Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beyond Prague...Journeying into West Bo

I bring you now the further adventures of Julie in Czech. After the first few days in Prague I was happy to get Julie on a train and to bring her out to the part of the country that I know best. While I wasn't able to answer Julie's confounding questions about the connection between the American idea of being Bohemian, and the actual people who live in Bohemia, I did give her a chance to see what this area is all about.
We didn't rent a car this time, so we had to rely a lot more on trains, but Julie adapted easily, and we managed to hit a lot of different places. Her first week here we stuck close by with a couple trips to Marianske Lazne, or course, as well as a lovely afternoon in Loket and a positively drippy visit to Karlovy Vary.
As well she should, Julie found Marianske Lazne to be a very lovely place :)

She also got a crash course in posing, something most people who hang out with me end up having to endure :) She held up pretty well if I do say so myself. We had great fun wandering around town with Mark, and we all got a good laugh out of this little car we saw parked by the side of the road. Whatever gets you there I guess.

On Monday we headed to Loket, and I was excited to bring Julie to another Czech castle. We did actually go to Prague Castle when we were there, but there is something really special about Loket. Although I wasn't in the mood for the torture chamber today. I can only take so many groaning wax figures. It's kind of a been there done that sort of thing, and so I was glad Julie was happy discovering other things around town. We were able to enjoy the castle and then walk pretty much everywhere around town before having to take the little train back toward Cheb. It was a busy afternoon, but the weather was pretty good and that made up for the rush.

For those curious about the first picture, "Loket" is the Czech word for Elbow.
Okay, small confession to make right now. Yesterday Mark and I spent around four hours shoveling and hauling wheel barrows of rock and dirt out of the garden and today we did another 3 hours and I'm a little spacey. So I do apologize for any strange things I might say today. I keep writing lines and then thinking to myself, that is really lame Sarah, why would you write that? So if I accidentally leave a few of them in I'm very sorry. Okay, so back to it.
On Tuesday we were back in ML. It was a cold day, so we were thankful to spend most of the time in the museum. After a lovely meal we decided to try out something new. Mark took us to a tea house and it was really cool. We had to take off our shoes and then sit on cushions on the floor in this dark little room. They had a huge list of teas that we had no idea about. Julie ordered a Japanese Lime Tea that even I could drink. Unfortunately, Mark's tea tasted more like grass than anything else, but it came in such a nifty pot that it was still worth it ;)

Wednesday we headed to Karlovy Vary. Unfortunately, as stated before, the weather was pretty miserable. KV has hot springs, and around every one there were groups of old tourists trying to keep warm. We were also surprised to see how torn up the roads were. It really is amazing how differently construction is done here from how it is in the US. Here they don't really seem to care if people are going to be walking through or not. They just tear everything up and regular work continues so you have to sludge your way through it all. No hard hats, no safety equipment, just everything a mess. So it was a little messy, but at least she had a chance to see it.

We had a little lesson in posing from a group of young tourists. We were soooo amused by their different stances that then we had to try some of them out for ourselves. It was so interesting to see how just the way they posed revealed that they clearly were NOT Americans.

Then we tried a bit of our own variety of posing. Love it!

We ended with some flower photos before heading to McDonalds. I didn't take her there too many times, but they do have good ice cream, and it was a nice way to end this damp and dreary sort of day. Note, I'm wearing a big coat and a scarf. Not exactly the sort of cheery May weather we were hoping for.

And so it continues. And my brain really is done so I'll stop for now and bring you more soon :)

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