Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tuesday: Czech Republic

Oksana said we were told to have breakfast at 6 a.m. and we'd leave at 7:30 a.m. I slept in and she came back pretty fast and said that we were actually to eat at 7. So I slept until 7 and she went back to sleep for a bit. Then we got back up and she went to eat while I showered. Then she hurried up to tell me that we were still leaving at 7:30 and we had to leave immediately. So I stuffed make up in my purse, a few snacks and we were out the door. I stopped in the cafe to grab a roll and some ham and cheese, and a heavy-set worker argued at me in Czech that I couldn't bring it out of the room, I had to sit there and eat it, Then someone else doing the same thing distracted him, so I waited until his head was turned and literally ran out the door.

First we went to view a castle. It was pretty and green around the outside and there were lots of rooms with historical artifacts. Oksana and I took lots of photos outside but weren't allowed to inside. A nice couple from some other country were on our tour of the castle and had little radios they'd rented to hear the English explanations of every room. I was annoyed I hadn't thought to ask about that because we had a guide and of course, she was speaking Russian. The nice couple let me listen to the recordings in each room after they'd finished. That was a nice change of pace, understanding what was going on.

In the afternoon, we walked around downtown Czech from the new part of the city to the old. We saw many of the same things I remembered from the two previous times I've visited the country. I pointed out to Oksana where we'd started our marathon in the center two years ago (two or three now?). And since we were too far to hear the guide explaining everything, I told her that we should wait and watch the famous clock in the center to chime the hour because the little royal figures move by two little open windows, and then a gold rooster comes out. Somebody way up high also trumpeted a tune, which I don't remember last time.

We walk down to the Vlatava river and boarded a boat to take an evening excursion down the river. They served us a buffet supper and gave us each one shot of Becherovka, a famous liquor of the Czech Republic. We sailed down the river while our guide told us lots of interesting history in Russian.

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