And so today we arrived in the Czech Republic, South Bohemia specifically.
Most of today was spent in Dresden. We started off slow and relaxed, Rhonda hunted breakfast from the supermarket while I took care of some travel business. We decided to take it easy in the New Town, and went to an exhibition (Linear/Lines) that our host had recommended. It was a pretty good counterpoint to all the art we’d seen so far on the trip, which has mostly been traditional painting. There was video art, automated art (a machine making pencil drawings) etc. Not all of it was good (a video of someone sharpening a pencil is, really, four minutes I’ll never get back) but it had definite moments. We walked around the new town for a while, by chance found an alleyway that led to a series of buildings with amazing decorations – giraffes and other animals embossed into the wall (or seemingly), one with gold attachments, another with crazy external drains that reminded me of the Manners Mall Bucket Fountain. Definitely a cool part of town, I wish I’d seen more of it.
Off to the train, then into our shared compartment. I am really not a fan of shared compartments after this trip – there’s really not enough luggage space if you are carrying serious luggage like we are. The leg to Prague was fine, fellow-travellers were nice and reserved (or rowdy but cute in the case of a little girl who wouldn’t stop talking) but we had to change in Prague, putting us in a compartment with a girl with a dog (who somehow got a nice spacious seat while Rhonda and I were cramped. As I write this I’m about an hour from Ceske Budejovice. Hopefully we get there easily, find our pension with no problems, and they accept the Czech money I have (I think their terms and conditions says that they want to be paid in euros, but hopefully krona are all right seeing as we are actually IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC). Hopefully a bit less stressful than Prague station, which was crowded and a bit confusing and put me on alert for hassle/pickpockets. We’ve been eating sandwiches and rolls and fruit. Could do with a proper meal tomorrow.
Update: walked through town. It was dead (on a Friday night! – although everyone may have been inside). Apartment very nice, and manager lovely. I like it here.