If only I could go to a Czech spa right now!

Mariánské Lázně1
Mariánské Lázně in Czech Republic

In my husband’s home country of Czech Republic, if you are a bit under the weather or recuperating from a major illness, your doctor may prescribe a two to three week in-patient treatment at a spa (or lázně in Czech), which is covered by health insurance. There, patients are evaluated by a doctor specializing in balneotherapy (treating disease by baths) or physical therapy, who assembles an individual plan of procedures and treatments. Those range from drinking (the mineral waters!), bathing (not only in the mineral waters, but also in waters infused with herbs, fruit, salts, hops, malt extract, and others), wraps, massages, exercise, special diet, etc.  Continue reading

Beethoven’s musical flight of ideas

Beethoven collage

Several months ago my husband and I received the annual music program from the local university in my town. We are very lucky that we live in a town with a university that attracts some of the best classical musicians and other artists in the world. This year the main focus was on Beethoven String Quartets, played by the Takács Quartet. The last of the performances focused on his later string quartets including the well-known Grosse Fuge Op. 133. Just imagine Beethoven at this time in 1825, already deaf, but music playing on and on in his genius head. Imagine him walking down the streets of Vienna talking to himself and humming the music, even conducting as he went along. Continue reading