Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
After leaving Prague, I made my way to Cesky Krumlov, one of the shooting location for the slasher film Hostel. Unlike the movie which was horrific, Cesky Krumlov was wonderful. I was like Prague from an architectural perspective, but much smaller, more relaxed and with a really great hostel (Krumlov House) owned by a Canadian-American couple. While there, I enjoyed a great run along the river and many, many fun evenings with the gang at the hostel: a good collection of Kiwis, Australians Americans and Canadians (all of whom were from Calgary!). We had a few activity nights organized by the hostel staff, which made it especially fun. One night, we made pretzels with all sorts of mustard and spicy toppings. Another night, we cut up old magazines and made an insane collage. I should have taken a picture of the result, but I forgot to do so before I left.
It was in Cesky Krumlov, that I discovered my hidden talent as a barber. On the stoop in front of the hostel, I was commisioned to provide a haircut to a Kiwi engineer who had taken a year off work to travel around the world. I used some sort of kindergarten scissors, and snipped and combed with adroit skill. He was pleased with the coiffing and it was fun to be able to provide something useful to a fellow traveller. Apart from the collage and the coiffing, a super Kiwi woman set out a whole New Zealand itinerary for me (as an aside, the German keyboard at this cafe in Vienna is driving me bananas because the Z and Y keys are transposed). I am looking forward to New Zealand more than ever, but I have many places to see before I end up there.
After three days in Cesky Krumlov, I managed to get a shuttle (Lobo Shuttle, which was great) from Cesky Krumlov to Linz, and then hopped on the OBB (Austrian Rail) to Vienna.