Everyone has those days. You know the ones I’m talking about… The days when nothing goes your way. You knock things over, you miss your bus, and you simply can’t catch a break. It basically feels like nothing can go your way. Well our last day in Prague, and first day in Cesky Krumlov went just like that. It was truly a Comedy of Errors!
I try and stay optimistic with these travel posts since these are as much a reflection for myself as a way to help and encourage others to travel. But I would be lying to you if I showed only the positive parts of the traveling experience. This blog isn’t for that--and that’s not how traveling works. Any blogger making you think travel is easy, is lying to you. That’s right, LYING (that’s right, it’s a Hitch reference). I try and capture the real side of travel; the hard, the frustrating and the sometimes horribly tiring situations, along with the amazing, the wonder-inspiring, and the make you want to quit your day job and just travel moments. These are the real sides of travel, and sometimes they don’t go to plan at all…
Our Comedy of Errors:
On our last day in Prague we left our Airbnb and headed towards the bus station to catch our ride to Cesky Krumlov. Cautious about time, we left early and hurried across bustling streets hauling our huge backpacks. Once inside we handed our tickets to the man at the counter who barely glanced at them before telling us we were in the wrong place. “You have to take the train, to another bus station. That is the bus that will take you to Cesky. There are no buses here that leave for Cesky at this time.”
Frustrated and stressed out about the possibility of now missing our bus we hurried to the train station. How could we be in the wrong place?
Fun Fact: Prague subway stations only take exact change, and no credit cards. **Or at least this particular station didn’t.
Fumbling to make the proper change to buy tickets for the subway (they’re sticklers for tickets in Prague) we came up with only enough money to buy one ticket. We needed two. Not willing to separate since who knew where we’d end up, we decided that we had to get money for a second one. We went to 3 separate shops in the station in hopes of breaking our larger bills. No one was willing to take a bill that big for small items, so we were dismissed with a few harsh words and a flick of the hand. Finally we purchased a few magazines and drinks from a shop where the cashier accepted our money, and handed us back change. We could get the second ticket!
It was lucky we had purchased them too because the second we hurried down the escalator and onto the platform we were pulled aside by the guard to check our tickets. We think he figured that tourists in a hurry are less likely to have tickets. Joke’s on him, we did have tickets! Huzzah!
Once we got to the proper platform we ran upstairs. Panting from the weight of our packs and anxiety, we made our way to the man checking people in for the bus where he informed us that we were in the wrong bus terminal, AGAIN. Turns out, our first bus terminal had been correct.
We absolutely didn’t have the time to hop on the train and head back to the first bus station. The negligence of the ticket agent at the first station had sent us in the wrong direction and caused us to miss our bus, when we were in the right place to begin with!
He’s definitely on my shit list now…
We were furious. We asked the man checking people in if there was room on the bus we were standing in front of (it was also headed to Cesky), but he said it was full. He was helpful though, and told us to head down the stairs and purchase tickets for the next bus ride. In 3 hours.
Fuming and thoroughly pissed off we stomped down the stairs and purchased tickets for the bus to Cesky. 3 hours to kill, with 60lb. backpacks. Cool.
We made our way to a cafe and decided to camp out and wait until our new bus came. Determined to maintain daily journals throughout this trip we tried to use our new found free time to be productive. We ordered a few drinks--which I proceeded to spill all over our table--and journaled for an hour or so. I swear everything I picked up that morning, I dropped. It was almost laughable.
Advil? Yepp, it fell on the ground. Still ate it.
Pencil, yepp dropped it three times. Still used it.
Hot chocolate? What hot chocolate? I spilled it.
Ticket? Thankfully nothing happened to that, but I checked it multiple times each hour, before finally just trusting it to Annie.
After we successfully burned our 3 hours we made it back to the bus station and, success! Boarded our train to Cesky. It was a 2-hour ride, so we settled in. I ordered another hot chocolate… and didn’t spill it this time--mostly.
We finally made it to Cesky Krumlov and checked into our hostel the Krumlov House, which was awesome! Highly recommended! The man that checked us in was extremely nice, and gave us a map he’d marked with the “need-to-sees” in Cesky. He also asked us what our travel plans were after Cesky. We told him we were on our way to Budapest next and were planning to buy our tickets at the train station the next day. Confused he looked at us and said “There are no trains in Cesky that go to Budapest.”
Concerned we checked again and sure enough, there was no way to get to Budapest that didn’t have us backtracking through Prague. We researched all of our options. Cars were ridiculously expensive. The train would take us all the way back to Prague, and busses were 10x longer. Finally with some assistance from our hostel host, we found that we could take a shared car from Cesky to Linz, Austria and then catch a train to Budapest from there. Sound complicated? That was our simplest solution.
With that all booked, we decided to head out and explore Cesky. It’s not a very large town and was definitely done up for the tourists that come through. But man, it is beautiful! Our hostel host recommended a place to get a bite to eat and some drinks, so we set off. We never ended up finding it, however, we did stumble into a restaurant/bar with a lovely back patio. Somehow we accidentally ordered 8 separate Prague dumplings (Knedlíky) instead of 4, and a beer with a milk pour. What’s a milk pour, you ask? See the full story here!
This last mistake was the straw that broke the camel's back and sent us past frustration into straight-out hilarity. We were both in tears of laughter at our complete failure of a day.