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BIBLIOGRIND

Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Bussing It to Cesky Krumlov

Prague is well connected to all parts of its country via train & bus. It amazes me sometimes to see how much people DO NOT need cars to get to all their favorite holiday spots.

Student Agency BusCesky Krumlov is four hours by train, south of Prague; but by bus it’s just 2.45 away, and you get to see a beautiful section of the countryside. I took the Student Agency bus service (the name has no education connection), a massive yellow vehicle. SA has stewardess on the bus. She passes out headphones and magazines, starts the DVD movie, and serves coffee-tea-capuccino-or-hotchocolate. I’d never seen a stew on a bus before. I doubt if Greyhound has a smiling stew with happy feet on board.

The Pension Feston is high on a hill overlooking this 600-year-old rivertown. I had skylights and a mountain view, with the sun streaming in to light the airy room. The bus got into Krumlov near dark, so I dropped my bags in the room, grabbed a warm coat and walked down into the town. This place is so small you aren’t more than 10-12 minutes walk from anything.

Cesky Krumlov Castle at Night

But there’s lots to see as you walk the cobblestone streets, night and day. The castle is lit up, the cafés are open, cellar bars beckon with warm amber light peaking out diamond-shaped speak-easy windows. But this was Monday, and the castle is closed on Monday, so the town seemed especially deserted for only 7 pm.

I walked into the main square of Old Town, a small area surrounded by hotels and galleries (and this week well under reconstruction). A few lights shown, but I heard music off the square, down a narrow side street. A small café, nothing special, drew me in from the cold. The food offered was simple: cold ham with cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers, dark bread. This is traditional Czech food.

old cobblestone streetAfter a coffee, I walked the streets just a bit more, fascinated with the age of the buildings, and how every single lane is cobblestoned, the thick walls either side of me in these anorexic lanes. In daylight, I thought, this is going to be a really neat place.

But teaching would be the work for the next four days: 6-hrs each day, bookwork and listening exercises, conversation and grammar. Radka Sebkova wanted an intensive study course, with lots of conversation practice. In the following days, I would make her dizzy with questions, correction, and hearing her mind squeak with effort.

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