Prague to Telc

Trip Start Oct 20, 2003
Trip End Dec 22, 2004

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Thought you might enjoy this picture that we took at sunset, about 22:00, of part of the main square inTelc. The towers are the Jesuit Church (two front and back left spires) and St. James Church (the square one). What a wonderful place to visit. The arcaded buildings and square in the Old Town are virtually unchanged since being built in the 16th century following a fire that destroyed the town in 1530. It was originally a wooden, gothic town. The king was very educated and wealthy (he had lots of money from the local silver mines) and he brought in Italian Renaissance architects to rebuild it the way he thought it should be. It is the finest and best preserved Renaissance town north of the Alps. The old town is bordered on two sides by carp ponds that used to be part of the moat. We spent lots of time walking in the arcades of the buildings, on the square, and around the ponds. One walk around the big pond went through a woods and it was really lovely. Of course, we had lots of good food. There was a group of American hikers staying at our hotel, and we got to know them at breakfast and walking around. On Saturday the whole square was full of booths for a regional flea market. The day before about ten people went through the square hammering nails through bottle caps into the spaces between the cobble stones and then stringing white string to outline parking areas, booths, and the music area. You would have enjoyed it, Sandy. Bill, you would have enjoyed the Dixieland group that played. There was some musical offering all day, including the local oomph, pah, pah, local band. By nightfall everything was cleaned up, including the thousands of bottle caps! The weather was great for all three days.

The bus ride to and from Telc was really cheap. Round trip for the two of us was less than $10.00. What a hoot! It's about 110 miles southeast of Prague and about 20 miles north of the Austrian border, a two and one-half hour trip. The last hour is on narrow, winding, hilly roads. The trip down was uneventful. However, the one home was something else. The driver was really careless. First of all, he was a smoker in a non-smoking bus. This meant that he had to open his side window to get the smoke out. Doing this screwed up the air conditioning (it was a sunny 85 degrees outside). He would close it when he finished, but then it would take twenty minutes to get the bus cooled down. Just in time to have another cigarette. Because he was smoking he of course got thirsty. Can you believe taking both hands off the wheel to open a 1.5 litre bottle of water? Not once, but often. Once, when he was talking with the man in the jump seat next to him, he took both hands off the wheel and waved them in the air. He also liked to spend long periods of time looking in the mirror toward the back of the passenger section. Twice he had to jam on the brakes because he missed a merge. Well, anyway, we made it back safely but our knuckles are still white.
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