“Dobry den” is the respectful greeting to start your day in the Czech Republic. A native hello will brighten the eyes and produce a smile in any land. In the country where beer consumption is the highest per capita in the world and wine is produced on the same latitude as France, you might also learn the word, Nasdravi -not cheers, not salud but Nasdravi – “To your health.”
We Czeched out the cities of Prague, BRNO, Mikoluv, and Vrenov where there is no shortage of castles, abbeys, palaces nor chateaus, all beaming with romantic historical implications, adorned by antiquity. To counter the schnitzel, beer and wine calories, walking tours are enlightening with photo ops every second of medieval, baroque and renaissance architecture; churches and theaters where Mozart played. It’s imaginable. In the city center of BRNO a surprising leap of golden leopards appeared as new sculptures by Michael Gabriel. Children darted among them, laughing as they were lifted upon them as if they were ponies on a carousel.
Little did we know until our day of Golf and Spa that they were relocated from the Kaskada Golf Club which has three nines -Wood, Iron and Stone. We walked through
the golf reception area and were taken aback by a surreal scape of sculptures between the practice and 9th greens. Large, black, men of stone in various positions, stole the scene, all with arms extending to the ground. They were the leopards’ shepherds. Huge red sharks were suspended above the adjacent pond water and on the hillside above, red horses with another mounted shepherd watched over the course between fairways. Our first impulse was to immerse ourselves among the gallery, but we had a short time to play our nine before lunch and spa on the itinerary.
Adam the pro had our clubs and pull carts ready in a flash, so we dashed off to the brilliant green fairways of the original Wood course, celebrating its tenth year. We played speed golf to be able to finish in our time frame while thoroughly enjoying the locust groves in full bloom and ponds with water iris. It was a glorious round with landscape invoking the Sound of Music. The hills were alive as the sun shone down.
Kaskades is one of more than 80 golf courses in the Czech Republic and has the largest junior program in the country except for one subsidized by Koreans. On Mother’s Day the club was busy with wee ones competing in a tournament. 1300 members pay a mere annual fee of $1000 for unlimited golf. This crazy economy works because the owners both have other profitable businesses and tourist green fees from Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. While Adam is the pro, Eva jokes that her husband is the owner and she has been the slave for 6 years. They are open year-round minus three weeks at Christmas. Winter golf is played with one club on shortened holes with temporary greens, hitting to a meter of the flag without putting.
The lunch menu is extensive with daily specials paired with local draughts and Moravian wines. We felt at home. Eva noted that twelve large lots are available for $50k each. If it weren’t so far away, we may have purchased on the spot.
After golf we czeched in to the Maximus Spa, which is of course another story but suffice to say that this very unique wellness center was extremely relaxing once we figured out where to wear our bathing suits or toga sheets as the signs were in Czech. Lounging and immersion options cover the gamut of saunas and pools with designated nude areas available. Chairs and swings inside cabins or over a field of grass and lavender with birds and butterflies flitting may be enjoyed with a healthy concoction or glass of wine. Nasdravi, Czech please!
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