August 17-19, 2000 [to be potentially updated]
I know where I want to retire. Here. Or at least somewhere like this. And I want to run the small hostel just like the one we stayed at. In fact the one would be just perfect.
This medieval town charmed me from the first view off the bus, although I can´t really articulate just why at the moment. An S shaped river with an extra swag creeps through the town´s walls, castle mansion and then back to the hills.
Several of the European long distance hiking trails run through here (sort of like the European versions of the Appalachian Trail) and Katie and I set off to explore the ones heading North. With a grin, she picked up a hiking map knowing that these well blazed trails were official... I tend to renegade a bit, but where she's from, the government regulates where foot-paths are and are not - even if you see a path, it doesn't exist unless it is on the goverment survey map. OK, enough of England, back to Czech Rep. We came upon and observatory and observation tower. We huffed it, but there was a funicular up the other side of the hill for those who got out of breath climbing the stairs up to the tower.
We descended to the East going through two small towns, one with an old monestary that the town is desperately trying to turn into a tourist trap. A bit heat tired by this time, I pressed to start heading back to our Cesky base. Luckily we were walking past a bus stop when a bus came going up to the city line. We jumped on and were back in no time. I wanted to shop for a friend's wedding present; however, there were only staples and some really great looking pottery. Unfortunately, it was painted with Chinese people and had made in China carved on the bottom. I got a tube of Czech tooth paste, but I think it was made in Germany.
The last day we parted. Katie was to go back home to London via Berlin for a new job, while I was to continue my travels and meet another friend in Rome with a few days in Italy to myself.