6.24. 10 Thursday
Stressful morning this morning. But good news is I actually slept 6 hours and only woke up once! Woke up before the alarm went off. It was a bit stressful for a while though because my passport and money had disappeared! Fortunately found it (Megan had accidentally taken it).
So we finally set off. We drove for about an hour and half until we came to a rest stop. Nice rest stop! Fun swings for the kids!
The boys were a little wilder and crazier on the swings.
Then back on the bus, to a Czech town. I think its called Czesky Krumlov. It’s a Unesco World Heritage place, which means it must always be kept looking the same. It looks like we were stepping back a couple centuries.
All over is architecture left over from the Roman times. Like this bridge.
This picture gives a better idea of scale.
We crossed a river to get into town. Part of the river had what looked like a water slide for kayaks. People in the kayaks kept saying, “Ahoy! Ahoy!” We learned this is not a nautical term, but how people greet each other in Czech.
Because this town is a world heritage site, all the buildings look the same way they were hundreds of years ago. The streets are cobblestone. Only the cars look out of place.
What I thought was funny was that throughout the trip, the kids seem to find puppies walking by just as interesting as the sightseeing. They are awful cute!
Chris gathered us all around and gave us directions. We had a few hours free to find lunch on our own.
We were right by the torture museum. Wow. That’s a place I want to visit. (Sigh… sarcasm just doesn’t come across the same in text!)
We all split up to try to find lunch. After looking uncertainly at all the restaurants and foreign-sounding foods, we tried one restaurant. They didn’t speak very much English and kept us waiting for 10 minutes without even seeming to make any motion to talk to us, much less seat us. So we left.
Came across another small place where it turned out they all had American food. Ah well. At least the lady spoke English and was very nice. We didn’t know we were supposed to tell her to bring the bill. Apparently European culture is very different than America. They let you take your time. The waiter doesn’t come around much and they don’t bring your bill for a very long time unless you ask for it.
In Europe, portions are also much smaller than America. They are actually more true to how much we should be eating, I think. This was Megan’s lunch — a ham and cheese sandwich.
Then shopping. Bought some pretty scarves. Scarves are cheap in this city! We also saw a stoneworker carving stone. Wow, that’s like old school artisan crafts stuff!
It must be odd living in a town like this… where there’s a fortress-looking building that has morphed from its original purpose. Those walls sure look hard to scale and attack. But if you live there, it probably just becomes part of the background after a while.
Tried to use the public restroom. That was quite a sight as the three of us tried to figure out how to get 4 Czech crowns. There was a change machine that only accepted change (no bills), so how was I supposed to make change if I had no change? Finally, Josphine saved us all by sticking in a Euro coin and out popped change. Whew. All this foreign money sure is complicated.
Then back onto the bus and another 3-hour ride to Prague. Altogether it was a 6 hour trip. Chris gave us interesting lessons in Scottish, Welsh and Irish dialects. Then another one called Derby? It was practically incomprehensible so he had to explain word-by-word and then it all made sense.
Finally we made it to Prague. Prague is quite different than Salzburg. (Boy am I tired. I was thinking, what was that name of the city? Swarovski? Salisbury?) It is very industrial looking. Lots of communist block concrete buildings. Lots of graffiti. Totally different than quaint Salzburg, which is squeaky clean and looks so welcoming!
Our hotel is a real beauty too. I’ll have to remember to take pictures tomorrow.
Our hotel room was nice though. A lot nicer than Salzburg! Here’s the view from our window.
Back down… off to a restaurant. I was wondering as to the quality of the place as I saw their name and menu was all in Comic Sans.
But no worries, it was nice inside. This picture came out quite poorly because it was so dim in there.
The food was good too, though not what I would call healthy. Mushroom cream soup — very yummy! Then a beef of some kind, with potato pancakes. (I gave 2 away.) Dessert was really good, though I only ate half. The flash washed out the dinner but it gives an idea of the few pieces of meat and potato pancakes that were the entree.
Walked through the city back to the hotel. Caught a beautiful sunset by the river. Unfortunately the sky got washed out here… it was a much deeper pink color. But even so, the view was beautiful.
Hmmm… this one looks a bit on the blue side. Will need to fix it when I get home…
There seem to be lots of bridges in Prague. There’s a big river that cuts through it.
Now back… and totally exhausted. Going to bed!