Rained out in Czesky Krumlov - From Prague to Paris - CycleBlaze

May 28, 1996

Rained out in Czesky Krumlov

In the morning we received an impressive spread for breakfast left outside of the door in the room, so we enjoyed a picnic in the attic to begin the day.

Breakfast in our room, Cesky Krumlov. Sadly this is the only photo I took all day; a real failure of imagination. If I could relive this day, I would certainly have photos of our hostess outside in the rain in her bathrobe, or of the dog on the bridge, or of coffee on the balcony, or of the women at the post office.
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   Unfortunately, we also awoke to bad news - it was pouring outside, and hopelessly grey in all directions.  Our hostess with difficulty informed us that we had to leave, but that she had found a room available for us at a nearby spot - and then ventured out with us in her bathrobe and an umbrella to point out the way to this other, even more satisfying lodging.  This one was also only 700 kc (about $23), but on the river with a lovely view of Saint Vitus, a larger room, and an even better breakfast than we had this morning. 

It took us awhile to decide whether to stay in town another night or not.  After packing up our bikes and leaving lodging #1, the weather lightened up a bit; so we paused under an overhang and debated whether to reconsider, until we saw the proprietor of lodging #2 beckoning to us from his balcony to hurry over.  It was the right move - soon, the rain was coming down in buckets, as it continued to do off and on al day and late into the night.

Proprietor  #2 was great.  He set us up on his balcony overlooking the river for a couple of hours until a room became vacant, and offered us a large pot of coffee to help us pass the time.  It was quite enjoyable sitting there under cover, reading our books (The Joke, by Milan Kundera (Scott); and Moo, by Jane Smiley (Rachael)), sipping our coffee and watching people dashing for cover or huddled under umbrellas.  At one point, we saw a remarkable spectacle - a German shepherd walking across the river atop the railing of the bridge.  Sadly, I couldn't get my camera unpacked for a shot of it.  This was my only regret from our stay here.

Several activities from the day stood out to add color and drama.  Perhaps the most interesting was the errand of mailing gifts and miscellaneous spare goods home.  Rachael's purchases have maxed out my carrying capacity, and on top of that we purchased glassware here for mom and our friends the Hersheys (the Czech Republic is apparently reknowned for its glasswork).   Mailing these items was no small accomplishment.  It required locating a suitable box (from the glass store); selecting an address (our office at SAIF); taping it up (performed for us by the bike store owner who sold me a bike shirt); locating the post office; and communicating our needs to the two young post-ladies, neither of whom spoke either German or English.  The capstone to the experience came when we were informed that we could not mail our package because it was oversized and that we would need to go instead to the post office in Czeske Budojovice, 15k to the north - clearly an impossible option in our situation.

After a moment's pause while we considered this, one of the women informed us (with great difficulty) that the problem was one of weight, not volume.  The limit was 2.0 kilograms, and our package weighed in at 2.025.  With relief we pulled back out the Czech dictionary we would no longer need, dropping us to a legal 1.9, and with some trepidation turned it over, hoping we would see it again some day.

Also in our stay here, we briefly shared our table in a pizzeria with a Dutch couple and their Dalmatian, who sat nestled under our table, its tail patting Rachael on the leg.

In the evening we had numerous discussions about what we should do in the morning if the weather was still too foul for cycling.  We both slept fitfully, listing for the rain and anxious about the dawn. 

This and the following photos are all from the day before. I'm just posting them here to balance out the entries a bit.
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Bears have been kept in the castle moat for over three centuries.  I was surprised to see that this tradition is still ongoing.
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