my husband and our hosts in Cesky Krumlov
We were supposed to drive from Cesky Krumlov to the German Black Forest today but just couldnâ€™t make ourselves leave Krumlov before 2 pm. We packed our clothes, had breakfast by eating half the stuff in the apartment refrigerator, went to the internet cafĂ©, walked around town, had lunch at a vegetarian restaurant and finally went to get the car. (We were staying in the pedestrian only heart of town so parked elsewhere. We could only drive to the apartment to load and unload.) Can you tell we didnâ€™t want to leave?
After that we took a leisurely drive through some beautiful country before going through customs to get into Germany and onto an autobahn.
Only then did I buy a map to figure out how far we had to go to get to our next lodging.
OhMyGod moment. . . 400 or 450 kilometers; most of it on autobahns, which have no speed limit.
My husband drove us here in under 4 hours.
I tried not to look at the speedometer and certainly didnâ€™t calculate the conversion from kilometers to miles per hour.
Some things I just donâ€™t want to know.
Just as it got dark at 8 pm we checked into our hotel in Freudenstadt in the heart of the Black Forest. We must have been brain-dead because we couldnâ€™t figure out how to work the hotel front door and had to be let in 3 separate times by the staff-initially to check in; second time to bring in 2 backpacks; and the 3rd time after we parked the car.
a man and his Skoda car
By this time the hotel manager (who is probably the wife of the chef) decided we needed looking after.
She made sure we got a good seat in the hotel dining room and a waitress who spoke English to get us fed.
Iâ€™d picked this hotel from the internet because its chef had won awards and was head of a wine society - this guaranteed good food so I hadnâ€™t worried about what the rooms would be like or the fact that nobody seemed to speak English.
I donâ€™t happen to speak German any better than I speak Italian.
(My idea of speaking Italian involves lots of waving my hands around and smiling.
It worked the month we were in Italy
several years ago.)
Luckily my method of communication seems to work in German too.
The nice people stay around and help me out; the ones with better things to do leave me alone.
Amazing how it all works out.
(Also it helps that beer, wine, chocolate and toilet all sound recognizably the same in many languages).
I am proud to announce that Czech is now among the languages that I donâ€™t speak.
After one week, I learned to say â€śhello, please, thank you and check pleaseâ€ť in Czech.
The first time my husband said â€śCheck pleaseâ€ť to a Czech waiter, the waiter gave him a really strange look.
Trish, Diz and I almost fell off our chairs laughing so we had to learn to say â€śuchet prozeemâ€ť or spend a lot of time
annoying Czech waiters.