Being that I’m months behind in writing up my travels in Europe because 1) I have A LOT of stories and 2) I moved three times in August and trying to edit photos and write up stories fell in the “at a later date” pile behind packing, unpacking, photographing a wedding, and sending out resumes. Therefore, I’m writing up stories about my trip to the Czech Republic (in JULY) while riding in a car in backwoods Wisconsin (in SEPTEMBER).
And because I have to put my brain back into Czech Republic mind to remember what all happened and in what order, I had a little situation occur. While driving through Northern Wisconsin, I saw the top of an interesting building off in the distance, surrounded by trees. First thought: huh, I wonder what castle that is. I then remembered I was in Wisconsin. And we don’t have those here. I wasn’t actually AT Křivoklát which is just a bit outside of Prague in the middle of the gorgeous Czech countryside rather than the very boring Wisconsin countryside.
But back in actual Czech, rather than Jenni’s confused in the back of the car faux Czech, we stopped for gas. And Petr threw a map of the Czech Republic into my lap and told me to find Křivoklát and figure out how to get there.
I have a freaky map brain. I can look at a map, eye out the route and then have it ingrained in my mind without a need to consult again. It’s pretty much my favorite skill. Especially since I suck at being a tourist and looking lost. Therefore, when I got to navigate IN CZECH! it was pretty much awesome.
I don’t think Petr expected me to locate Křivoklát, and even if I did, figure out how to navigate ourselves to Křivoklát — because minor detail, Czech roads aren’t exactly labeled on a map with numbers. Being that the country is similar is size to South Carolina, they have the few major highways and byways that come attached to a number, but similar to our smaller country roads, not everything is labeled. Instead, they’re color coded by road quality. And you just have to watch the road, comparing it to the map, watching the tiny villages go by, trying to figure out where you need to turn.
It. Was. Amazing. And out of the three cars that were traveling to Křivoklát, we were the only car to not get lost multiple times.
And I got to work on my Czech pronunciations. I can now almost say Křivoklát perfectly. Or at least to the point where Czechs can understand me without the confusion wrinkle appearing in their foreheads.
But anyway, Křivoklát is one of the oldest castles in the country and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV himself spent parts of his life there before moving into the newly constructed Karlštejn. Not a bad castle tour, but really, the best part would be the navigating. In Czech.