May 4th, 2012


Crisis averted in Ceske Budejovice

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Woke up 6:00 or so. Down to breakfast a bit before the official opening hour but they accomodated us anyway. Packed up, met Monika, dragged the bags out to the car while she took care of the bill, drove away.

Passed fields of bright yellow canola and gleaming solar panels, both due to EU renewable-energy regulations.

Stopped in Pehlrimov, "town of records," to visit the House of Records and "Czech Golden Hands" museum. This museum displays many of the world's biggest, smallest, most, etc. objects (well, maybe only the Czech Republic's biggest etc.) as well as a collection of unusual items made by Czechs, such as dozens of objects made entirely of matches (including a playable guitar!), a working steam engine made of glass, and many Muppet-like crocheted dolls of figures from Czech history (including the Golem of Prague)! The photos below show me standing in front of the largest macaroni mosaic, and Kate adding a few stitches to the longest scarf (138 kilometers and still growing!).

Next, a brief stop at an incredibly cute little red castle, on an island in a manmade lake, called Cervena Lhota. This is the Pond District of Bohemia, where the land was too swampy to farm, so hundreds of years ago the water was diverted into many manmade ponds, thus creating a large carp-farming culture and a great deal of usable dry land. Carp are ever-present here, both on the menu and in the art. In Nativity scenes here, one of the shepherds is typically bringing the baby Jesus a carp (!?).

Traveling with Monika and Peter, our guide and driver, is like having a mom and dad who will take you to Gator Land, stop for ice cream whenever you want, and never make you kiss your stinky old aunt. They deal with navigation, parking, hotels, admissions, etc. for us and we do the fun stuff. One could get used to this...

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