Then Anheuser-Busch stole it and has been suing ever since. No surprises there. If you're interested, I found a very reliable source about the situation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budweiser_Budvar_Brewery.
Also, let me preface that I know that I've spelled the Czech names for everything completely wrong in the next few entries. I obviously need the Internet to get all of those little marks over the letters, and I usually write the entries from trains (no Internet).
It takes far too long to go back through and fix everything. So-- sorry about the spelling.
Anyway, the train from the border was pretty uneventful-- it was basically empty so we had a compartment to ourselves. The fun and excitement really began when we got to Ceske Budejovice.
We booked a really cheap hostel because there weren't many options for decent places to sleep, and the confirmation didn't have an email contact or directions on how to get to the hostel. So we looked it up on a map before we left Vienna and mapped out our route. We trekked about a mile in the packs before finding the hostel. It was located pretty close to the town center, but the town was so small that this still meant we were out in the sticks. We tried to give our name to the receptionist to find the reservation, but he only spoke Russian.
I tried writing the name for him, writing the confirmation number, explaining in Spanish/English/basic German... nothing. We finally came to the conclusion that he did not have our reservation at all, and that there was no internet access for us to pull the stupid confirmation email up on.
At this point, a nice couple from France walked in, who spoke neither English nor Russian. They had their reservation printed, which was helpful for pointing and gesturing, but they were not getting much farther than us with communicating.
Finally, by speaking Spanish with the French couple and speaking broken Russian/sign language to the receptionist, we all figured out our accommodation. Then we had to fill out 4 different forms (!), which was very reminiscent of Soviet rule. No one does bureaucracy better than communists. Also, the guy had been pointing at us and saying "English" the whole time, and we just assumed that he was talking about our language.
But we gave him our passports and he yelled "USA-- not English," then started saying some little cheer about Obama. He actually applauded for us once he was done! It was definitely the most friendly reception we've had upon someone discovering we are American tourists-- rather uncommon I hate to say.
We finally got into our room, and it turned out to be pretty nice! Shocking, I know, after the whole ordeal with getting in the stupid thing.
We dropped off our stuff and headed into Old Town (equally shocking). Ceske Budejovice was pretty straight forward-- huge town square along a nice river with quaint little buildings. The book made it sound pretty boring, but it was absolutely beautiful. We arrived right at sunset, so we got some really neat reflection pictures at the river. We ate dinner at a traditional Czech place that only had menus in Czech and German (ugh), so we had to try and figure out the German menu.
We ended up with some pretty good food-- sausage like usual and some sausage/egg thing for Dad. Plus, we had Pilsner Urquell on tap, right from the source!
We went back to the square after dark to take pictures (I know, we do this everywhere).
Then we headed back to our creepy hotel to go to sleep. We woke up really early on Sunday morning to check out CB in the morning light, then we gathered our bags and headed to the train station to catch the train to Cesky Krumlov. The train station was totally packed and nearly everyone was in line for our train! Apparently all Europeans besides Czechs go to Prague for Easter, and all the Czech people go to Cesky Krumlov.
We managed to sneak on fast enough to snag seats, but there was barely enough room to stand once everyone had gotten on. Cozy! Next post from Cesky Krumlov in a few days... Zbohem!
Fun useless fact: Apparently Cesky Budejovice is the real home of Budweiser beer! "Budweiser Bürgerbräu" was founded in 1785 and began exporting to the US nearly 100 years later.