Tuesday, February 14, 2012

And I Shall Never Be Warm Again

The big chill of 2012 finally caught up with me, and spent a very sickly Thursday and Friday camped out in bed, popping Coldrex and Advil in mass quantities and willing my body to regain the ability to breath properly. This was largely unsuccessful, but on Saturday, I hopped on the bus and trekked out to České Budějovice, and from there to Hluboká nad Vltavou with the girls for a day of sightseeing. This was probably not the smartest idea given that the temps were clocking in at approximately -15*C, but well worth it. 

Hluboká has been the site of a castle since the 13th century, but it's current form is due to a reconstruction in the mid 1800s by Prince Jan Adolf II of Schwarzenberg, who modeled it after Windsor Castle. Hluboká is exactly what little American girls think of when they hear the word castle - it looks more like a Disney creation than an old hunting palace. We got off the bus and walked through (somewhat disturbingly) quiet streets up to the castle, feeling that there were probably lots of eyes watching from behind curtains wondering what these crazy Americans were doing in their little town on one of the coldest days of the year. And then boom - there it is.

We took the Winter Tour, which at 230kc is a bit of a rip-off for the handful of rooms and twenty minutes it took, but there are lots of interesting things to see in there and I'm sure the full tour in the summer season is much more impressive. Our tour was followed up with hot wine and fish soup at Restaurace KA-PR in town as we waited for the bus back to České Budějovice.

České Budějovice is the home of Budvar (Budweis to Germans - look familiar Americans?) Back in the city, we navigated to the city center and grabbed an excellent glass of the town's claim to fame (full of amino acids and Vitamin B, so felt like it was healthy) in a very cozy pub as we waited for our bus back to Prague. Cute little city, though I'm sure it's much more charming in the summer when it's not painfully cold and icy. Though that seems to be the theme of this winter's travels! 

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