Plzeň Thank You

Trip Start Apr 30, 2010
Trip End May 11, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, May 7, 2010

Crossing the border into the Czech Republic in 2010 was nowhere near as exciting as it was back in 2002.  At that time, the Czech government required Canadians to get a visa to enter the country, and I remember the official examining it closely when my train left Austria.  Nowadays, no visa is required, and as we were driving, the only thing to mark our crossing was our stop at the little booth to buy a highway permit.  (These stickers are required in Europe if you want to drive on the motorways; since our rental was registered in Germany, we had to buy a sticker for Austria and another one for the Czech Republic.)

No sooner were we in the country than Max and Tristan started up a steady stream of jokes about police brutality and corruption.  I'm not sure why they think the Czech police force is particularly corrupt -- maybe they're just prejudiced against former communist countries in general?

My father insisted we stop in Plzeň.  Why?  Because it's the birthplace of Pilsener beer, of course!

Since Navi-chan was being pretty useless, and also we had no map, Max and I did the best we could, and managed to get us into the centre of Plzeň without too much trouble.  We parked a couple of blocks away from the city's old main square, and found a pub-style restaurant in a basement.  The waitress spoke no English, and about ten words of German.  This worked out, because between them, my father and Max know about twenty words of German!  I had garlic soup, Max had spicy sausage, Tristan had potato pancakes and sausages, and we all had beer.  Except for Max, who was driving, so couldn't have any alcohol in his system.

After the meal, we walked around a little bit, and I roped my father into visiting the cathedral with me.  It was Gothic, I had to!  Then we got back on the road and took off for our next destination: Prague!
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