My 66th Birthday
I spent the morning of my birthday walking up a 'Slag Heap' called 'Halda Ema'.
My Czech Birth Cert Czech Birth CertTranslation
My photographer friend Jiri Hrdina collected me at the hotel and after a short tram ride we walked to Halda Ema
Me And Jiri
Halda Ema is a man made hill on the outskirts of Ostrava. It was built out of the waste materials from mining.
A hard climb
The top of Ema
To be honest, at one point, I doubted that I was going to survive my 66th birthday.
This is the view from the top.
We walked back into Ostrava past disused mine buildings and miners housing ......
Old Mine Building
......we headed into town for my meeting with Sladovník Zdeněk, Head of Foreign Department. at Ostrava Town Hall.
Outside Ostrava Town Hall
Mr.Sladovnik Zdenek and me.
Mr Sladovnik was friendly but wasn’t quite sure why I was there. Hana Lojkaskova his P.A (who took the photograph) was more enthusiastic about my visit and story and presented me with a gift.
Ostrava Town Hall
After the meeting I took photographs from the observation platform at the top of the Town Hall.
Old OstravaVitkovice Iron work in the background
30.Dubna Apartment Blocks
Czech Drivers understand roundabouts
Ostrava is an Industrial citydespite the closing of the Iron Works.
While I walked uptown I had to shelter from a thunderstorm.
Heavy Rain Heavy Rain
Then I met the Kilduffs and their son in the Coffee Bus.
After chatting to the Kilduffs I returned to the hotel to meet Martin Netocny.
Martin is a photography student of Jiri Hrdina at the Ostrava Secondary School of the Arts.
The Irish Times had asked me to get photographs of me on the trip. Martin had agreed to take pictures on the next part of my journey.
Driving through the night, I had rented a car, we stayed overnight in Brzescze, Poland at the Hotel Babel.
We spent the evening into the night of my 66th birthday drinking Polish beer in the Hotel Bar and chatting about 1960s music ........... just up the road from Auschwitz-Berkinau.
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