Dekujki Cesky!

Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
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Trip End Jun 30, 2008


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Flag of Austria  ,
Friday, May 16, 2008

He says:

So today we leave the the Czech Republic for Austria and beyond (it also marks the half way point of our trip:(...).  I am quite sad to be leaving the Czech Republic and am really struugling to see how the rest of the trip can meaure up. I definitely want to come back at some stage (maybe a trip around Eastern Europe is called for... ) The rest of our time in Cesky Krumlov was great. The town of Krumlov continued to cast a spell over us, so relaxing, beautiful and cheap! And, despite the fact that at every turn we have been screwed over by the management, the hostel was brilliant, small (about 20 people), extremely friendly and very relaxed and cool. It was also full of people around about our age, so we met some fantastic people (a lot from Aussies but also Americans and Canadians) and laughed and made fun of others (The Adelaide serial killer being one... Weird...  just plain weird).

On Wednesday we hired bikes, took them on a train up to Divci Kamen and rode back to Krumlov (about 15km's). Divci Kamen is the crumbling ruins of a 13th century fortified castle, and is spectacular! built on a huge rock on the inside of a sharp bend in the Vlatava river it is boarded on three sides by the river and sheer cliffs and the ruins were truly awesome... After the ruins it was time to ride back to town, however, this turned out to be a bit more of an adventure then it probably should have been, because:
1. Gaynor had over-estimated her competency and fitness on a bike (though to her credit there was minimal whinging and we both got back in one piece),
2. I decided that we should take a 'shortcut' through the forest, which wasn't really a shortcut as we ran out of tracks and ended up in a huge working quarry, and
3. We ended up playing chicken with crazy czech truck drivers on tiny Czech roads without helmets (not that they would have done much).

Before mum, Anne and Jon pull their hair out about the no helmet part, let me explain. We had been given a map of 'bike' paths so pictured ourselves slowly meandering our way down little picturesque bike only paths... Blatently not the case... Instead we shared our little picturesque country lanes with half the countries truck fleet (going to and from the aformentioned quarry) going at speeds that I am sure are far in excess of those recommended by the Australian Standards... Anyway, a little paler and a couple of years less in life expectancy, we did make it back in one piece and apart from the trucks the trip was really good as we cycled through some fantastic scenery, through an amazing forest and great little Czech villages. We did better then a couple of girls who we became friendly with from the hostel who tried riding there and back the next day, ended up cycling about 40km in the wrong direction and never even got to the ruins in the end! Apparently it was my fault for suggesting it in the first place... Women...

Yesterday, we decided to go rafting again, this time we got driven up the river and did a long ride (6-7 hours). Gaynor almost needed some incontinence pads getting driven to our drop-off point, I have to admit we missed a couple of trucks by millimeters (one trucks straps flicking the minivan as it went past). We got dropped off just up stream from Rozmberk, home of the 3rd biggest palace complex in the Czech Republic (after Prague and Krumlov), and spent another brilliant day floating down the river drinking wine and beer, eating cheese and bread and watching more fantastic scenery go by (and a deer!). The only real highlight (or lowlight) from the day was when we very nearly paddled over a 3 metre drop... One of the weirs, had a wooden ramp for rafts on one side to use, however, this being the Czech Republic, on either side of the ramp there was a 3 metre or so wide sheer drop onto concrete before the (dangerous enough already, but at least partly slopped) weir began again. Needless to say, Gaynor, getting more and more nervous at the approaching challenge, started paddling faster and faster, albeit only on one side and in the wrong direction (she was panicing apparently)... So here is me screaming swear words of various descriptions and languages desperately trying to hold our line, while the flow of the river and Gaynor were equally desperately trying to kill us. Eventually I managed to splutter out words to the effect 'please dear, would you hold off on paddling for a wee moment', and not a moment too soon... With one monumental effort (my shoulder is still feeling the effects) I managed to hit the wooden upright at the side of the ramp side on and with just enough weight in the front to pull us around... Anyhoo, what would travelling be without a few close calls.

So now I am sitting on the train from the Gmund No to Vienna. The country side is bloody gorgeous (apparently this is a famously beautiful train journey, so we found out last night). I am going to leave you there for the time being so I can continue admring the scenery... Until next time Auf Wiedersehen
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Comments

angelasusan
angelasusan on

Impressive
And I'm impressed that you can swear in more than one language now, Tom - there's the benfits of travel for you!
XXX

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