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Prague, Kutná Hora and Český Krumlov

August 10, 2012

After getting back from Zugspitze, Thomas and I went into Prague for another day. We spent the day walking to Prague Castle, widely considered to be the largest castle in the world. Inside the castle we went to St. Vitus Cathedral. The crypt inside of the cathedral was roped off because the lighting was broken, but we snuck down there and wandered around in the dark, using the camera for light. We found a stairwell, and looked up to see a bunch of Asian tourists looking down at us from above. We quickly hid ourselves in the darkness to avoid getting in trouble.

Having a fun time at work.

The next day we went to Kutná Hora, a beautiful city outside of Prague. One of the most famous sights is Sedlec Ossuary, where the remains of about 70,000 people decorate the interior of the church. The story goes that soil from Jerusalem was brought sprinkled in the graveyard, so everyone wanted to be buried there. During the Black Death and Hussite Wars a lot of people died, and were buried there. As the church expanded, the remains had to be moved to an ossuary. Eventually they were piled up inside the church. In 1870 František Rint was hired to organize the masses of bones that filled the church, creating its modern form.

Afterward we went to St. Barbara’s Church, the most famous church in Kutná Hora. We got back on the train, which incidentally turned out to be the wrong train. We got off at the next stop, Čáslav, and caught the next one to Kolín. We walked around the city, which I had been through many times but never seen.

We allowed ourselves half of a rest day the next morning, and went with my dad for a little hike to the famous castle of Karlštejn. There is a nice hike that goes around the backside of the castle, and offers superior views to the overcrowded route that most tourists walk. To do that hike we got off the train at Zadní Třebaň, one stop before Karlštejn. From the station the yellow trail begins with its painted markers on signs and posts. We followed it through the town and fields, into the woods and out to a meadow with an impressive view. From there we walked down to the castle and looked around. My dad has taken the tour a few times, and I did in 1997, but it is overpriced and not very impressive. We had a drink on the way down to the Karlštejn train station and went back into Prague.

Back in Prague we went to go look for a Thai restaurant near the Palladium Mall. We found the place, but it was closed for another hour. We decided to look for other places, but that we could come back if necessary. On the side of the street I spotted a place called “Burrito Loco,” which looked interesting. Czech-Mex is usually not very good, but we tried it anyway. Besides refried black beans and not being spicy, it was pretty good.

Unfortunately I woke up the next morning sick to my stomach, as did my dad. We both had food poisoning. Both my dad and I have pretty strong stomachs, so there must have been something really bad in there. Thomas missed out on the fun because he ordered something different. And just the luck, we had to drive down to Český Krumlov at 9 that morning on a bus with my dad’s MBA students. Being sick on a bus with a broken bathroom is not much fun, but we did stop in České Budějovice to have lunch at the original Budweiser brewery. After lunch we finished off the drive and got to Český Krumlov. Later in the afternoon we went rafting on the Vltava River in the rain… Well, it’s more floating and stopping for klobasa on the river than rafting.

The next day my dad and I led a hike out to Dívčí Kámen, an old fort along the Vltava River. We took the train to Třísov, and walked to the fort, passing Celtic ruins along the way. I didn’t go in the fort because I have been there so many times, and it isn’t free. We continued the hike back to Třísov, and then hiked along the Vltava to Zlatá Koruna, where there is a Cistercian monastery. We took the train back to Český Krumlov and had dinner.

Peeling backing on sticker off for a placement.

The finished product.

The next morning we took a tour of Český Krumlov Castle, which is one of my favorite castles. After lunch we drove back to Prague. This was Thomas’ last day in Europe, and he flew back to Phoenix while my dad and I went on to Bucharest the next morning.

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