Towns and Around
Trip Start Jun 28, 2006
16Trip End Aug 11, 2006
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Second order of business: I found a hairstyle worse than a mullet. I have dubbed it the dread-tail. It's when the hair is normal in front, and then in the back you get a surprise - three to four natty dreadlocks hanging out looking nasty. Two guys on the bus this morning had them and sat right in front of me. I couldn't get away. It was horrible!
Aaaanyways. After Karlovy Vary I went to Plzen/Pilsen, whose main highlight was wandering around the Pilsner brewery complex to smell the hops and barley and other beer brewing ingredients
But then yesterday I arrived at Cesky Krumlov, and that was absolutely amazing. It's a small town with a castle and the requisite stuck-in-time Old Town, really picturesque and nestled in the bend of a river. I stayed at this adorable hostel in a refurbished ancient building with cool people who thoroughly enjoyed playing Kings and other card games into the night. The highlight of Cesky Krumlov must have been tubing down the river, and as far as I can tell I have yet to have a tubing story that ends well. This time the story goes as follows:
The hostel had some innertubes available for guest use, and since it was a hot day I wanted to go play on the river. The river essentially does a loop around town which means you can float down the river and get off at practically the same point at which you got on. OK, cool. So I put on my bikini, grab the tube and walk to the starting point. I float around, go down a rapid, go under a bridge, go down a second rapid, and almost miss the end point. If I miss the end point I float on to the next village about an hour away and have to walk back barefoot, which is no good. I make a valiant effort to reach the quay and succeed, just barely, to get back to my starting point to grab my flipflops and towel. But then I think, if once was fun why not go again? So I get back in the water, and float down the river, go down a rapid, go under a bridge - and at the second rapid the tube gets stuck. I'm fighting for air, the tube is stuck in the current, and my first priority is to figure out which way is up. I manage to extract myself from the tube while quite thoroughly scratching myself on the only sharp, pointy metal part of the tube. I try to swim away from the rapids but I discover that the river is in fact quite shallow and has pointy rocks at the bottom. I finally manage to stand up, only to realize that the tube is nowhere to be seen. I look around, and after a minute or so the tube pops out of the rapids and shoots downstream. I can't swim after it because the water is too shallow and the current too strong, plus I'm barefoot and the rocks on the riverbed are very sharp and the tube is quickly disappearing downstream. So what can I do? I get out of the water and try to follow the tube along parallel roads. Imagine me, dripping wet in a bikini, scratched and bleeding, wandering barefoot along cobblestone streets amidst lots of fully clothed Czech tourists.
Luckily I was 5 minutes from the end point and didn't have too far to go to retrieve my flipflops and towel... but the sad news is that I think the hostel lost one of its innertubes due to my freak rapids incident.
And now I am in Brno after sitting in traffic all day - I should have taken the train! - which will have to wait until tomorrow to be explored.