Our European Odyssey

This blog covered our month-long trip to Eastern Europe -- specifically the countries of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bohemian Rhapsody

On Tuesday, we said goodbye to the beautiful Prague and boarded a bus for Cesky Krumlov, a medieval town in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic. After arriving at Prague's bus station, we were impressed by the many sleek, modern, comfortable-looking buses lined up to whisk people off to various destinations.



Then our bus pulled up. How did we get stuck with this thing? A 1970s Soviet-era relic with a lovely puke-green color scheme.



It turned out to be reasonably comfortable actually, but the interior wasn't any easier on the eyes. The nearly three-hour trip wasn't bad though.

After arriving, we followed some hard-to-follow directions to our hostel, where we had a private room, which was great after five nights in an eight-bed room in Prague. (Some of our roommates weren't exactly quiet or considerate.) We got a map and some advice from the hostel owner, a chain-smoking Santa type, and then headed out for lunch.

We ate on an enclosed patio overlooking the Vltava at a restaurant that serves traditional dishes and stays as close as possible to traditional methods of cooking. Our meal was superb. It was called "Feast for Two (or More)," and it included rabbit, ham, potato pancakes, millet casserole, potatoes, dumplings and a cabbage and carrot salad. In our immense state of hunger, we forgot to take a picture of the platter they brought out, but here is Jake's plate with all the items on it.



The meal was easily in the top two on our list of best food we've had on this trip. Oh yeah, we finished it all off with what they called rolled cookies. They were a lot like cinnamon rolls, which is a very good thing.

Satisfyingly stuffed, we wandered (or maybe waddled) through the town and up (yes, another hill) to the castle area. We climbed the tower there for some picturesque views of the town. We strolled through the various courtyards and then enjoyed a nice walk through the castle gardens. There were tall old trees, the birds were singing and we couldn't hear cars. It was a really nice break from the cities we have been in lately. After that, we basically just wandered around for a while, enjoying the views and the smell of smoke coming from the chimneys.

In the Czech Republic, it's unusual to find a meal that doesn't include some kind of meat. So we were pleasantly suprised when we read in our guidebook that there is a good vegetarian restaurant in Cesky Krumlov. We decided to split the sample platter, composed of dishes made of beans, lentils, cous-cous, rice, carrots and broccoli. It was quite good and temporarily satisfied Andrea's veggie cravings. Unfortunately, in our immense hunger, we forgot to take a picture. (Do you notice a pattern?)

We enjoyed our day in Cesky Krumlov, but it's a small town and there wasn't much to do, so we decided to take an early train to Vienna yesterday morning. We are looking forward to Austria but not the euro's strength against the dollar.

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