by Thomas Zahn

If you would have asked, three days ago, it seemed unlikely. But we managed to pull it together, this week’s walk with my younger daughter, Cecilia. What a delight, such great weather and some of the prettiest villages. It was quiet. It gave us the rare pleasure of simply walking together, sometimes silent, but more often deep in conversation. It was an absolute joy…

The walk started late (11am in Skryje), because of the logistics involved, to drop us off and pick us up, in the rather removed Křivoklát Forests, just 80-90Km from Prague. Marie made it all possible by patiently driving. She brought us to the other square in Skryje. An upper square where she had visited with Vincent. It is an especially attractive part of this village. There is a pond, and beside it a monument the “fallen” from this village, surrounded by three Linden trees.

Thus, the theme of today’s walk was to seek out these monuments in each of the four villages on our way today. The path had many other curiosities as well. Again, it went from bridge to bridge, a theme in itself. It was sunny, cool and clear. We could not ask for a better day. I will let the pictures, more than usual, speak for themselves.

Worth noting is the lack of good access by road or train to some of these places. Nevertheless, there’s an abundance of Summer cottages, many of them beautifully kept wooden structures, built at some point during the past 300 to 400 years. This river that cut ravines and small valleys through schist and granite, is a glorious playground for canoeists and campers. Tramps like me. How I wish the COVID was no longer a threat, as I would like to linger here among the good people of this shire just a bit longer.  

As we walked, taking in the late Autumn scenery, we spoke at length about everything and nothing. For sure I am no hermit, as the isolation of walking alone is nothing compared to walking with a companion, someone to swap stories with. I would like to believe that this is my gift, a talent that I have invested in my children. Cilka is a talker. A seed that has now grown to a beautiful tree, like one of the willows that glowed so brightly. But she is unique among all the others, and her gift radiates like no other. I revel in the many stories we shared today.

Finally, something about a simple act like walking. It can be mighty easy to talk oneself out of it. I can think of lots of reasons not to walk, but not one of them trumps the expanded horizons of time and space that walking affords us. Indeed, it is a form of prayer, meditation and finding one’s self. I know this is not for everyone, and not everyone feels the same about nature. For Cilia and I it was a great chance to leave our worries behind, and chill, as we walked through Čilá.     

·      Map for Nov 18 -

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