Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2009

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, September 11, 2009

From Prague we headed back down to Austria. It route was really the only way we could fit Prague in. A little out of the way but 100% worth it. Before we left the Czech Republic we stopped in a town called Ceske Budejovice for 4 nights. At first we were just going to be there for one night but it turned out to be a good base for day trips. The region is Bohemia and it has a lot to offer the traveler.

We had a bit of a hard time finding a place to stay when we arrived, we went straight for the information site and got set up in a little old woman's house. The only problem was it was at least a 30 walk to her house and with our bags that wasn't the most fun. Nice little house with kitchen for us to use and everything. She had 7 rooms and they were just a little bigger then a closet, but clean and cozy. At that point we weren't sure if we'd be staying 2, 3, or 4 nights. It was quite assuming trying to explain to her that we would pay as we go. She didn't speak any English at all so Brian ended up having to call her daughter-in-law to explain it. This Czech lady was so funny. She'd alway look nice, but also walk around in her bathrobe and curlers in her hair. Every night she would come in when we were making dinner to remind us it was quite time after 10pm.

We spent very little time in Ceske Budejovice actually. The fist day there we took a bus to Cesky Krumlov. Everyone told us we had to go there. A small castle town (Little Prague is how it's described). Cute place with awesome buildings a tiny cobble-stone streets. We walked through the castle grounds, gardens, city streets and little shops. Its actually hard for me to find good souvenirs - nothing really strikes me as interesting. We found a great place for beer and brats on a terrace overlooking the river. The city is completely surrounded by the river that runs through it like an "S". It was a good visit to Cesky Krumlov, but one day is plenty.

Today is also September 11th. We kept that in our minds and just can't believe it has already been 8 years.

The following day we took another bus to the town of Tabor. This is one of those towns you have to pronounce EXACTLY right or no one will have any clue what you are talking about. Its amusing how locals don't understand our pronunciation. We've just been writing where we are going on paper so they know - especially after the yelling match in Poland.

So Tabor is another small town with a castle and while we were there they were having their annul town festival. Lots of food, beer, music, etc. They were already tearing the stage down when we arrived though. This always happens to us. But luckily there were a few other small groups playing in different parts of the town. Also today all the town attractions were free! We went to the castle and the tower, to some little museums and finally to the underground tunnels. We didn't realize the only way to see the tunnels is to be on a tour and they were filled up for the rest of the day. So...we did what has proven to work for us the most - pretend we have no idea whats going on and look really sad when it doesn't work out. We walked in with the group and when we went to put on our hard hats they stopped us because we didn't have tickets. We both looked pretty upset and kept asking them why we couldn't go. After a few moments, the lady got out two extra helmets and down we went. Probably didn't need to go on this tour though. The guide talked only in German and she talked A LOT! One km later, we came out in a different part of town - underneath a restaurant. Cool history behind the tunnels - very old and used for protection, storage, etc. They were forgot about and filled in for a few hundred years, but early 1900's they started using them again.

The town and festival were well worth a visit. Brian found a lady in a little shack selling beer for the equivalent of $0.90 for 1/2 a litter. We ate more brats and watched some good music trios.

Our last day in the region we stayed in Ceske Budejovice...they have a brewery. It is the Budweiser Budvar Brewery. It is the original. The Budweiser in the USA took the name because it is associated with good beer. They are still having legal problems because of it. But this Budweiser is MUCH better! The tour was great and our guide was so fun AND spoke English! We went into the locker where they store their more beloved yeast beer. They only sell it in the brewery restaurant because it goes bad so fast. She gave all of us samples and it was delish! After the tour, Brian and I had lunch in their restaurant which was just okay but again, the beer was good!
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