Day 69: September 29th
Cesky Krumlov is a small town around 200km south of Prague. It was unknown to us until we were in China last month and Devon, our awesome host and friend in Shanghai told us about the town. He was here ten years ago and highly recommended it. So here we were, on our way. To anyone that is reading this, know that our plans change almost weekly. This entire trip itself has gone through so many different revisions that I can’t even remember what the original plan was.:) But like I’ve said before, it’s an adventure!
We had to change two trains to get to Cesky Krumlov. Once we got here, the train station was pretty deserted but we found a tourist office complete with a money changer (at rip off rates, of course) and maps, and we figured out that there was a bus to take us into town in a few minutes. The bus driver spoke enough English to tell us we were on the right bus..another sign that this is a really touristy place. But you know this this is really touristy when you see Chinese tour groups and there is a Chinese restaurant in the main square.:) That certainly doesn’t take away from how charming the town is…and I exaggerate anyway, it wasn’t too crowded! 🙂 Most tourists are on day trips from Prague so by late afternoon, its quiet again. The town is absolutely charming with its cobbled streets and the huge castle which dominates the town. In fact the entire town is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Bill spotted a brochure advertising a concert in the church celebrating King Wenceslas who is mentioned in the Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslaus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_King_Wenceslas). I’m so glad we attended. We were in a church that was at least 500 years old listening to an amazing choral group singing in Czech (I think)… We felt we were listening to something special. Wow!
Post concert it was time for some Pilsner and local food….which was amazing! Ahead of time, I was almost tempted to walk into the Chinese restaurant on the square but glad we didn’t.
Tomorrow, we explore the castle before getting on an afternoon train to Prague.
PS: On another note, I’m very impressed by the number of young Chinese travelers that I have seen in Europe even in such non traditional tourist places as Bratislava and Cesky Krumlov. In contrast, I’ve barely seen any Indians in Europe.. Certainly not in the numbers that I’ve seen the Chinese. I’ve just seen a couple of families in Venice and Florence. Bill pointed out that this could be because the Chinese middle class is just much larger than the Indian middle class population… Not sure if this is correct but it was just an observation.