Thursday, July 21, 2011

Leaving Gasse Fhart and Platz behind ...

I couldn't help but take this picture! This is the street where our hotel was located on!

We crossed the border yesterday into the Czech Republic, and immediately, the road signs reminded us we had passed into another world. Interestingly, the first signs we saw were in English as we approached a casino. But soon after that, we entered the Czech countryside and the signs were unpronounceable, and extremely long once again but different. And since none of us have any semblance of Czech ancestry – completely undecipherable!

Although none of us Sprechen Sie Deutsch, Devora and I recognized many words from our parents and grandparents speaking Yiddish, so between laughs at the language, we actually felt by the time we had been in Austria for a few days, that we had at least a small handle on the language.  Oh well. Another day another country. New language challenges. New adventures.

So quaint, and so friendly!

Our first destination was Cesky Krumlov. The Unesco World Heritage town is only reachable by car, bus or shuttle from Spitz. Devora had arranged for our shuttle driver to pick us up at the train station in Spitz and an hour later we arrived at our quaint hotel in the heart of the town. We deposited our bags and took advantage of the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore.

Decoratively painted Castle tower and some kind of sugary delight in the street market

We were all enchanted by the town at first glance. Narrow cobblestone streets, with beautifully decorated exteriors, and delightful local delicacies being made in front of us as we strolled the alleyways. Devora had researched the area and had two restaurants highlighted for our evening meal. After a quick perusal of both  establishments, we chose a restaurant serving authentic medieval fare located on the banks of the river that runs through the town. We ate outside on wooden tables, drinking local beer and mead, and partaking in a feast of home made soups and various grains and root vegetables. Fabulous!


We had visited the local information centre when we first arrived and were delighted to find that a music festival was in progress – and as if it was arranged especially for our arrival, the concert for that evening was a performance of Saphardic Ballads by Hana Blochova and Premysl Vacek. The concert took place in a small venue. Wine and snacks were served and the musicians mingled with the audience members prior to the start of the concert. We were a bit under-dressed for the event, but tried to fit in as best we could. But of course the language of music is international and as soon as the concert began, we were mesmerized by Hana's incredible voice and the music from all of their period instruments. We walked back to our hotel in a trance. What a night!

What was left of the night was spent catching up on email in our hotel lobby.

This morning, we visited the Castle Museum and tower, and tried to catch a beer tasting and brewery tour but couldn't quite keep up the pace of our last day in Salzburg. Doug and I had a beer instead, Marc had time to have a cup of chocolate (and I mean a cup of melted dark chocolate ... he is still in heaven) and Devora picked up a local baked delicacy. We still had 20 minutes to catch an exhibit of the artist Shiele, before heading back to our hotel to pick up our bags and walk the 10 minutes to the bus station.

I am writing this post aboard our bus equipped with wifi! The wonders of the modern world. We just left a medieval town behind aboard a modern bus with wifi, a movie playing and coffee and tea being served by our hostess. Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

Next stop Prague!


  1. Just got back from Italy and began following your blog. Really enjoying traveling along with you, no matter how precariously...

  2. I passed this blog on to my facebook friends, and a friend called me this afternoon and said "it made me cry". Cry? She said" Why can't I do that!! I want to do that!". Looks like there are going to be a lot of envious readers along the route!!!