No communists please

Trip Start Mar 17, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our first night at Cesky Krumlov we stayed at Diletante's Hangout. As the sign in our room informed us, "this is not a hostel but a guesthouse run by a trans-gender cabaret artist who welcomes you into her home". We were glad to have seen this sign because we had spent the previous ten minutes discussing whether Maty out host was a man or woman. I don’t know though if he/she was a woman becoming a man or vice versa. Nevertheless she was a fantastic host who knew everything about the town and gave us awesome recommendations on where the best places to eat were. We stayed in the Nirvana room and were greeted by a huge four poster bed, massive bathroom with freestanding bath and an antique Indonesian wardrobe. It was a beautiful room.

For anyone going to Prague, go to Cesky Krumlov. If you can do both you should but if it was one or the other Cesky Krumlov is smaller, more beautiful, cheaper and has less tourists. We originally only booked one night but ended up staying five because we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. Standing above the whole town is the beautiful castle which looks like it is the top of some fairytale wedding cake.

Due to Diletante’s Hangout being booked out after our first night we spent the following morning enquiring about accommodation. Cesky Krumlov has a number of “Ubuntu’s”, or house’s that rent out rooms short term. Next door to Diletante’s was the house of an old Czech Couple who didn’t speak a lick on English. After about 10 mintues of me pointing to my watch, my mouth and my wallet I was saved by a Belgian guy who was currently in the room with his wife and daughter and was able to interpret in German for me.

Later that day we were joined by Jaime from England and Brett from California. It is funny how americans tend to be from the USA, California or Texas. Only those two states separate themselves from the rest of the country. Given California’s current financial woes I think they may start to try and include themselves in the greater majority. But I digress. Brett and Jaime were great fun and we spent the next few nights drinking in the backyard with them and at the Gorilla Pub down the road. The Gorilla pub had very strict entry requirements: no drugs, no ties, no guns and no communists. If only pubs in Melbourne excluded Coalition voters.

Everyone who goes to Cesky Krumlov has to go rafting. It is one of the most enjoyable travel experiences I have had and is very similar to the tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos. For a small fee (about $10 Aussie each) a company will drive you up the river and drop you off then pick you up a few hours later. On the float down the river there are a heap of bars to paddle over to for a drink and it is easy to take your own booze as well. There are very few better ways to spend a day then to float down a beautiful river, stopping at riverside bars for cheap beer and enjoy the scenery along the way. They also give you a water tight storage bucket for cameras and wallets etc. it is about as much fun as you can have in a day floating down the river. Our only regret was that we didn’t spend the whole day doing it, only 4 hours. We had a slight problem when Brett jumped back in the raft after one of our pit stops and put a rock through the bottom of the raft, causing a severe loss in buoyancy. Luckily we made it all the way back without sinking but unfortunately they spotted it when they were unloading the raft from the water and demanded compensation. They wanted twenty euros to fix a puncture, which is ridiculous so we compromised and chipped in a couple of euros each.

On our final morning in Cesky Krumlov Brett and Jamie checked out and headed back to Prague. Mil and I had a while to wait for our bus so we went for a walk through the castle gardens where, as most of you know, I surprised her by proposing. I won’t go into the details in this forum but it was a very enjoyable/nerve racking experience. I changed the bus and booked us into a nice hotel for the night to celebrate a very exciting moment for us.

The next morning we reluctantly left our nice accommodation and waited for our bus to Vienna. After having long skype conversations with Mil’s friend Sharna, her sister Beth and her mum we waited patiently for our bus to pick us up. Right on time at 3pm a couple of Czech guys arrived and chucked our bags in the back of their car. With broken English we asked where the bus took us from. Confusingly they didn’t know anything about a bus. When he asked us the address of where we were going I was confused and a little concerned. Mainly because the movie Hostel was filmed in Cesky Krumlov and we had spent the three days with Brett and Jaime talking about the movie and how bad it would be if it happened. Everything worked out fine though and for forty euros we got door to door service from our hotel in Cesky Krumlov to our couch surfing hosts in Vienna.
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