Prague is the city where our old friend Jaroslak Svatek lives with his lovely wife Ludmila, son Jaroslav Junior (Yardo) and daughter Mgdelaine.
We met Jaroslav in Angola in 1975 when he arrived integrated in a Czechoslovakian team (in 1975 Czech and Slovakia were called Czechoslovakia) sent to support us in the Hidro Eléctrica do Alto Catumbela (HEAC). His cheerful personality soon cliqued with me and we became good friends. Jaroslav came as a Surveyor and worked in various projects at the power stations.
Jaroslav was not a fan of the regimens operating in Angola and Czechoslovakia at the time. His family had been serious affected by the soviet occupation after the WWII and his sister had defected to France during the infamous Prague Spring revolt in 1968.
We spend a lot of time together at work and socially fishing, partying and playing basketball.
In 1979 I decided to leave the country and on the day I left Lobito to catch the flight to Portugal in Luanda, Jaroslav took my company car and headed to Biópio Power Station were we normally worked. Half way through Jaroslav hit a land mine and was seriously injured. He was evacuated to Luanda and Cagi and I worked franticly to get him out of Angola. On that night he flew to Prague and we to Lisbon.
As a result of his injuries Jaroslav lost his leg. Although we kept in touch, the fact that I had left the country illegal and Angola was under the control of the Soviet Union, like Czechoslovakia, I could not visit my friend.
In subsequent years every time we went to Portugal on holidays Jaroslav would drive his Skoda all the way to Lisbon and spend time with us. Later on Jaroslav married and came to spend holidays with us in Nowra, New South Wales. The link above "Svatek's in Australia" shows a series of photos that tell the story of this visit.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union we were free to travel to the Czech Republic and in 2001 we spent one week in Prague and met Jaroslav beautiful family.
While in Prague we learnt that Eduardo Miguel, son of our cousin Belinha was there working. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Prague became an important centre of the finance in Europe and in 2000, they organised summits for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Eduardo worked for the World financial sharks and was based in Prague. We spent some time together and he met the Svateks.
Only now, 2016, while I was looking at old photos I saw the photos of our trip to Prague and realised that I forgot to add such a great holidays to my website. The comments that follow refer to today’s Czech Republic.
Prague or Praha in Czech, is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 14th largest city in the European Union and it is also the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava River, the city is home to about 1.26 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of nearly 2 million. Prague has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union.
Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe in its 1,100-year existence. Prague was not only the capital of the Czech state, but also the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. It was an important city to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and after World War I became the capital of Czechoslovakia.
Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Since 1992, the historic centre of Prague has been included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
The city boasts more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. Many historic structures in Prague, escaped the destruction of the war and the damage was small compared to the total destruction of many other cities in that time.