Na Zdravi!

Trip Start Apr 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 06, 2009

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Saturday, May 30, 2009

Czech this out!

Wow OK so we spent 12 nights all up in the glorious Czech Republic...let's sift back through the memories and figure out what the heck happened.

Flew from Moscow to Vienna, stayed one night without doing anything thrilling.  Next morning hopped on a couple of trains to arrive in the small village of Svitavy, Czech Republic.

Waiting at the platform for us was Alicia's dad's cousin Lenka, and his other cousin Robert's wife, Stepanka.  Stepanka acted as translator and guide throughout our five days with the Kosnarovi, as the rest could not speak English.  The beginning of this trip was bemusing, confusing, and slightly amusing.  We were taken to Alicia's grandpa's sister Georgina's house where we were forced to eat, eat, eat, and then eat some more.  This was not much of a problem because the soup, beef goulash, dumplings and cakes were scrumptious.  For the first time, Alicia felt like she was part of a wog family.  The langauge barrier was fun to try and digest!

We were taken to a nearby lake, had some PIVO (our new favourite  Discovered the town sqaure.  Upon asking a pub to use their bathroom, we were handed shots of Slivovice, a Czech schnappees.  Random.  We were to learn over the next five days that alcohol is never, ever too far away in this country and that was something we immediaely fell in love with.  No matter which language family, friends or randoms spoke in this country, we could agree on the beauty that is found at the bottom of a bottle or glass, with a big smile.

Over the next few days we met various other members of the Kosnar clan, including some younger 2nd cousins of Alicia, Ota & Wanda (grandpa's brother & wife) who we stayed with for two nights, and other family members who all had similar physical features & mannerisms to the Kosnars we know back home.  It was odd but really exciting to meet these people.

We checked out Bousov Castle, trekked the woods which looked straight out of a fairytale, some underground caves, and the beautiful town of Litomysl with its heritage listed castle and gorgeous town sqaure.  It was a great week and thanks to the family who made us feel so welcome, fed us, laughed with us, drank with us, and especially Stepanka who translated for us.

Now four nights in Prague!

Well what a pleasant surprise to walk from Prague train station on the way to our hostel, and see billboards for the Czech beer festival.  Just found out how to spend the rest of the day! (We returned on our final day aswell.  Knocked off 15 different beers)
Prague has everything a small, quaint, cute medieval town has but on a much larger scale.  A very pleasant city to walk around, even if we did get lost because there were NO "blocks" in a square or rectanglur shape.  Around each lane was a nice surpsise, and also more cheap beer.

It was the first city we felt like ants in a circus of tourists.  So many! And a souvenir shop to go with each of them.  Still had a nice charm about it walking through the city.  The buildings were beautiful, the Charles Bridge was great with even more beautiful views of the city, and Prague Castle (including changing of the guard ceremony) was very worthwhile czeching out.  Even if it meant climbing hundreds of stairs.  On the final day we hired a paddleboat around the Vlatva River and soaked up the sun.  Prague was nice.

And now 3 nights in the quaint medieval town of Cesky Krumlov.

Combine Prague and Litomysl, add a nice Sovereign Hill "trapped in time" feeling and you'll start to feel like Cesky Krumlov.  It was beautiful.  More cobblestones, winding alleys ye olde architecture.  Nearly impossible to frown here.  Met 3 different groups of Australians in our hostel and hung out with eachother quite a bit...accidentally ended up watching Champions League final with some of them.  Hahahaha Man U!  Chris went rafting down the Vlatva with 3 of them on our last day.  We shared some Czech schnappes with them, and they couldn't handle it *evil laugh* We'll keep our bottle to share with the next suckers who come along.

All up the charm of this country took hold of us and we look back on these 12 days with fond memories, especially those of meeting much of Alicia's family and know from now on we'll always have a connection with Czech Republic.

Now on to Munich and Nuremberg for among oher things, you guessed it, more beer!  Not quite half litres for $2...but still.  When in Rome...
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