It has only been a week since my last post but it truly has felt much longer. (ok so it really has been a bit longer, this post has taken me a bit on account of how busy we have been recently. But don't worry I'll catch you all up soon!)
In that time we have traveled almost across the Czech Republic and back, tromped around most of the city and seen, eaten, and experienced an incredible amount! Right as we were getting settled in our accommodations in Prague we were whisked away on a greyhound for a three-day excursion. After sort of a tumultuous (literally) bus ride through the snowy countryside and a few stomach turning bus doughnuts in the parking lot, we arrived at the Karlštejn Castle. Although the Castle grounds are normally closed for the winter season, they opened the castle for a special tour just for us. The gothic castle, founded in 1348 for King Charles IV was pretty incredible but also ridiculously cold on the inside. We were greeted by these adorable castle guards on our way in.
We then headed off to the Pilsner Brewing Factory. We were served a traditional lunch of beef goulash, dumplings (which are basically little towers of bread) and of course a cold glass of Pilsner! We then got a chance to tour the brewing and bottling facilities. Our tour guide took us through the history of the town of Pilsen, how each family in the town used to use their own technique to brew beer and how they finally came together and decided upon one method. We walked through the underground tunnels that they built for brewing and got a chance to taste unfiltered beer straight from the barrel. According to our chaperones, Hanna and Alan, Pilsner has some healing powers and can cure everything from stomach aches to the common cold. This has yet to be proven, but they swear by it. After our tour we hoped back on the bus for our final destination, the world famous Sport Motel. Just kidding, our adorable motel with its own special...charm, was just minutes away from the town of Česky Krumlov, a famous landmark in Czech Republic.
We woke up at the sport motel to a breakfast of rolls, cheese and deli meat with coffee and juice served by the most adorable Czech Grandmother. We then set off to the ski slopes, not to ski but to view the beautiful snowy landscape from atop the Lipno treetop walkway. We rounded its many levels of walkways until we reached the top which had the most beautiful 360 degree view of the countryside. We took the view in for a while and of course took a few selfies with the backdrop before making our way back down. We had a few hours to kill so our bus suggested we hike up the ski slope a bit to ride the bobsled track. We purchased our tickets and boarded the sled, completely unaware of what we were in for. My good friend Sarah and I shared a tiny sled and held on to each other as we were slowly pulled up the hill on the lift. By the time we reached the top we were sufficiently scared but only had seconds before we were launched full speed down the metal track. I think generally the sleds are meant for single riders or adults and tiny kids to go together because our combined weight made our sled pretty agile and we swung up on the sides, almost hitting the snow with each turn. I have a GoPro video of the whole thing which I won't share because there may be a few expletives... I don't think we realized how much we were screaming until we re-watched it all. Regardless it was a pretty incredible ride and I ended up squeezing in another run before we had to head back.
We had the rest of the day to roam around Česky Krumlov, which is quite a picturesque and unique town. The town itself is surrounded by a huge castle wall which you can climb up for the most incredible view. We went just as the sun was setting and the tiny lamps on the buildings lit up as the sky turned different shades of purple and pink. It was an incredible way to end the day.
There were many other adventures on this trip, such as our incredible dining experience at a Medieval restaurant, a bit of clubbing with our teachers and a bizarre trip to a marzipan and chocolate museum but I will spare you the pain of reading too much of a novel and just post pictures. I promise from now on I will be much more prompt, ok at least a little more prompt with my postings. Thanks for hanging in there with me!